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Old 10-22-2008, 07:06 AM
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Amanda Amanda is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: southeast Wisconsin
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Crock-Pot® Slow Cooker Recipes for Under $10

The rising cost of food is a real concern for most families as the U.S. faces the highest rate of food inflation in 20 years. Feeding a family on a tight budget is no easy task but slow cookers can provide an easy, affordable dinner solution. I have included Crock-Pot® slow cooker recipes below that can feed a family of four for under $10.

Beef or Turkey Chili
For a 3-6 Quart Crock-Pot® slow cooker.

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes
1 14-ounce can kidney, black or cannellini beans, drained
Chili powder or cayenne to taste
Kosher salt and pepper

Set large skillet on stovetop set to medium high heat. Add onions and brown until lightly browned. Add pepper and garlic and stir-fry until softened. Add beef or turkey meat and stir-fry until browned. Drain meat if necessary. Combine all remaining ingredients in the slow cooker stoneware, season to taste. Cook on High for 3-5 hours or on Low for 6-8 hours.

Extra $ Saving Tip:
For an even less expensive meal, make the chili vegetarian or replace the meat by topping beans with a sharp cheddar cheese. Stretch the chili into two meals by using leftovers for a filling in quesadillas or topping hot dogs the following night.

Sicilian Tomato Basil Sauce

4 tablespoons olive oil
3 small bulbs garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and pepper
3 24-28 ounce cans plum tomatoes
2 large bunches fresh basil, torn

Add olive oil to a skillet and set stovetop to medium heat. Sauté garlic until soft and add tomatoes. Put ingredients in slow cooker and cook on High for 3-4 hours or on Low for 5-7 hours.

Extra $ Saving Tip:

Making big batches of tomato sauce (and freezing in meal sized containers) when high quality San Marzano plum tomatoes go on sale can stretch your dollars even further. You can use later for a pasta sauce, a pizza sauce, a slow cooker lasagna or eggplant parmesan.

Dinner Strata
3 - 4 cups diced crusty bread (3/4 – 1 inch dice)
½ pound bacon, cut into ½ inch dice
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 cups sliced fresh spinach
8 eggs
½ cup milk
¾ cup roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1 cup shredded cheese, such as cheddar or gruyere
Kosher salt and pepper

1. Spray the slow cooker’s stoneware with non-stick spray. Pour bread into bottom of stoneware.

2. Heat a sauté pan on medium heat and cook bacon until crispy. Remove all but 1 T of grease. Add mushrooms and spinach and toss to coat. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until spinach wilts.

3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and milk. Add remaining ingredients and blend. Pour into Crock-Pot® slow cooker.

4. Cover and cook on Low for approximately 2 ½ hours, until eggs are firm but still moist, stirring halfway through cooking time. Adjust seasonings.

Serves 6
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