Monday, April 1, 2013

Slow Cooking for Weeknights: Weekly Menu 4/1/13

 Crock pot pork, beef and chicken family friendly dinners

Do your weeknight evenings involve shuttling kids to and from sports practices, games, theater rehearsals or other activities right during dinnertime? This seems to be a theme in our household right now as I have two kids playing softball and my husband is head coaching both teams, which breaks up a typical dinner routine on most days. Since many of you seem to be in the same boat, I thought I'd round up the slow cooker dinner recipes that I've tried with great results over the last year, all in one place.

Cook slow, eat well... enjoy!

Balsamic Brown Sugar Pork

Browned, tender slow cooker pork seasoned with Balsmic vinegar and brown sugar

This is probably the most popular recipe featured on this blog. Try it and I can almost guarantee it will be in regular rotation in your house.

Cole slaw and rolls

  • Use a "cole slaw kit," which is a bag of shredded cabbage with a pouch of dressing included. Fresh Express is an option.

Make Ahead Notes:
  • Prep the glaze ahead and reheat when you need it toward the end of the pork's cooking time
  • Cut up watermelon for a side dish
  • Slice the rolls
  • 1 (2-pound) boneless pork loin
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  1. Mix together sage, salt, pepper, and garlic.
  2. Rub the mixture over the pork. Add it to the slow cooker and pour 1/2 cup water in the bottom of the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  3. One hour before the pork is cooked, put the brown sugar, cornstarch, balsamic, water, and soy sauce in a sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a bubble over medium heat. It will thicken.
  4. Pour half of the glaze over the pork. Reserve the rest to serve alongside.
  5. Cook the pork for another hour.
  6. Shred the pork with a fork. It will fall apart, it is so tender.
  7. Serve with the remaining glaze.
 Originally found on BakedBree

Slow Cooker Shredded Salsa Verde Beef

A slow cooker recipe that has less than five ingredients, if you don't count the toppings. Can't get much easier than that on a weeknight.

Sides: Corn bread, guacamole and any other toppings you like, such as shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, hot sauce and lettuce

  • 2 lbs boneless beef chuck roast (or any humble beef roast)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups salsa verde (I used Herdez Salsa Verde)
  • Tortillas
  • Place roast in crock pot. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic salt. Pour salsa verde over roast.
  • Cover, and cook on Low for 8 hours. When done, the roast should shred easily with a fork.

Recipe from

Crock Pot Mongolian Beef

Mongolian Beef cooked in crock pot and served over rice with choped scallions
The sweet-salty combo of the sauce in this made it a winner with kids.

Sides: Rice and sauteed snow peas

  • Use jarred, minced ginger, usually found near jarred garlic
  • Use jarred, minced garlic
  • Buy bagged shredded carrots
Make Ahead Notes
  • Cut steak and refrigerate for later
  • Chop green onions

  • 1.5 pounds beef flank steak, cut into stir fry sized strips
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 3 medium green onions, chopped
  • Coat flank steak pieces in cornstarch. Add remainder of ingredients to crock pot and stir well to combine. 
  • Place flank steak into the crock pot and cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-5 hours. Serve over rice or noodles, if desired.
Recipe from Once a Month Mom

Crockpot Sesame Honey Chicken

Crockpot Sesame Honey Chicken with rice and scallions
This was an ideal meal to eat before shuttling kids to practices on a weeknight.
Sides: White or brown rice and steamed broccoli or sauteed sugar snap peas

Make Ahead Notes
  • Chop onion and refrigerate for later
  • Combine onion, garlic, honey, ketchup, soy sauce, canola oil and pepper (if using) and set aside for later
  • Buy pre-chopped onion from the produce section
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts 
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 C onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 C honey (I used only 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 C ketchup
  • 1/2 C soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 C water
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • Season chicken lightly with salt and pepper and place in crock pot.
  • In a bowl, combine onion, garlic, honey, ketchup, soy sauce, oil and red pepper flakes (if using).Pour mixture over chicken.
  • Cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 2 hour.
  • Remove chicken and shred.
  • In a small bowl combine cornstarch and water.
  • Pour sauce from crock pot into a sauce pan and add in the cornstarch mixture. Stir to combine over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring often.
  • Pour sauce over chicken.
  • Serve over rice and top with toasted sesame seeds and green onions.
This recipe is all over the Internet, but I grabbed it from

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