I had a playdate with a teacher friend of mine recently. We talked about what she looks for in a dinner recipe and here’s what she had to say: “I don’t want it to take more than five minutes. And forget chopping. I love Crock-Pot recipes if, again, I can throw it all together in under five minutes before I go to work.”
I see you nodding your head in agreement there, so I’ve come up with a school week’s worth of slow-cooker (Crock-Pot) recipes that with only about five minutes of night and/or morning prep and five minutes of assembly, you can have dinner on the table every night of the week. Minimal chopping. Minimal time. Optimal taste.
Meatless Monday: Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
Night before: Soak beans (some reviewers just rinsed them in the morning and had good results).
Morning of: Put all ingredients in slow cooker, cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
Dinnertime: Serve topped with sliced avocado.
- Warm French bread for dipping.
- Roasted butternut squash. (Peel and cut into small squares, toss in olive oil and salt, bake at 400 until brown on the outside and soft in the center.)
- Jicama peeled and chopped into small sticks and sprinkled with lime and just a touch of cayenne.
Taco Tuesday: Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos
Night before: Put the seasonings in the slow cooker. (You can thaw frozen chicken in the refrigerator, but it is optional.)
Morning of: Stir in broth, add chicken.
Dinnertime: Shred chicken, warm tortillas, assemble tacos and top with cheese (and any other desired toppings).
- Takeout beans and rice (or leftover black-bean soup).
- Chips and salsa.
- Chopped romaine lettuce with shredded cheese, tomatoes, crushed tortilla chips and Catalina dressing.
- Diced cantaloupe with lime juice, honey and Tajin seasoning.
“Wake Up the Flavors” Wednesday: Applesauce Barbecued Chicken
Night before: Mix applesauce and barbecue sauce and seasoning. Optional: thaw chicken if frozen.
Morning of: Put all ingredients in slow cooker.
- Fluffy white or brown rice (takeout from Chinese or make the night before).
- Asparagus, quickly sautéed on the stove in olive oil with salt and pepper.
- Fresh peach slices.
Three-Ingredient Thursday: Easiest Pork Chops
Morning of: Brown pork chops (optional), put in slow cooker with onion soup mix and chicken broth.
Dinnertime: Serve on bread or with a suggested side.
- Mashed potatoes
- Bacon Apple Salad With Brown Sugar Dressing
French Dip Friday: French Dip Sandwiches
Night before: Trim fat from rump roast.
Morning of: Put the four ingredients in slow cooker.
Dinnertime: Bake rolls, slice or shred meat, and serve.
- Potato salad
- French fries or baked potato rounds
Here’s something that can make your nights a little easier. Save a little time and money by using Walmart Online Grocery Pickup. Simply shop online at Walmart.com/grocery and select the Walmart store nearest you that offers the online grocery pickup feature (it’s available in over 100 stores nationwide).