Heavenly Slow Cooker Meals: Sweet Pepper, Corn and Potato Stew

You know what’s really great? Frozen vegetables.

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Everything outside has been noticeably dead since mid-January when the temperatures plummeted and sucked the life out of everything. I’m skeptical about where my tomatoes are coming from at a time like this, because I’m pretty sure it’s not the farm upstate.

So frozen veggies! What an idea! For these slow cooker meals, it’s a great solution. Not least of all because I’m usually only making a slow cooker meal in the first place because I am trying to save time. So if I don’t have to slice up a vegetable, that’s a big win.

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One quick note about this dish – if you don’t eat dairy or you hate the idea of buttermilk, leave that ingredient out of the recipe. Another option is to top the dish with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.

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What You Need:

  • 5 small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into cubes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 10oz bag frozen sweet corn
  • 2 cups chopped bell peppers (I used red, yellow and orange for some summertime color)
  • 5 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (seeded if desired to reduce spiciness)
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup freshly shredded cheddar

What You Do:

Put everything except the buttermilk into the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 8 hours, or high heat for 4.

When it’s done, add the buttermilk and stir well. Top with cheddar cheese.

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Haddock Baked in Spicy Cajun Tomato Sauce

I think we all kind of feel the same right now. It’s that post-holiday food coma and seemingly perpetual exhaustion from too many glorious days off that makes it feel almost impossible to get back on track, go back to work and get motivated to put down the holiday cookies and champagne and pick up a salad.

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One thing that helps me is cooking up a big batch of something super light and super healthy so I can enjoy it for dinner and then take the leftovers for lunch. Having a set lunch plan helps me avoid unnecessary mid-day splurges at the bakery and sandwich shop located RIGHT BELOW MY OFFICE. They sell bagels and sandwiches and cookies and coffee. Oh, so an entire day’s worth of food less than 50 feet from my desk? Awesome. A day without a pre-meditated food plan basically means sacrificing my diet to this restaurant.

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So, to avoid taking the easy route in the new year, I wanted to start things off with just the right dish to last a couple days. I prepared it while Mike was at work so he would have something yummy to come home to, so with his seal of approval under my belt, I present you with this delicious Haddock dish.

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What You Need: 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and discarded if desired for less heat
  • 1 tbsp white wine
  • 3 cups tomatoes, diced, with juices (canned diced tomatoes also work for this)
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
    • 1 lb Haddock or other white fish such as flounder or tilapia

What You Do:

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In a large, deep skillet with olive oil heated on medium, cook the onion and garlic until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add the peppers and white wine, cooking until just soft.

Add the tomatoes and Cajun spice and combine well.

Place the haddock in the skillet with the tomato sauce, cover and let simmer for 5-8 minutes or until fish is fully cooked and flakes easily.

Then it’s ready to serve! Check out the whole plate – I also made raw shredded lemon Brussels sprouts that made one heck of a side dish. Stay tuned for that recipe later this week!

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Pro Tip: This dish makes excellent leftovers, but be sure to eat it within 5 days 🙂

 

Vegetable Saute with Kale and Corn Pesto

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Everyone likes to talk about how pretty fall is and how awesome the leaves are, yada yada yada. Can we chat for a second about how EVERYONE IS SICK?

I can count the number of days I’ve felt healthy since the end of summer on one hand at this point. I feel as though every time I turn around, someone is sneezing or coughing, and two days later, so am I. It obviously doesn’t help that one day it’ll be 85 degrees out and the next day it’ll be 40.

As someone who is first to brag about how infrequently I get sick, I’ve certainly had to check myself this time around. Is anyone else experiencing this? If you are, please do not come near me.

Potato and Pesto Pics (11)To cater to my tissue-cough-drop-Robitussin dependency, I embarked on this meal with full intentions of completely mailing it in. I should know better though, that the way to truly mail it in is to either do nothing so Mike ends up taking care of dinner, or to just make pasta.

Well I didn’t. This is the result of more time in the kitchen than I intended.

What You Need for the Vegetable Dish:

  • 1 cup dry Jasmine or rice of choice, cooked according to package directions
  • 5 plum tomatoes or large cherry tomatoes.
  • 1/4 lb green beans, sliced in half
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 each: red bell pepper, green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

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What You Need for the Pesto:

  • 2 cups kale leaves, roughly shredded
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • The corn from one cob (cooked and cut off) – or about 3/4 cup of cooked corn
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 3 small garlic cloves, minced (about 3 tsp)
  • A pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper

What You Do: Potato and Pesto Pics (12)

Cook the rice according to package directions.

While the rice is cooking, pile your veggies EXCEPT the chives, into a large skillet, cover and slowly heat on low-medium until they are cooked through and the tomatoes have burst and appear pinched.

While the vegetables are cooking, pile your pesto ingredients EXCEPT the oil, into a food processor or blender. Slowly add the oil as the ingredients are mixing together until everything is combined and has formed a loose mixture similar to the consistency of dip.

Scoop out a desired amount of rice, and cover it with the cooked vegetables, adding some of the liquids for flavor.

Top with a dollop of pesto and sprinkle the chives over the pesto. Viola!

Pro Tip: Don’t make this dish if you’re too sick to stand up for more than 5 minutes.

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