Sunday, March 27, 2016

Classy Recipes for Your Crockpot (5 Days of Tips For Homeschool Parents)

This week I'm bringing to you a whole lot of tips and tricks. Homeschooling is a special life and we need all the encouragement we can get. I love when I get practical advice and so I am passing some on to you. Take what you can use and tuck the rest of it in a nice little file called "maybe doesn't apply to me." 

So it's Monday. On Monday I generally do my grocery shopping. I've got my meal plan for the week together and I'm setting myself up for "Homeschool Mom Success." This happens when you do what is on at least 75% of your lesson plan. There aren't any major disasters (especially involving plumbing) and everyone has been fed relatively healthy meals. Personal grooming and laundry are optional. 

One of my favorite tools in my home is my crockpot. Why a crockpot? A crockpot can help me morph into Superwoman. I can teach AND cook at the same time. My own personally food philosophy demands that I make HEALTHY and DELICIOUS meals. I also like to make something every now and again that makes my boys stand up and cheer. 

I realize that the term “Classy” is not what comes to mind when one thinks about crockpot cooking. Crockpots are at their best when they are filled with hearty soups or chilies. They like tougher cuts of meats and generally won’t be found on the counter any highfalutin restaurant.

However. I am here to tell you that we can kick it up a notch. That we can replace our beefy stew with something with a little more posh?

Why, you say?

Cause it’s a whole lot of fun to serve interesting and flavorful foods to our families. Cause we don’t have time to spend hours putting together a meal worthy of Gordon Ramsey. And we must embrace the tools of the trade…and make it fabulous.

1.       Begin your day with a pot of Morning Glory Steel Cut Oats. This particular recipe suggests to cook it during the day (not overnight) and then store it to eat through the week. But who are we kidding? The idea of breakfast cooking while I am sleeping is like music to my ears. I also like to fix it when I have company. I just set out a bunch of fun toppings and let my guests top their bowls. What I love about this recipe is the added veggie. We gotta get them in there the best we can, my friends.

2.       This Slow Cooker Butter Chicken is an Indian Classic….at least in our neck of the woods. I like to serve this with brown rice. I also will sauté green beans in a little coconut oil and garlic. Yum! Our son’s biological father is from India. We consider this a homage to his culture. I think it’s fun to explore our respective ancestral heritages through food.  

3.       Nothing says posh like “quinoa”. Try this Quinoa and Vegetables.  The Muffin is not as fond as Quinoa as I am. I try and remind him that truly evolved people eat Quinoa. I don’t think he’s impressed.

4.       I didn’t say I wouldn’t include soup. Soup can be elegant.  If you must have soup, serve this Black Bean Soup with Toasted Cumin Seed Crema. Special things happen when you serve Black Bean Soup. World Peace. Mastery of Long Division. It all can happen.

5.       So I realize that when you hear the word “classy” tacos don’t really come to mind. These Slow Cooker Spicy Chicken  Lettuce Wraps are truly delightful. And they sure look pretty.

6.       When I have company and don’t have much time to piddle in the kitchen I like to fix this Balsamic Pork Recipe. I love serving it with roasted green beans and baked sweet potatoes. And it makes GREAT leftovers.

7.       A family favorite is are these Crockpot Italian Turkey Meatballs. I serve them over pasta and fix a huge green salad! This is also a good company meal. FYI. This is a perfect meal to get the family involved. We might struggle with fractions but we can roll a meatball!

8.       So basically this is just a big pot of spaghetti and meat sauce. But it is a delicious Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce.  Doesn’t Bolognese sound just a bit fancier (unless we associate it with bologna. Then I can’t do anything for you). The beauty of the Bolognese Sauce is all the extra veggies that are involved. I like to make a double recipe and stick the rest in the freezer.

9.       Have you been introduced to the wonderful world of polenta? I present to you a delectable dish of Crockpot Braised Beef Ragu with Polenta.  I use just a basic cornmeal for my polenta. And the Braised Beef Ragu? Sigh. It will make you want to smack somebody. Preferably, not the children.

10.   A French classic done the easy way. Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon. Now I adore Julia Child. She was perhaps my first exposure to a “celebrity” chef. But her recipe for Beef Bourguignon takes more time than I have. If it can be thrown into my crockpot in twenty minutes…anybody with me? This recipe makes me smile. It makes my family smile.

And just in case your wondering... 

A smiling family is a good thing. 

I am joining dozens of my friends for 5 Days of Tips For Homeschooling Families. 

You can check out this group of lovely bloggers below. I know they will have wonderful tips for all of us. I'll have more tomorrow. 

Annette @ A Net In Time
Brandy @ Kingdom Academy Homeschool
Brenda @ Counting Pinecones
Carol @ Home Sweet Life
Cassandra @ A Glimpse of Normal
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
Cristi @ Through the Calm and Through the Storm
Crystal @ Crystal Starr
DaLynn @ Biblical Womanhood
Danielle @ Sensible Whimsy
5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents


  1. This is a great idea~ we love our crock pot!!

  2. My crock pot is my best friend! Thanks for the recipes!

  3. We love the crock pot, it is a life saver!!! Thanks for the recipes.


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