Tag Archives: Slow cooker

Keeping Warm: Slow Cooker Spicy Beer Chili

Thanks for all the awesome comments and sharing of Monday’s post! I am really glad that it resonated with so many of you since it was something I had been feeling for awhile, but wasn’t sure exactly how I wanted to express those feelings. I’m glad to know that I’m not alone in those feelings, but at the same time it’s a shame so many of us feel that way. So what better way to follow a post about body image and food relationships than with a recipe?

I actually made this chili last week when the temperatures were tolerable, but now that they’re back below freezing, the timing is perfect. I have to note that I was able to wear shorts on two runs last week and it was pure magic. On Sunday, I was even able to wear a tank top!

See? Tank & shorts! [Proud member of #TeamPurple for the #PickyGames!]

I should provide a little background for why this chili is “spicy” and how you can adjust your spice level based on your own personal preference. As I’ve discussed before, I love spicy foods. Whenever I’m out and a dish can be made mild, medium, or hot, I almost always go with hot. I say almost because there is a Thai restaurant near my parents that makes their hot dishes so spicy I think they’re barely edible. So when I was in the liquor store a few weeks ago picking up some beer, I noticed a lonesome bottle. The title of the beer is what initially drew me in to take a look, and only once I let it process for a second did I realize what it was. The beer was called Ghost Face Killah. At first I thought to myself “oh, that’s a weird name for a beer.” And then a lightbulb went off. This wasn’t just a beer with funny name; it was a beer with chiles. And not just any chili – the ghost pepper chili (along with Serrano, Habanero, Jalapeño, Anaheim, and Fresno). I bought it without hesitation, and after a few fiery sips, knew it would be perfect in a chili. Yes, it’s spicy, but it also has incredible flavor. I realize this beer may  not be available for everyone, so I’ve made some modifications to my own recipe so in case you can’t find the beer, you can still have a spicy beer chili of your own!

Don't let the poor picture quality fool you - it was delicious!

Don’t let the poor picture quality fool you – it was delicious!

Spicy Slow Cooker Beer Chili
– Serves 4-6 – 

Ingredients:
4 (15 0z.) cans of beans, drained and rinsed [you can use any combination here. I used pinto, black, white, and kidney]
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 red onion, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
2 cups beer [I used the chili beer, but any beer will work]*
1 jalapeño, diced [depending on your heat preference, you can leave in or remove the seeds and flesh]*

Directions:
1. Add all ingredients to slow cooker
2. Set the slow cooker on high and cook for 3 hours, or low and cook for 6-8.
3. Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, pasta, or other grains with shredded cheese, avocado, and sour cream.
Note: The spice level will depend on the type of beer you use and the jalapeño. If you can’t find the beer but want it to be spicy, add another jalapeño or two (making it 2-3). If you can find the beer but are uncertain about the spice level, you can leave out the jalapeño, or just do 1 cup of the spicy beer, and 1 cup of regular beer. The possibilities are endless!

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Filed under Food Blogging, Home Cooking, Recipe, Running, Vegetarian/Vegan

Another Week

It’s been a week since superstorm Sandy touched down in the greater tri-state area and wreaked havoc. A week of working from home, running as much as possible, and trying to keep up with the news while simultaneously trying to keep my tears at bay. It’s hard to believe that places I grew up and know so well have been forever changed; and more importantly than that, the friends and family that have had their lives changed as well. As I mentioned last week, I was lucky enough to retain power through the storm and not to suffer any damages myself. My office, as well as my parents, however, haven’t had power since late Sunday, with reports of it not coming back until the end of this week. While it’s easy to get angry at a lack of heat and power, in the grand scheme of things, it could be much worse.

That being said, even though our oven isn’t working, I’ve been cooking up a storm. My most recent creation was vegan buffalo lasagna. All my GI woes have gotten a little better, and while going gluten-free didn’t seem to make a difference, my doctor has suggested I lay low on dairy. I’m still eating dairy, just a lot less. At my last appointment when trying to figure out why I wasn’t getting much better, I just so happened to mention that I loved cheese, and I watched my doctor immediately scribble that information on his legal pad, with exclamation points to follow the statement. Things have been going better, but I’ve also upped my medicine, so we’ll see what happens when I start to dial the medicine back. So, to cater to my new reduced dairy diet and vegetarianism, this particular recipe is dairy and meat free! You can use regular cheese and dressing (and of course add in chicken), but you should give this version a try!

Vegan Buffalo Lasagna
– Serves 4 –  

Ingredients:
1 block firm tofu
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 cup Frank’s red hot
1 cup vegan Ranch dressing (i.e. Follow Your Heart)
8 oz. vegan shredded mozzarella cheese (i.e. Daiya)
9 “no boil” lasagna noodles

Directions:
1. Press the tofu to get out as much water as possible.
2. Meanwhile, combine the Frank’s and ranch dressing together in a bowl.
3. In a separate large bowl, break up the tofu using a fork until it resembles ricotta cheese.
4. Add in the nutritional yeast and 1/2 cup of the dressing mixture, stirring to combine.
5. Take 4-6 tbsp of the dressing mixture to generously coat the bottom of your slow cooker.
6. Layer 3 no boil noodles, followed by 1/3 cup of the tofu mixture, and a 1/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat.
7. After adding the last 3 noodles, pour the remainder of the dressing mixture, being sure to coat everything. Top with the remaining cheese.
8. Cook on high in the slow cooker for 2 hours.

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Filed under Food Blogging, Recipe, Vegetarian/Vegan

Slow and Steady

Getting a slow-cooker has proved to be a successful meal maker on most Sundays. I love the idea of throwing a whole bunch of stuff into a big pot and letting it just cook for hours, without needing any attention from me. After trying slow-cooker lasagna for the first time a few months ago, I knew I wanted more of it, but I wanted to switch things up. So, I tried a buffalo chicken lasagna a few weeks ago that was amazing (I need to find that recipe so I can share it with you!), and then I made a Southwestern lasagna.

Even though this is the first year I haven’t filled out a March Madness bracket in awhile, I’m still interested in the games. So, throwing this in the slow-cooker and plopping myself on the couch was just what the doctor (aka myself) ordered on Sunday. It also made enough that the hubs and I will be able to enjoy it mid-week as well. I’m a big fan of making something that has leftovers, especially when the meal is a winner. When I was trying to figure out what I wanted in the lasagna, I realized there are so many different variations you could make. Ours was on the spicier side, but you can of course dial down the spices to your liking, or swap them out for something else!

Of course it wouldn’t be complete without some guacamole, so thanks to the wonderful Hormel, I picked up some Spicy Wholly Guacamole. It was the perfect addition to the meal, and they aren’t messing around with the spice! I would definitely try their pico de gallo and guacamole dip they have, too.

Southwestern Lasagna
– Serves 4 –

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef, ground turkey, or soy crumbles (I used Jennie-O ground turkey)
1 green pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 10oz. can Rotel tomatoes & green chiles
1 10oz. can enchilada sauce
3 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp Adobo
1/4 tsp paprika
8oz. shredded cheese blend
6 burrito sized flour tortillas (I use Chi-Chi’s brand)
guacamole, sour cream, and salsa for garnish 

Directions:
1. Brown meat until cooked through, and drain any excess fat (if there is any). Mix in spices (chili powder, cumin, Adobo, and paprika) until combined.
2. Combine ground beef, diced onions, diced green pepper, black beans, and tomato and chilies mixture in a medium sized bowl.
3. Layer 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of your slow-cooker. Follow with a tortilla, 1 1/2 cups of the meat/veggie mixture, and a 1/4 cup of cheese.
4. Continue layering, ending with a tortilla at the top. Finish it off with another 1/4 cup of cheese, and pour the rest of the enchilada sauce on top.
5. Cook on low heat for at least 2 hours. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Hormel Foods sent me a $50 gift card as a member of their Extended Family Food Blogger program in order to create a meal using products from the Hormel family, and to blog about it. The opinions in this post are my own. 

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Filed under Recipe, Spanish Food