Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Crockpot Updates

Chicken Barley Soup - I made this overnight the 13th. I managed to pack 10 one-cup containers for the freezer. Tonight, I tried one to see how it turned out. I think I used just a tad too much black pepper but with the help of some iced tea, I really enjoyed it. Nice and thick and rich. I'm glad I make notes along the way so I can make the next batch turn out the same way. Of course, I'll use just a little less black pepper next time.

Sweet Potatoes - once again, I found a sweet deal on sweet potatoes at Dollar General. The ad said "two 3-pound bags for $3" but at the store, they were 2-pound bags. This was not a problem. It still worked out to about $0.75 a pound and that is low for sweet potatoes. I got the two bags and washed half for using with my omelets (more on that for later) and half for the crockpot.

I have 7 nicely sized and nicely shaped ones in the pot now. It's 1 p.m. as I begin this. I've learned that all I need to do is wash/scrub them, do NOT dry them, and place them into the crockpot, no added moisture. The potatoes cook in their natural juices and the rinse water. At "low" setting, they will be tender in 6 to 8 hours, or less. I'll start testing in 5 hours and test once an hour from there on.
The last time I did these, they were so fat that it made sense to cut them in half and scoop out the innards and save them as "mashed sweets" in the freezer. This time, they are a little slimmer, so I'll cut them into bite-size chunks when done and freeze that way, skin and all.

As for using them for my little one-egg omelets, here's what I do. I keep a few raw ones in the crisper drawer. I grab one and slide it along my mandoline to make enough slices to make a single layer "bed" of them in the bottom of my 6" non-stick pan (sprayed lightly with olive oil). Then I scramble one egg with a splash of low-fat or skim milk, and pour that on top. After that, it's whatever is in the fridge that appeals to me.

Usually, I cut one green onion, half a small tomato, grab some kale from the container (more on that later), and if I have them, some green bell pepper and/or some sliced mushrooms. I cover it and let it cook on low. As I turn off the flame when it's done, I might add some shredded pepper jack or sharp cheddar - very very little but enough to add some flavor.

Oh, on the kale - I am in love with the Cut'N'Clean bags that I found in Walmart. They're big bags, already cut and already washed and not even $3 here in Vegas. When I buy them, I clip open the bag and pack 2-pound deli containers as full as I can - I pack it in. I freeze them and when I take one out and defrost it, it is limp and cooks quickly. I stopped using raw kale when I found out that in some folks it can elevate thyroid readings and realized that was why mine, for the first time in my life, was up after my one blood test. It's kinda like using spinach but easier for me.

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