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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Crock-Pot "refried" beans

One of my all time favorite foods is a bean (or bean & cheese) burrito.  It was the very first type of burrito I ever ate & I fell in love with it & over the years I've found if I'm eating a burrito I'm always disappointed if it's not a bean burrito.  And no matter what's in the burrito there had better at least be some beans (preferably refried) or else it's just not a burrito to me & I most likely won't finish it, & certainly won't enjoy it.  Silly, I know, one of those weird things I can't seem to shake.  Over the years I mastered cooking a pot of beans, but still didn't know how to do refried beans & because of this I would still head to burrito joints for a bean & cheese burrito.  I knew that if I could only master making good refried beans I could stop visiting the burrito joints & just make my own & alas, I did just that.  :)


chopped onion (or dried minced onion)
3 Cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
1/2 fresh hot chile pepper, seeded & chopped OR dash of chile powders, such as cayenne, ancho, chipotle
2 Tablespoons minced garlic (or dried minced garlic)
1 Tablespoon salt
1 3/4 teaspoons black pepper (fine grind)
aprox. 1" strip of kombu
9 cups water

*place everything in the crock pot, stir to combine
*cook on HIGH 8 hours
*strain beans, reserving cooking liquid, remove kombu
*mash beans, adding the reserved water as needed, until desired consistency is reached

Stuffed Bell Peppers

My family really likes this dish.  I usually make 5 bell peppers out of this & do a 6th one with a vegan filling for myself. 


1 lb ground turkey (or chicken would be fine too)
1 can chopped tomatoes (fire roasted are even better)
1 Cup cooked basmati rice
5-6 bell peppers

*parboil peppers, about 12 minutes
*cook turkey
*mix turkey, rice, & tomatoes together & stuff into bell peppers
*place tops back on bell peppers, bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes

Crock-Pot Cashew Chicken

Once in a while we eat at PF Changs & my hubby usually orders the cashew chicken.  It's always really good & I've always wondered what they put in there to get that flavor.  I did some digging around & put this together, not sure how "authentic" it is, but it sure tastes the real deal to me & my family. 


2-4 chicken breasts (or 4-8 chicken thighs)
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons fish sauce
3 Tablespoon oyster sauce
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 white onion, chopped
water to cover
1 pound cashews, preferably raw

*place chicken in crock pot, add garlic, fish & oyster sauce, sugar, pepper, & onion. 
*pour enough water to cover everything
*cook on HIGH, 3-4 hours for breasts, 4-5 hours for thighs
*sprinkle cashews over mixture & cook another 30 minutes, serve hot

Crock-Pot Blueberry Cobbler

Along with the same theme of the last entry, this is an IC safe dessert also, since it's blueberry.  It's very yummy  :)


1 Cup flour
1 1/2 Cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinammon
2 eggs, beaten (or vegan egg replacer)
2 Tablespoon milk (I use rice milk)
2 Tablespoon oil
4 Cup fresh blueberries
1/2 Cup water

*Combine flour, 1/4 Cup sugar, baking powder, & cinammon
*in another bowl combine eggs, milk, & oil
*add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stir until moist
*spread over bottom of crock
*in saucepan combine berries, water, & remaining sugar
*pour into crock
*cover, cook on HIGH for 2 hours

Crock-Pot Maple-Sauced Pears

I recently learned that I have interstitial cystitis & the only "safe" fruits for me now are pears & blueberries.  So I came up with this as a fruity dessert for myself & it is phenomenal!  My hubby is not a big pear fan, but he is soooo in love with these!


6 pears
1/2 Cup brown sugar
1/3 Cup maple sugar
1 Tablespoon butter, melted (or vegan butter)
1 teaspoon orange peel
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons juice (pear is best but can be hard to find, orange works ok if you can't get pear)

*peel pears, core from bottom, leaves stems intact; stand upright in crock
*mix ingredients (except cornstarch & juice) & pour over pears
*cook on HIGH 2-2 1/2 hours or until tender
*remove pears & place upright in serving dish
*mix cornstarch & juice, stir into sauce in crock
*cook on HIGH 10 more minutes, spoon over pears, & serve