Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 6--New Uses for a Crock Pot

One of the things I've been vowing to do while I'm re-learning to cook is to use my Crock Pot more.  I got it from my stepmom as a housewarming gift when I first moved out more than five years ago.  I've probably used it less than ten times, infrequently enough that I forget why I don't use it.  I mean, who isn't a fan of ten minutes of prep in the morning, and coming home to a full, delicious, ready-to-eat meal?

Then I pulled out my Crock Pot cookbook, and I immediately remembered why. Most of the meat-based recipes call for gravy or cream-based soups, things that would undoubtedly taste great on a cold night, but things that we nonetheless try to stay far, far away from.  And the "vegetable recipes" are for little more than baked beans and creamed corn.  (There's a problem with cooking veggies in a crock pot anyway, you I haven't come across a recipe that would get ridiculously overcooked if you left it in for 8 hrs.)

So my crock pot really only ever gets used around the holidays.  Wanting to change that, I looked for less traditional recipes, and came up with a promising-looking one for Indonesian-style chicken. All I had to do was throw chicken in the crock pot with a little bit of water and soy sauce, garlic and ginger, and let it cook for the day.  It worked! Less than ten minutes of prep time, and I got to come home to an almost finished product:  in order to make the dipping sauce for the chicken, I simply mixed some peanut butter into the remaining water and soy sauce.  It was great!

So here's to the first non-vegetarian meal I've made myself since I started this journey.  I got to use my crock pot, I made a relatively inexpensive, healthy, and tasty Indonesian-style meal.  I'm going to keep searching for new things to do with the crock pot: wish me luck!

Chicken with Peanut Sauce and Snow Peas

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