Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pizza the Crock Pot!

Today was the October Dip Day at school, so, as usual, I had to try out a new dip! This was a Pinterest find that I adapted to be a little more health-savy and produce a larger amount. The original recipe can be found here.

Pizza Dip... in the Crock!

* 2 (8oz) blocks of reduced fat cream cheese
* 2 tsp. italian seasoning
* 2 tsp. garlic powder (I used my Melting Pot Garlic & Wine seaoning)
* 2 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (reserve 1/2 cup)
* 3/4 cup parmesan cheese (I actually forgot this ingredient and it didn't matter!)
* 2 (8oz.) jars pizza sauce
* 3/4 cup turkey pepperoni slices, cut into fourths

1. Put all ingrients into the crock EXCEPT the 1/2c. mozzarella and pepperonis.
2. Cook on low for an hour, then stir.
3. Add in pepperonis and continue to cook on low for another hour.
4. Turn to warm and top with reserved cheese and any additional pepperonis.
5. Serve hot! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Crock Pot Apple Crisp

My grandma (who is an AMAZING cook) came in town yesterday and I had the privelage of cooking for her in my own home. This was something I stressed about for weeks since I have never had the honor to do this! I went round and round about what I would cook and settled on some reliable desserts, but then a new one to try. This was my new recipe to try! The original recipe can be found here. I ran into a few troubles. Namely, after I started mixing I realized I didn't have quick oats. Not sure how much this effected the outcome, but I read that quick oats are a waste of time anyway, so I just used Old Fashioned. I also had the problem of way too much topping. That is up for debate as I feel like you can never really have too much topping, but ya. Finally, the apples were a bit mushy. My grandma suggested that if I wanted more crisp apples to throw in some Macintosh, though she assured me she enjoyed the mushiness. :-) Now for the recipe!

Crock Pot Apple Crisp

* 8-10 Jonathan apples, cored/peeled/sliced (6 cups)
* 1 1/2 cup flour
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1 cup quick oats (or Old Fashioned)
* 3 tsp. cinnamon
* 3/4 cup butter, melted


1. Spray 6qt. crock pot with non-stick spray.

2. Carefully add at least 6 cups of apples to crock pot.

3. Mix remaining ingredients except butter. 

4. Add butter last and pour over apples.

5. Cover crock pot with a towel (to help with catching moisture) before placing lid on.

6. Cook on high for 2 1/2 hours, then change to warm until ready to serve.

7. Serve with ice cream! Butter Pecan is best!

Lentil Chili

I only recently stumbled upon lentils. For the longest time I thought they were these weird green things (I think I thought they were leeks), but then I discovered they are a powerhouse legume and nice and low in fat! I made an entire bag of them (yes, they are also cheap!) and played around with them. I made some stuff tex-mex peppers, but I was dying to try them in a chili. I searched pinterest and found this recipe. You can see the original recipe here. I decided to almost double the recipe so that I could have some extra to freeze. I really enjoyed this one and can't wait to pull it out again soon!

Lentil Chili

* 2 tsp. olive oil
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 1-2 peppers, diced (I had a bag I froze myself)
* 4 tsp. minced garlic (I used jarred)
* 4 Tbsp. chili powder
* 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
* 2 tsp. dried oregano
* 1/4 tsp. red pepper
* 1 (16oz) bag green lentils
* 28oz. of vegetable broth
* 3-6 cups water
* Small can of tomato paste


1. Saute onions, peppers and garlic in a stock pot.

2. Add everything else except tomato paste. Cover and simmer until lentils are soft (about an hour). Make sure to keep an eye on it because you may need to add more water.

3. Add tomato paste, stir, and let simmer another 15 minutes.

4. Enjoy and freeze! I like to top mine with low fat sour cream and 2% shredded cheese. YUM!

Extra-Easy Lasagna

This post is a bit late, but better late than never! For Brian's birthday dinner this year, he found this recipe and asked that I make it for him. He LOVES lasagna, and especially cheesy lasagna, which this definitey was. I actually really liked this recipe and the ease of it all gives my normal lasagna recipe a run for it's money! This is a must try! The original recipe can be found here.

Extra-Easy Lasagna

* 1 lb. lean ground beef
* 4 cups tomato basil sauce (I used whatever I had on hand)
* 9 uncooked lasagna noodles
* 1 (15oz.) container ricotta cheese
* 10oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
* 1/4 cup hot water


1. Brown beef in a large skillet over medium heat. 

2. Stir in pasta sauce.

3. Spread 1/4 of meat mixture in the bottom of a lightly greased 11x7 baking dish. 

4. Layer 3 noodles and 1/3 of ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella.

5. Repeat the process twice. On top layer add more sauce.

6. Add 1/4 cup hot water to edge of pan, then tightly cover with 2 layers of aluminum foil.

7. Bake in 375 degree oven for 45-60 minutes. (Make sure to check on it!)

8. Uncover, then add last bit of mozzarella cheese to top. Bake uncovered another 10 minutes.

8. Best enjoyed with cheesy garlic bread and Robertson King wine (from the Sumner Crest Winery).

Tomato Basil Soup

This was the first recipe I used my immersion blender with. I am obsessed with tomato soup, so I just had to try it out on my own! I love how easy and low cal this recipe is. It's also very tasty, though I will say, you shouldn't expect this soup to be creamy as it only has greek yogurt to do that job. I modified the original recipe from here.

Tomato Basil Soup

* 1 tsp. olive oil
* 1 sweet onion, chopped
* 2 cloves of garlic, chopped (I used the jarred kind)
* 2 (28oz.) cans diced tomatoes (I used 4 (14oz) cans, some were garlic fire roasted, oregano/garlic/onion, etc.)
* 2 cups vegetable broth
* 1/2 cup basil, chopped
* 2 tsp. oregano
* 1 tsp. sugar
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt


1. Warm oil in bottom of large pan. 

2. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 4 min.

3. Add garlic and cook another 2 min.

4. Add in all ingredients except the greek yogurt. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes.

5. Add in the greek yogurt and use an immersion blender (or regular blender) to puree the soup to a consistency of your choosing.

6. Enjoy or freeze for later! I like to double the batch and freeze 3/4 of it for Winter!