Category Archives: Slow Cooker

So Simple! Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya


I am a huge fan of sticking to foods that I know and love but every now and again, you need to switch things up a bit.  Being cold right now, I figured a comfort food like jambalaya would be a perfect way to spice up the week.  This is my first stab at making jambalaya and it couldn’t have been any easier!  I found this recipe through Pinterest which originated from Cats and Casseroles. I didn’t have all of the ingredients, so mine is modified a bit. It was hearty with just the right amount of heat.  When I make it again, I will definitely add shrimp as well.

I like to pretend that I am all dramatic and complicated, but I am really just a simple girl who likes simple food.


1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut up into small pieces
1 lb andouille sausage, sliced (I used Kielbasa as I had it on hand and couldn’t find andouille)
1 28oz can diced tomatoes with juice
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped (I used a handful of small sweet peppers)
1 c chopped celery
1 c chicken broth
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp cayenne pepper (cut this in half if you don’t want as much heat)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 c instant rice

1. Place all ingredients except rice in slow cooker. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours.

2. Cook rice according to package instructions. Add rice, as desired, into each individual serving of jambalaya. Store rice separately from rest of stew.



By now, you are familiar with my love affair with the slow cooker so I might as well dedicate some time every week flaunting it’s best features and how you too can start (or continue) your love affair with all things crock.

Let’s sample the slow cooker features with two easy recipes.

As this was SUPER BOWL SUNDAY I planned a special slow cooker dish for the game. Purusing my beloved Pinterest, I found this amazing Beef Barbacoa recipe, which I believe was a hit at the party.

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef
Makes enough meat to stuff 30 tacos

  • 2 TBSP chipotle tobasco sauce ***
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped***
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 red onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 head garlic, peeled and cloves smashed
  • 5 dry bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Juice of 4 limes
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 8 pounds beef brisket
  • 6 cups beef or chicken stock

***The original recipe called for “4 chipotle peppers (from a can) plus all the adobo sauce it sits in” but please be aware that we could not find canned chipotle peppers with adobo sauce that did not include wheat.  (Wheat is everywhere, it is like gravity) We substituted the chipotle tobasco sauce and jalapeno peppers because that is what we had on hand.

Stir together peppers, tobasco sauce, cilantro, red onion, garlic, clove, salt, lime juice, and cider vinegar, combine in food processor and add to slow cooker. Cut up the brisket and place the brisket on top of this mixture. Add stock to cover the meat and place bay leaves on top. Use tongs to move the meat around gently to combine everything and put the lid on.

Cook on HIGH for 4 hours. Once finished, turn crock pot to WARM and let sit for 12-18 hours.  (We started this the night before and kept it on warm all day until the evening)

Remove meat from slow cooker and place on rimmed baking sheet. Place shredded beef in large bowl and ladle cooking liquid over the top a few scoops at a time. You want the meat to hold the liquid but not swim in it.To keep it warm for guests you can return it to your slow cooker after you have removed the remaining liquid.

Serve with fresh tortillas, onion, cilantro, and salsa.

Kielbasa Sausage with Green Beans and Potatoes

Serves 4-6

  • 4-6 potatoes (red or yukon gold), sliced in half
  • 1 lb kielbasa sausage, sliced
  • 16oz cooked green beans (can be from frozen)
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 oz water
  • 6 oz chicken broth

Layer potatoes, kielbasa, green beans, onion, salt and pepper and garlic in that order, in a slow cooker.  Add water and chicken broth. Cook on LOW 5-7 hours.

Side Notes:

  • I have cooked this as long as 10 hours on low and only gets better.
  • Another option would be to bake this in the oven. Using an oven-proof dish with a lid, cook in oven at 325 degrees for 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours. 
  • For picky eaters, I have made this with peas instead of green beans and baked in the oven.  Worked perfectly.
  • Chicken broth is not necessary. Just add more water.

It’s All Just a Bunch of Crock(pot)

Is the gluten-free trend, just that, another trend? Or is going gluten-free a healthy long-term lifestyle choice for those who choose it? These questions are asked of me constantly. Ha! Like I know the answers! I am not a dietitian, doctor or researcher. All of the information that I can provide comes from ONE case study… mine. I FEEL better without wheat. Done. Period. Is it a bunch of crock for every other person who goes gluten-free? I don’t know and frankly, I don’t care. What this journey has taught me is that if I feel healthy, I am doing the right things.

Being gluten-free makes me feel healthy but using a crock-pot makes me feel like I am Super Woman. Seriously. Think of all the benefits of a crock-pot: little prep time, one pot, little to no active participation in the cooking, easy clean up and delicious recipes. It is more than amazing to quickly throw some ingredients into a pot, turn it on and go to work (or to sleep as I do since I work overnights) and when you come back, dinner is served! It is a wonder that people even still use those pesky pots and pans. I seriously do a little (somewhat obnoxious) dance in the kitchen every time I make a crock-pot meal. Seriously. No joke. Ask my family . . . they will explain the embarrassment I have caused by my incessant crock-pot kitchen dancing.

So Super Woman saves the day again with . . . “Chicken Tortilla Soup“.

I made the recipe as stated including topping the soup with jalapeno peppers. We also added fresh cilantro and avocado as a topping.  Yum!

It is not always too bad being a one (crock) pot kind of girl.  Woot!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

    • (2) 14 ounce can chicken broth with roasted garlic
    • (1) 14 1/2 ounce can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
    • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (about 10 ounces)
    • 2 cups frozen (yellow, green, and red) peppers and onion stir-fry vegetables
    • 1 cup tortilla chips
  • Sliced fresh jalapeno chile peppers* (optional)
  1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine broth, undrained tomatoes, chicken, and frozen vegetables.
  2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 3-1/2 hours.
  3. To serve, ladle soup into warm soup bowls and top with tortilla chips. If desired, top with chile peppers. Makes 4 servings.
Chicken Tortilla Soup

Source: Better Homes and Gardens