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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Two Dinners in one Crock-Pot

I love to save time by using something more than once. This includes food, so what I have done as long as I've been married is to make Spaghetti one night and Chili the next. Here is my recipe:

Put in Crock-Pot

108 oz. can crushed tomatoes (or gallon size bag of our frozen garden tomatoes, crushed)
28 oz. can tomato puree
1 small white onion, diced very small
1 tbsp. salt
2 tbsp. oregano
3 tbsp. granulated garlic or powder
1 tbps. grated garlic (I get the big jug from the store)
2 lbs. ground beef, browned and drained

I let this cook on low all day, and sometime before dinner I switch it to warm so the sauce won't scorch. Serve this on spaghetti squash or homemade wheat pasta.

Next morning, add

3 cans kidney beans, chili beans, or whatever beans you like for chili OR
3 cups soaked, cooked dry beans
1 can tomatoes with green chilies (if you like mild, just use diced tomatoes)
1 tbsp. chili powder
2 cups water

Cook on low and serve at lunch. If using for dinner, don't turn on Crock-Pot until noon. We eat our chili over shredded cheese and corn chips with sour cream, jalapenos, or hot sauce as per individual tastes. Corn bread is also good, but I like it on the side because it gets soggy in the bowl.

Another two meal Crock-Pot:

1 3-4 pound roast
water to fill pot
1 bay leaf

Let cook on high for about 6 hours. Remove about half of the liquid and reserve. Throw away bay leaf. Cut roast into slices and return to pot. Then add

4 potatoes, halved
1 lb. carrots
1 small onion, quartered
5 stalks celery, cut in 2 inch segments

Cook for additional 1 and 1/2- 2 hours, or until vegetables are done (we like our pot roast with big pieces. If you cut them smaller, they will cook faster). Serve meat and vegetables with some broth. When the pot is empty except for the remaining liquid, add back the originally saved broth and

2 cups washed lentils, split peas, or pre-soaked beans (lentils and smaller beans do not need soaked, but larger beans do. You do not want to soak larger beans in your broth. Soak them instead in a bowl of water with a pinch of salt, drain water, and then add to pot)
1/2 cup barley
1 envelope vegetables soup mix or your own flavorings (I use many different combinations of my own and store-bought mixes)

Allow to sit over night. While the bean do not need soaking because you have either used quick-cooking beans or soaked beans, it will enhance the flavor if you soak them in the broth). Turn on low and allow to cook for 4 hours.

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