Slow Cooker French Dips

This is one of those rare times that I offer you a classic, meat-focused recipe…so get excited!

I happened to be craving a good French dip sammy a few weeks ago, and so I set out to find a nice slow cooker recipe that would make flavorful and tender meat with a tasty dipping sauce.

The slow cooker is perfect in this case since it’s a set it and forget it type of situation that results in really tasty meat and broth. You can almost drink this au jus, it’s so good!

We enjoyed eating off of this recipe for many days, creating delicious sandwiches, or you could even throw it on a crisp salad. We added some greens to our sandwiches with some baby arugula.

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Slow Cooker Recipes to Make This Season

slow cooker recipes

My coworker was recently telling me that she is about to get her first slow cooker. I loved seeing her excitement, and then she asked what type of slow cooker recipes were on my blog. So, I created this post is my answer to that age-old question: What should I make in my slow cooker?

It really is amazing how a slow cooker can transform your cooking. You throw a range of ingredients in it, plug it in and then come home 6-9 hours later and the house smells amazing and you have a home-cooked meal. I’m all for quick cooking recipes, but there is nothing like letting flavors develop over hours.

Without further ado, here are my best slow cooker recipes:

Deconstructed Lazy Lasagna

I have made this more times than I can recall since discovering it a few years ago. You just throw all of the lasagna or baked pasta ingredients (marinara, pasta noodles, cottage cheese, frozen spinach, mozzarella and Parmesan), let it cook together for a few hours and dinner is served! This is great leftover, too.

Chicken Tikka Masala

It’s no surprise that this dish is one of your, my wonderful readers’, favorites. It just takes a little bit of sauteing before you throw it in the slow cooker, then a little cream at the end, and you have a homemade Indian meal.

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

This is a seriously creamy and comforting soup for your slow cooker. It gives you an excuse to buy some wild rice, and it would be an amazing weeknight meal to come home to!

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Falafel-Style Chickpea Fritters

chickpea fritters

I’ve got another vegetarian wonder of a meal for you today.

Even if you’re not vegetarian, you’ve got to give some love to chickpeas. They are full of protein, they go great with spices, and they can be eaten whole, smashed or pureed.

If you’re a fan of Mediterranean food and trying several different things, then you will love these Chickpea Fritters.

chickpea fritters

We served ours with the yogurt sauce included in the recipe, a cucumber salad, tzatziki, hummus and pita bread. Go ahead and make it a feast! That’s one thing that I love about Greek and Mediterranean food is that it encourages family-style eating and lots of sampling and trying.

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4th of July Grill-Fest

4th of July Grillfest

Fourth of July is tomorrow…and there’s still time to make a quick meal plan for the big day.

Seriously- even if you can only make 1 grocery run, you’ve got this. Especially if you have a grill.

It’s the perfect time of year to utilize your grill for every part of the meal. I mean it! I’m talking to apps to dessert, all with that delicious, smoky flavor attached to them.

So, here’s what I’m thinking for this “July 4 Grill-fest”:

Appetizer

  • Buy some eggplants to throw on the grill and turn into babaganoush (serve with pita or pita chips)
  • Whip up some white bean hummus and grill some fresh pita to go on the side

Main Dish

  • Grill up some classic burgers or dogs (we like smash burgers with chopped onions in them and American cheese on top)

Side Dish

  • Grill up some corn on the cob, the easy way (and please top it with garlic chive butter)
  • Add some bell peppers, hot peppers, squash and zucchini sliced (tossed in olive oil and spices) onto the grill for a bit of a char
  • Grilled fries are also delicious

Dessert

  • Grilled pineapple is my new go-to summer dessert, served with the best vanilla ice cream you can get your hands on

Happy grilling, ya’ll!

Baked Egg Fest!

baked eggs in arugula

I’ve got another slightly unconventional weeknight dinner idea for you…

…baked eggs!

There is so much that you can do with this treatment of our ingredient of the month! You can combine it with any number of vegetables (greens, potatoes, squash) and it cooks super quickly in the oven. It looks totally Instagram-worthy in a cast iron skillet, too.

For this lovely Baked Eggs in Arugula recipe, we’re depending on Yotam Ottolenghi’s genius (author of Plenty) for a baked egg dish that’s packed full of flavor.

baked eggs in arugula

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Mac & Cheese + Tater Tots = Amazing!

mac and cheese tot casserole

I know. I know.

It’s getting a bit warmer (at least where I live), and I’m absolutely soaking up all of the sun. Right now, I’ve got my porch chair pushed out to where my face it out of the sun, but my legs are in the midst of its heat. I know- smart, right?!

Even though it’s a bit unlike February, I have totally been enjoying the warmer temps. I just got my garden seeds in the mail, and we just tilled our new garden spot in the backyard.

But but but…I want you to know that there’s still time to enjoy some amazing casseroles. No matter where you live or what the weather is like, you still have a chance to try out this comforting, simple masterpiece of a Mac & Cheese Tot Casserole!

mac and cheese tot casserole

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Chili in a Skillet

skillet veggie chili

Now that we’re back into winter (with even some snow on the ground), I find myself turning to my cast iron skillet for cooking and flavor.

This heavy kitchen tool can be relied on to cook everything from crisp bacon to steak to pot pie. And it’s nice that it goes from the stovetop to the oven so easily.

In this Skillet Veggie Chili recipe, you make use of your cast iron pal, along with plenty of canned pantry items. Once you’ve got this seasoned, hearty vegetarian chili going, all you need is a bed of Fritos, some sour cream and those pickled red onions that you whipped up so easily.

skillet veggie chili

This filling meal only takes 30-45 minutes to make, and it will be easy on your budget, too!

If you’ve got another snow storm coming your way, I suggest putting this Skillet Veggie Chili on your meal plan and grocery shopping list.

skillet-veggie-chili recipe card

*Click or tap on recipe card to enlarge and save.

For other comforting cast iron skillet recipes, try:

Weeknight Ottolenghi Wonder

chickpea and greens saute

Have you guys heard of Yotam Ottolenghi?

He’s an Israel-born British chef who is basically the king of vegetable-forward, healthy and super tasty cooking. I was gifted his cookbook, Plenty, and I have loved everything I’ve cooked from it.

For example, this Chickpea & Greens Saute with greek yogurt.

chickpea and greens saute

He takes greens, legumes and other veg and transforms them with fresh acidity, lots of herbs and a healthy drizzle of olive oil into fresh meals that are a revelation. I dream of visiting his restaurants/delis in London someday.

I like that this recipe helps me get out of my comfort zone just a little: Pick up some swiss chard (or whatever other hearty greens you can find), chop up some mint and cilantro, and open a can of chickpeas.

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Easy Enchiladas

black bean enchiladas

No matter the weather, season, season of life or time of day, it’s always time for Mexican food, as far as I’m concerned.

It’s comforting, easy to throw together and bursting with flavor.

As far as enchiladas go, I haven’t been able to find a recipe that suited my need to get dinner in the oven quickly but still have something really tasty (and leftovers)!

black bean enchiladas

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Your Healthy Dinner Idea: Roasted Vegetables

roasted vegetables with cous cous

I’m not sure where you’ve been with your dinners as of late, but I’ve been hungry and ready to find something that is healthy, exciting and ready in under 30 minutes flat (or less).

If you’re in the same boat, I’m glad to tell you that there are tons of options out there for healthy dinner ideas.

And, maybe I’ll even start a little series with some of my ideas. We’ll see!

Today, I’m talking about the wonders of roasted vegetables.

Why roasted vegetables, you ask?

  • You can roast almost any vegetable (onion, pepper, okra, squash, carrot, potato, broccoli, etc.), and it will be delicious.
  • All you need is oil, salt and pepper, and 30 minutes or so in the oven.
  • They are so versatile and good with almost any other side or main.
  • Roasted veggies are tasty and healthy.
  • They can help you get rid of that lingering produce in your fridge.
  • These type of recipes are perfect for the summer months when produce is varied and fresh.

Here’s what you do. Get any and all veggies that you have together and slice into almost even slices (but, this doesn’t really matter too much). Then, toss in a large bowl with a few tbs. of oil (grapeseed or olive) and sprinkle with salt and pepper (and any other spices you really like- cumin and cayenne are some of my faves). Put in a 400 degree oven and roast until cooked through and well, roasted, for 25-40 minutes (depending on the veg).

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