Category Archives: crockpot

Favorite Gluten-Free Recipe Roundup

Chicken, Bacon, Dates and beet greens. Total yum! A recipe I’ll share next week!

This week I’ve been exploring some new recipes from some of my favorite food bloggers. All of them are gluten and refined-sugar free. I wanted to share some of these fantastic recipes with you today. Enjoy!

  • Slow-Cooked Coconut Ginger Pork: The juice this dish produces in the crockpot will blow your mind. It is so succulent. About 30 minutes before it was done cooking, I threw in some baby spinach and sliced carrots which added a nice nutritional punch, plus some color. If you do grains, you could serve it over rice. Otherwise serve it in a bowl. You’ll want to drink the liquid for sure!
  • Rosemary Spaghetti Squash Egg Nests: I’m realizing that I have quite a few vegetables I’ve avoided over the years because of some less than pleasant early experiences with them as a child. Spaghetti squash was one of them. However when I saw this recipe from the Urban Poser, I knew I needed to give it another chance. I am SO glad I did. This is awesome, and quite filling. One is more than enough to fill you. Next time I make it I’ll prepare the nests ahead of time, and then I can cook them with the egg inside when I’m ready, and I can keep the yolks gooey (they cooked solid before the nests were done.) This makes a great breakfast or even dinner.
  • Red Chicken Coconut Curry: OK, this one is one of mine. But it’s a meal that comes together SO quickly, that I had to include it. In 20 minutes, dinner is done!
  • Blueberry Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake: It’s pumpkin pie in a glass. No lie. I’m not even all that big a fan of pumpkin pie, but I LOVE this shake. And the best part is that it leaves me full and totally energized all morning.
  • Coconut Cream Pie Larabar Recipe: I’m a big fan of Kind bars, and typically prefer them to Larabars. But when I was in the grocery store this week I was starving and saw these in the checkout line so I picked one up. TOTAL yum! Because I don’t love the price on any of these bars I quickly looked up a recipe on how to make them at home. This one is great.
  • Cinnamon Bun Muffins: This is the first recipe I ever made from the Elana’s Pantry food blog, and it’s still one of my favorites. (I replace the agave with 100% pure maple syrup.) Make them. You can thank me later!

Do you have some favorite gluten and refined-sugar free recipes? Please share them in the comments!


Slow Cooker “Roast” Chicken (and BBQ Chicken Sandwich)

One staple in our house is the slow cooker chicken.  I can usually pick up a whole chicken that will fit in my slow cooker for under $5 (this week I got one for $3.91) and the meat from it makes meals for DAYS.  A few people I know on Facebook requested some of my recipes, so I decided to start a series that highlights some of the yummy (and CHEAP) meals you can make using a slow cooked chicken as your foundation.

Today’s recipe is the source of all this yumminess…the chicken itself.  Here’s how to slow cook a chicken:

Slow Cooker Chicken

Ingredients: (adapt these to what you have on hand)

1 whole chicken that will fit in your slow cooker
1-2 onions, sliced in quarters
2 carrots, sliced lengthwise, and then in 2-3 pieces per length
Several peeled cloves of garlic
Salt and Pepper


  1. Remove giblets bag from chicken (reserve for another use, like gravy) and wash the chicken all over with cold water.  Pat dry.
  2. Stuff the chicken with the onions, carrots, and a clove or 2 of garlic.
  3. Stuff the remaining garlic cloves under the skin of the chicken, between the chicken and breast meat.
  4. Sprinkle entire chicken with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or until completely cooked through.

At this point you can eat the chicken as is, or discard the veggies and put the cooked, cooled chicken into a container for refrigeration.  You can also save any broth created from the chicken for soup or seasoning.  Pure flavor there!!!

And if you’re in a hurry to use some of your chicken yumminess right now, here’s a quick bonus recipe:

BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich


1 cooked chicken breast, shredded into bite-sized pieces
2-3 Tbsp prepared BBQ sauce
1 whole grain bun (have you tried the Arnold thin ones? 100 calories of pure yumminess!)
1-2 oz reduced fat cheddar or goat cheese


  1. Toss shredded chicken and BBQ sauce in a bowl.  Warm in microwave for a minute or so.
  2. Toast bun lightly, then add cheese to both halves and broil until melted.
  3. Add warmed BBQ chicken to bun and enjoy!

I hope to add pictures for some of this later, but for those of you hungry now, go make your own pics! 🙂

Slow Cooker Black Bean Brown Rice Chili

black bean brown rice chili and scallion breadI told you my family likes beans.  I could make steak and half the family would turn up their noses.  But beans…well…I can’t make enough!  My oldest son (the one who requested homemade black bean burgers for his birthday dinner) had 3 helpings of this chili last night, and requested the leftovers for lunch in his thermos today!

This was the first time I made this, and I have to admit, it’s a winner.  I served it with scallion flatbread which is another family favorite.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Brown Rice Chili


1 onion, chopped
12 slices bacon, cut into small pieces OR 1 cup cubed ham
two 15 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
one 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup brown rice
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste

My daughter made me take her picture with it! :)

My daughter made me take her picture with it! 🙂


  1. In a pan over medium heat, cook the bacon or ham for 3 minutes.  Then, add the onion and cook until carmelized and soft.
  2. In the slow cooker, combine the onion mixture, beans, crushed tomato, broth, and brown rice.  Then, mix in the garlic powder, cumin, and oregano.  Cover and cook on LOW all day.
  3. Before serving, lift the lid, give it a stir, and adjust the seasonings if necessary, including adding salt and pepper.
  4. You can serve by itself, sprinkled with shredded cheddar cheese, or topped sour cream.


Slow Cooker Apple Pie Oatmeal

red_apple432My middle son would eat oatmeal every day of the year if I allowed it. He likes it that much. And I love the fact that it is so flaming easy to make oatmeal in the slow cooker. With fall and apple season here, I got inspired to make this apple pie oatmeal in my slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Apple Pie Oatmeal


1 cup steel cut oats
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp butter
2 cups apple juice
2 cups milk


  1. Put oatmeal in a small round slow cooker.
  2. In a small bowl, combine apple, cinnamon, brown sugar, and flour.  Add to oatmeal in slow cooker and stir to combine.
  3. Add butter, apple juice, and milk to slow cooker.
  4. Cook on low overnight.

In the morning, serve with raisins (if desired), more brown sugar, and cream.  Enjoy!

Crockpot Maple Pecan Granola

096I love granola, but I don’t love how expensive it is.  Especially when my children are capable of downing an entire box in one sitting!  Fortunately, the crockpot makes it relatively simple to cook up a whole batch with very little effort, and you can adjust the flavorings to your family’s tastes. 

It is important to remember that if you’re using dried fruit in your granola that you add it AFTER it’s done cooking.  And you must stir to get it to brown evenly.  I cook mine in the typical large crockpot that I got for my wedding.  It’s amazing how much I use this thing.

So here’s my recipe for Crockpot Maple Pecan Granola.  Feel free to adapt with nuts, seeds, coconut, etc, based on what you like.

Crockpot Maple Pecan Granola


1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup cold-pressed canola or safflower oil
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. pure coconut extract
6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
2 cups pecans, chopped
1 cup dry milk
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar

In a microwave-safe 2 cup measuring cup, combine maple syrup, oil, and extracts.  Warm 2-3 minutes in the microwave.

Meanwhile, combine oats, coconut, nuts, dry milk, cinnamon, and brown sugar in the crockpot.  Pour warm syrup mixture over dry ingredients, and stir well. 

Cook on HIGH, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.

Turn crockpot to LOW and continue to cook, uncovered, for 4-6 hours, stirring every hour, until granola is an even, light golden brown.

Turn off the cooker and allow to cool completely.  Store in a large ziploc bag or other airtight container.  It will keep for about a month (if it lasts that long!) 🙂



Crockpot Black Beans with Pork and Tomato/Scallion Bread

I love crockpot cooking.  As a busy professional, nothing beats being able to throw a bunch of stuff in the pot in the morning, and then dinner is ready when it’s time.

I made this the other day, and BOY was it good.

Crockpot Black Beans with Pork and Tomato

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 carrots, sliced

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp cumin, or to taste

2 tsp thyme, or to taste

2 cups diced ham (could also use a leftover ham bone)

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can diced tomatoes

2 cups chicken broth

salt & pepper, to taste

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat.  Add carrots, onions, and garlic, along with cumin and thyme, and sautee for a few minutes.  Add diced ham and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft.  Place in crockpot.

On top of the veggies, add black beans, diced tomatoes, and chicken broth to cover, and cook on low all day.

About 1 hour before serving, remove lid and turn to high and cook off some of the liquid.  Add salt & pepper to taste.

Serve over rice.

Makes 6 servings.

I like to serve this with homemade flat bread.  This is an adaptation of a recipe from The Border Cookbook by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison)

Scallion Flatbread

Two cups of all-purpose flour (can make them whole wheat by substituting one cup of whole-wheat flour for white flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of sesame oil
3/4 cups of warm milk
1 bunch of sliced scallions (the green part)

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil.  Slowly add the warm milk.  Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed.  Add the scallions.

Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. The dough is ready when it’s no longer sticky.

Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth  for 20 minutes (or so.  I usually rush this step and do it for 10 mins.)

After the dough has rested, cut into eight sections, roll each section into a ball, and then put balls back into the bowl and cover with damp cloth  for another 10 minutes. (It’s very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won’t roll out to a proper thickness and shape.)

After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out a bit, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s about 1/4 inch thick.  Don’t over work the dough, or your flatbread will be tough.  After you’ve rolled one out, transfer it to a dry skillet heated on high, and cook the bread about 30-45 seconds on the first side until it starts to puff slightly, and then flip and cook another 30 seconds or so on the other side. When it’s done it should resemble naan bread.  Meanwhile roll out the next one so it’s ready to cook as soon as the previous one is done.

Keep the flatbreads warm until ready to eat.  I usually just put them on a plate in a warm oven as I finish each one.

Makes eight flatbreads.