SLOW COOKER APPLE STUFFED PORK CHOPS
3 pounds boneless thick cut center pork chops
1 cup peeled and diced apple
1/2 cup gorgonzola (or any type of blue cheese, or your favorite cheese)
1/4 cup diced sweet yellow onion
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
Using a sharp knife carefully cut a pocket into the side of each chop without cutting all the way through
Mix together chopped apple, onion and cheese
Stuff each pork chop as full as you can get it with the stuffing mixture and secure it closed using a toothpick
Season the outside of the chops with salt, thyme and pepper
Heat butter in skillet until melted, and then sear the pork chops on each side for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned
Transfer to slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours until pork is cooked through (165 degree internal temp)
Remove toothpicks before serving
2. SLOW COOKER SWEET POTATO CHIPOTLE CHILI
2 -3 sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped). Turns out to be around 3 1/2 – 4 cups
2- 2 1/2 cups broth (use 2 cups for more Chili texture)
1 lb ground lean pork, beef, chicken, or turkey (see notes for using precooked meat)
14 oz diced canned tomatoes (drained)
1 cup chopped white onion
2 -3 cup finely chopped or riced cauliflower (add as much or little as you’d like)
1 tsp minced garlic
2 chipotles with the adobo sauce, chopped, or 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup hot chipotle salsa may be substituted
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 to 1/2 tsp chili powder (1/2 tsp will create more spice)
1/4 tsp black pepper
sea salt to taste
optional 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
Fresh chopped Cilantro and optional sliced jalapeno to garnish
Optional toppings: Cheese, tortilla chips, etc.
First chop and peel your potatoes. Place in a microwave safe bowl and steam with 1 tbsp water in them for 90 seconds.
Brown meat in a skillet, drain grease. Then place in crock pot.
Add your canned tomatoes, sweet potato, onion, cauliflower, broth, and mix all together.
Finally, add your seasonings and chipotle peppers with sauce. Add your bell pepper here if you are using it.
Stir and cook in crock pot on high for 3-4 hrs. If you browned your meat prior then cooking time will be less. Around 1-2 hrs high, checking at 1 hour or so…
Add more paprika and or black pepper/sea salt when finished cooking if desired.
Garnish with fresh cilantro and optional jalapeno.
3. RISOTTO WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND GOAT CHEESE
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium shallots, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 medium butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), halved, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 cups vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth*
1 1/2 cups uncooked short grain brown rice (see recipe notes for other rice types)
6 ounces loosely crumbled goat cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves (about 4 large leaves), plus additional for topping
Lightly coat the bottom of a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In a large saucepan, warm the oil over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, salt, and pepper. Sauté until the shallot is soft and translucent but not brown, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the shallot mixture to the slow cooker. Add the squash, 4 cups of broth, and rice. Cook on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours (or on low for 4 to 6 hours), until the rice is tender and creamy. Check the broth level towards the end of the cooking time to ensure the risotto doesn’t dry out. If it seems too dry, stir in a bit more broth as needed.
Stir, then taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired (I added a scant 1/2 teaspoon additional salt). Stir in the goat cheese and fresh sage. Serve immediately, topped with additional fresh sage as desired.
To ensure the risotto does not become too salty, purchase broth with a lower amount of sodium (mine had 570mg per serving). You can also purchase unsalted broth, but you will likely need to add additional kosher salt to the recipe to taste.
The cooking time for this recipe was calculated using short grain brown rice. Short grain white rice (arborio rice), which is more traditional for risotto, can be substituted, but the cooking time may vary. Check your slow cooker at least 1 hour early to ensure the rice does not overcook.
4. SLOW COOKER HONEY GARLIC CHICKEN AND VEGGIES
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
16 ounces baby red potatoes, halved
16 ounces baby carrots
16 ounces green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
FOR THE SAUCE
1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup ketchup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
In a large bowl, combine soy sauce, honey, ketchup, garlic, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes and pepper.
Place chicken thighs, potatoes, carrots and soy sauce mixture into a 6-qt slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.Add green beans during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
OPTIONAL: Preheat oven to broil. Place chicken thighs onto a baking sheet, skin side up, and broil until crisp, about 3-4 minutes.
Serve chicken immediately with potatoes, carrots and green beans, garnished with parsley, if desired.