Some of the recipes I've done this year have been a bit out of the norm for me. One of the reasons I love crockpot cooking so much is that you don't really need to follow a recipe---many times I can just start opening cans and clean out the fridge and create a delicious meal without trying.
This is one of those meals.
We had too much food in the house for me to feel comfortable buying more, so I dug through what we had on hand, threw it in the pot, held my breath, and hoped for the best.
I was quite happy with the results.
I urge you to do the same in your house. Just play. Dig through the cubbard and see if what you already have on hand can be combined to become a new family favorite.
Cooking should be fun. When preparing dinner becomes a chore --and it's no longer fun-- that's when you reach for the phone to call for pizza.
The reason the crockpot has become such an invaluable tool in our house, is because I can make-do (usually. this year has turned a tad bit nutty) with pantry staples, or with meat I buy on clearance.
You can, too.
2 cans (6oz) tomato paste
3 cans of beans, drained and rinsed (I used garbanzo, white kidney, black beans)
1 tables spoons Italian seasoning
1 chopped yellow onion
2 cloves chopped or minced garlic
2 cups broth (I used chicken. vegetable would work great)
1 to 2 tablespoons (heaping) sliced jalapenos from a jar or can (optional) (NOTE: if feeding small children, add at the table ---it was too hot for my kids when cooked with the beans)
Open cans. Rinse the beans, and dump them into the crockpot. Add all the rest of the stuff---there aren't any rules, here.
Except to recycle the cans.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
This was too spicy for the kids, but Adam and I really liked it a lot, and each had two bowls. We had it with cornbread, that you could make in the crockpot, if you wanted to.
I liked this. I needed to get back to my crockpot cooking "roots"---and it felt nice for me to make things up as I go along again.
clean-out-the-pantry minestrone soup