Slow-Cooker Hoppin’ John

This is the Hoppin’ John recipe we’ve fixed for the last few years to enjoy on New Year’s Day. Eating Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day (some say eating it right after the ball drops) is supposed to bring good luck for the upcoming year and who couldn’t use some extra good luck?

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups chopped* turnip greens (thoroughly rinse the greens, you’ll be amazed at how much dirt can get trapped in the leaves)(the original recipe doesn’t say to, but we removed the stems** before chopping up the greens)
  • 1 (10-oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chiles (we used Rotel original)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (32-oz.) cartons vegetable stock (this time we had to use unsalted vegetable stock)
  • 1 smoked turkey leg (we used all 3 that were in the package since 2 of them were so much smaller, it was about 1 ½ pounds total)
  • 2 cups instant rice
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. hot sauce (we used Frank’s Redhot Original)

Directions

  1. Using a 4- to 6-qt. slow cooker, add all the following ingredients to it, mixing them together: black-eyed peas, turnip greens, diced tomatoes and green chiles, onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic. Afterwards, stir in the vegetable stock. Original directions said to submerge the turkey in the mixture but we just put the turkey legs on top of everything else in the slow cooker. Put a lid on the slow cooker and let the dish cook on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours or until the black-eyed peas are tender.
  2. Now take the lid off the slow cooker long enough to stir in the rice and put the lid back on afterwards. Cook the rice for 20 to 30 minutes (we went with 30 minutes) or until the rice is tender Stir in the salt and hot sauce and this dish is ready to be served.

*While the black-eyed peas are supposed to represent coins, the greens are supposed to represent paper money which is why we tried to cut them so they’d look like dollar bills.

**You can remove the stems from the greens by folding the leaves together and pulling the stem out by hand or cutting the stem off with a knife. Both get the job done but the hand method does result in leaves that don’t look quite as nice as those done with the knife method.

The following 5 pictures show what turnip greens look like and the two different ways you could remove the stems:

This recipe is supposed to make 10-12 servings.

The last time we made this, the dish was salty but because of using unsalted stock this time, the two teaspoons of salt worked perfectly. You get some smokiness in the dish thanks to the smoked turkey legs but it doesn’t overwhelm the dish. The hot sauce adds a little bit of vinegar to the dish which contrasts with the savoriness but doesn’t bring a ton of heat. Because mommy likes a little more heat in her food, she added some more hot sauce to her own portion. The rice feels kind of soft but that could be due to us getting distracted and not hearing the timer go off. We have no clue how long past the initial 30 minute cook time it had been cooking before we got back into the kitchen. We did like the firm but cooked texture of the black-eyed peas against the soft rice. As far as the other components, you don’t taste any ingredients individually but you know they came together to produce a tasty dish !

We got this recipe from a Paula Deen book or magazine.

We weren’t paid in any form to mention Rotel, Frank’s RedHot, or Paula Deen.

Take care everybody !

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Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. (16 oz.) dried green split peas, rinsed
  • 2 cups cubed fully cooked ham (we used ham from the “Brown Sugar-Bourbon-Glazed Ham” recipe
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup julienned or chopped carrots (we chopped our carrots)
  • ½ tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 carton (32 oz.) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water

Directions

  1. Using a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker, add all the ingredients to it, stirring to combine. Put a lid on the slow cooker and let it cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or until the peas are tender.

Serves 8.

This is such a scrumptious, filling and satisfying soup to have on a cold day. As the soup cooks, the house gets filled with all the aromas from the soup which just gets you that much more excited to eat this when it’s done cooking. The soup has a smokiness and a light sweetness to it that we think comes from the ham. The onion still has a little bit of bite to it even after all the time spent cooking it. You could use other types of cooked ham but we think the soup tastes the best when the ham from the “Brown Sugar-Bourbon-Glazed Ham” recipe is used in it.

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Easy Healthier Crockpot Butter Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (we used tenderloin pieces), cut into bite-size chunks
  • ½ onion, finely minced (we used a yellow onion)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter (we used unsalted butter)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated (we minced)
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1-2 tsp. curry paste (we used Thai Red Curry paste)
  • 2 Tbsp. garam masala
  • ½ -1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp. salt (we used kosher salt)
  • 1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1 (14-oz.) can coconut milk, regular or lite, plus more if needed to thin the sauce (we didn’t need any extra milk) (we used Thai Kitchen regular)
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt (we used 0% Chobani plain Greek yogurt)
  • ¼ cup half-and-half or heavy cream (we used heavy cream)
  • Cooked white rice, for serving (we used brown rice)
  • Fresh homemade Naan, for scooping (we used store-bought Garlic Naan bread)

Directions

  1. Using a large glass measuring cup or bowl (we used a bowl), combine the coconut milk, Greek yogurt and cream together first before mixing in the tomato paste, garlic, ginger and the other spices.
  2. Take a crockpot (we used our 4-qt. round slow cooker) and spray the inside of it with cooking spray or grease the inside of it with olive oil (we greased the inside with extra-virgin olive oil). Spread the onion out over the bottom before adding in the chicken. Pour the coconut milk mixture over the chicken, making sure that all of the chicken gets completely covered with the mixture. Slice the butter into 6 pieces and lay it out over the coconut milk mixture, putting the lid on the slow cooker afterwards. You can either cook on HIGH for 4 hours or on LOW for 6 to 8 hours (we cooked ours on LOW). After the cook time is up, stir the mixture around, take a taste and season with salt and pepper if you want to. Serve the butter chicken over the rice along with a big piece of Naan bread.

This packs a lot of flavor, the heat creeps up on you (it might not hurt to make sure you’ve got something to drink nearby). This is a very saucy dish so it’s nice having the Naan bread there to scoop up the sauce with.

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Crock-pot, Thai Kitchen or Chobani.

Take care everybody !

Ranch Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds whole button mushrooms
  • 2 (1-ounce each) envelopes ranch salad dressing mix
  • ½ cup garlic-flavored olive oil (we couldn’t find any garlic-flavored olive oil so we just used ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil with 1 teaspoon minced garlic)

Directions

  1. Place the mushrooms in the slow cooker followed by the garlic oil and the dressing mix (we chose to mix the dressing mix and oil together before adding it to the slow cooker), stirring well*. Put a lid on the slow cooker and let it cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours or on HIGH for 1 ½ to 2 hours (we went with the Low option).

*Our slow cooker was so full that we didn’t have room to stir the mushrooms around so we just poured the oil mixture over the top before the mushrooms started to cook. Once the mushrooms were done cooking, we stirred the mushrooms around to ensure they were all coated in the oil-dressing mixture.

These are some scrumptious mushrooms. It’s super easy to make and because it tastes so good, there’s never any leftovers when this gets made ! You get a wonderful tanginess from the ranch salad dressing mix and the garlic olive oil lends a wonderful flavor as well. The oil mixture is so tasty you just want to drink it !

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Three-Bean Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup dried lentils (8 ounces), sorted and rinsed
  • 1 large vegetarian vegetable or chicken bouillon cube, crumbled (we used chicken)
  • 1 envelope (1.25 ounces) chili seasoning mix (we used hot flavored chili seasoning mix)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and mild green chilies, undrained (we used a can of original Rotel)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce

Directions

  1. Take a 3- to 4-quart slow cooker out (we used a 4-quart) and mix together all the ingredients in it except for the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.
  2. Put the lid on the slow cooker and set the heat to LOW, cooking for 8 to 10 hours (we went with 8 hours).
  3. Take the lid off and stir in the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, putting the lid back on afterwards. Turn the heat setting up to HIGH and let the chili cook for an additional 5 minutes or until all of it’s heated through (5 minutes was good for us).

Supposed to serve 8 (about 1 cup per serving).

This is a spicy dish that’s so filling and it’s easy to make. You can turn this into a vegetarian dish simply by using a vegetable bouillon cube.

Recipe source unknown. We weren’t paid in any form to promote Rotel.

Take care everybody !

Indian-Style Vegetable Curry with Tofu

Ingredients

  • 1 pound red potatoes, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 14 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into ½-inch pieces (we pressed and drained the tofu before cutting it into ½-inch pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons instant tapioca
  • 1 teaspoon salt (we used kosher salt)
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning (we used kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
  • 2 cups canned coconut milk
  • 2 cups frozen cut green beans
  • ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Take a large microwavable bowl out and add to it the potatoes, 1 tablespoon ginger, oil, curry powder, and tomato paste (we chose to stir everything together). Place the potato mixture in the microwave to cook for 5 minutes or until the potatoes have softened, stirring occasionally*. Place the potato mixture in a 4 to 4 ½-qt. slow cooker. Add to the slow cooker the broth, tofu, tapioca, and the teaspoon of salt, stirring to combine. Put a lid on the slow cooker and cook until all the flavors have melded and the potatoes are tender, 4 to 5 hours on LOW or 3 to 4 hours on HIGH (we went with the LOW heat method).
  2. Once the flavors have melded and the potatoes are tender, microwave the coconut milk in a bowl until hot, roughly 2 minutes, stirring it into the curry afterwards. Stir in the green beans as well as the remaining ginger, allowing the curry to cook for an additional 5 minutes or until heated through (if the curry looks too thick, thin it out with some extra hot broth**). Stir in the cilantro and season the curry with pepper and any additional salt if you think it needs it. Serve immediately.

*We had to microwave the potatoes for 6 minutes in our 1200 watt microwave and we stirred them around after every minute.

**We didn’t think the curry looked too thick so we didn’t add any extra  broth.

We really liked this dish ! The flavors are more subtle and it takes several spoonfuls before they start to build in your mouth. If you have an issue with the texture of tofu, we think you might be able to mask it as long as you eat the tofu with potatoes and/or green beans.

Recipe source unknown.

Hope you enjoy life !