Summer Slow Cooker Recipes (cont.)

Vegetarian Enchilada Crock Pot Casserole

Ingredients:
8 corn tortillas
Canola cooking spray
12 ounce package Morning Star Meal Starters Grillers Recipe Crumbles (Veggie Crumbles) or similar soy product that mimics cooked ground beef, thawed
24 ounces bottled or canned enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded reduced fat cheddar and jack cheese blend
2-4 ounce can sliced black olives, drained (optional)
Garnish:
1 cup fat-free sour cream
6 green onions, the white and part of the green, chopped
1 avocado, thinly sliced (optional)

Directions:

  1. Begin heating a medium nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Coat both sides of a corn tortilla with canola cooking spray and place in the pan. When both sides are lightly browned, remove from pan and repeat this step with the remaining tortillas. Cut each of the tortillas into 4 wedges.
  3. In medium bowl, combine veggie crumbles with enchilada sauce.
  4. Layer wedges from two tortillas (8 wedges) in slow cooker and spread one-fourth of the enchilada mixture over the top. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese over the top, along with some of the black olives, if desired.
  5. Repeat until you have made 4 layers and used up all of the ingredients. Cook on HIGH for 1-2 hours or LOW for 2-4 hours.
  6. Right before serving, spread fat-free sour cream over the top of the enchilada casserole and sprinkle with chopped green onions and avocado slices, if desired.

Yield: Makes about 6 servings
Nutrition Information: Per serving: 316 calories, 22 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate, 12 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 22 mg cholesterol, 5.5 g fiber, 998 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 34%.

Slow Cooker Skillet Rosemary Potatoes

This dish is two side dishes in one (potatoes and carrots). Throw some lean meat or fish on the grill and dinner is done.

Ingredients:
7 cups quartered medium sized red potatoes (about 8 potatoes)
1 sweet or yellow onion, coarsely cut into chunks
2 cups baby carrots
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, combine potato wedges, onions, carrots, olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper until vegetables are evenly coated with oil and seasonings.
  2. Coat inside of slow cooker with olive oil cooking spray. Spoon the potato mixture inside, drizzling any oil or seasoning in bottom of the bowl over the top.
  3. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours.

Yield: Makes 6-8 servings
Nutrition Information: Per serving: 191 calories, 5 g protein, 35 g carbohydrate, 3.7 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3.5 g fiber, 167 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 17%.

Crock Pot Chocolate Kahlua Cake

This moist cake is amazing served warm straight from the slow cooker, along with a small scoop of light vanilla bean ice cream.

Ingredients:
1 box (18.25 ounce) devil's food cake mix
1 cup fat-free sour cream
1 cup 1% low-fat milk (or use nonfat or 2% milk)
2 large eggs, a higher omega-3 brand if available
2 egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute
3/4 cup Kahlua liqueur (or similar)

Directions:

  1. Coat inside of slow cooker with canola cooking spray.
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, sour cream, milk, eggs, egg whites, and Kahlua by beating on medium for about a minute.
  3. Pour cake batter into prepared slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  4. Cut cake into about 16 wedges. Serve each slice with a small scoop of light vanilla bean ice cream (using a cookie dough scoop), if desired.

Yield: Makes 16 servings
Nutrition Information: Per serving: 210 calories, 4 g protein, 33 g carbohydrate, 5.5 g fat, 1.4 g saturated fat, 29 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 314 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 23%.

3 Slow Cooker Food Safety Tips

Food safety is a special concern in the summer, when warmer temperatures can speed bacteria growth. To make sure your slow cooker meal is safe, follow these three tips:

1. Get It Hot. In order to avoid possible food poisoning, foods in your slow cooker need to reach 140 degrees quickly, notes Kay Lovett, MEd, an educator with the University of Minnesota Extension office. To ensure this happens, Lovett recommends beginning with thawed foods, as frozen or partially frozen food will take much longer to reach this temperature. If you want to heat up the crock contents right away, turn your slow cooker to HIGH for the first hour, then bring it down to LOW to finish the cooking.

2. Store Leftovers Correctly. Remove leftover food from the slow cooker right after the meal and store in shallow containers in the refrigerator (to get the food to a cooler temperature, where bacteria is less likely to multiply).

3. Keep a Lid on It. "Keep the lid on the pot," says Lovett. "Each time you peek, you lose heat and lower the temperature of the food in the slow cooker." Remove the lid only to check for doneness, stir, or add an ingredient toward the end of cooking.

Medically Reviewed July 28, 2008.


SOURCES:
Kay Lovett, MEd, extension educator, University of Minnesota Extension Office.
Merideth McNally, spokesperson, Crock-Pot.
Donna Falconnier, MS, RD, nutrition and wellness educator, University of Illinois Extension Office.
Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative web site: "How to Control Your Electric Bill."
Progress Energy web site.

©2008 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.


Last Editorial Review: 8/25/2008