Quick and Easy Crockpot Roast

Hello, hello!

Happy Thursday! ūüôā

thursday

So, our town has a really awesome farmer’s market on Saturdays.

In addition to local produce, cheeses, crafts, and other products, local meat farms (or ranches?) come out with various cuts of beef, pork, and chicken.

I’ve purchased eggs that have literally just been laid!

(that’s what she said)

Anyway, we have, in this super short amount of time that we’ve lived there, grown to LOVE our beef vendor – Lane Angus Beef Farm.

They’re so friendly and the beef is so stinkin’ good!

Anyway, we bought a chuck roast and 2 strip steaks on our first visit (on the first day it opened) just to test it out.

We did the steaks first and they were AMAZING!

Then, the chuck roast.

Now, pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before but … I’m kinda funny when it comes to cooking a chuck roast.

I LOVE to cook beef stew and I LOVE to cook pot roast but then, when it comes time for the eating part, I’m usually super unhappy. The meat is always dried out, super chewy, and just downright unpleasant. Well, to me, anyway because my sailor and the Things have never complained about any stew or roast recipe I ever made.

I don’t know what it is about me and my finicky taste buds.

Anyway, I wanted to do something simple with this chuck roast to allow the flavor of the meat to take center stage and not be overwhelmed by too many other things.

I also didn’t want to cook it for too long. That would totally bum me out.

So, I browsed around for ideas and I found a pretty decent looking recipe over at Wellness Mama.

I took some inspiration from that recipe and changed it up a little to fit what I had in my pantry and how I wanted to cook the meat.

Have you ever seen the Weber line of seasonings?

They’re pretty delicious and they’re not full of questionable ingredients.

They’re an excellent substitute for fresh, if you don’t have that.

So, I used the Roasted Garlic and Herb because, well, garlic is one of the greatest things on the planet. Om nom nom!

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pretty fancy, huh?

So, anyway, here’s what you need to do.

Quick and Easy Crockpot Roast

serves a few depending on the size of the roast and the size of the appetite ūüėČ

1 tbsp olive oil or fat of choice
1 2-3 pound bone-in chuck roast (the bone adds a whole new level of flavor. if you can’t find bone-in, it’s okay.)
seasoning of choice (amount is up to you)
1-2 onions
1 to 1 1/2 cups broth (I used organic chicken broth) or half broth/half red wine (haven’t done this yet but I know it will be awesome!)
5-6 garlic cloves, peeled

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Season chuck roast liberally, both sides. Add roast to skillet and brown on both sides – about 5 minutes a side, just enough to sear the outside and lock in some of that flavor.

2. Slice your onions and place in the bottom of a 4-6 quart crockpot (depending on the size of your roast). Throw in garlic cloves. Place roast on top of onion and add liquid (more for a bigger roast, less for smaller).

3. Cook roast on HIGH 4 hours. (Okay, now remember, I’m super picky and afraid of it being dried out so I prepped the roast in the morning and had Thing 2 start it up at the 4 hours until dinner mark. If you don’t have that option, you can certainly cook it on low for probably 8-10 hours with the same result.)

4. Take roast out of crockpot and serve with a fork. ūüôā

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O. M. G.

Seriously, the best roast I’ve ever had.

I even brought leftovers for lunch.

That’s big.

Talk to me: Do you have a farmer’s market in your area? What’s your favorite find? Are you a fan of pot roast?

– jennifer

Mexican Black Beans

I love black beans. ¬†Love them. ¬†I love them in chilis, I love them in salads, I love them on nachos, I love them in soup, I love them in a box, I love them with a fox, I love them in a house, I love them with a mouse.I love them with green eggs and ham, Sam I am. ¬†Okay, maybe I don’t love green eggs. ¬†Anyway, black beans are delicious. ¬†They are also chock full of protein and fiber. ¬†And, yes, sometimes they are considered musical fruit. ¬†You can thank the fiber.

Anyway, one of my life’s goals is to conquer the dried bean. ¬†They’re so difficult sometimes! ¬†Have you ever tried to make anything with dried beans? ¬†I mean, I’ve had good luck but not always. ¬†Anyway, I neglected to grocery shop for the week and then Easter came along and the stores were closed and I needed to figure something out for dinner. ¬†So, I scoured my pantry – will someone please explain to me why I have 12 half-empty boxes of pasta? – and saw the bag of dried black beans. ¬†Ah ha! ¬†And then, I looked at the rice container – full! ¬†Jackpot! ¬†Black beans and rice! ¬†And out came my BFF! ūüôā (Oh, your first time reading? That would be my crock pot.)

So, after soaking all night, my black beans spent the day cooking on low, marinating in the broth and tomatoes, hanging out and getting friendly with all those yummy spices. And boy am I glad they did! The beans were perfect, flavorful, and absolutely cooked exactly the way they should be. Already got my leftovers packed. No, I’m not sharing. ūüôā

Black beans and rice!

Black beans and rice!

Mexican Black Beans

1 pound dried black beans, soaked overnight and drained
6 cups chicken broth (if you opt for vegetable broth, you may want to add some additional salt)
6 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes or 2 cups fresh, chopped
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder

1. In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine all ingredients.  Stir well to combine.

2. Cook on low 8-10 hours.

3. Serve over rice or serve as a side dish.

4. Gobble them up!

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Pumpkin Chili

Apparently, this weekend is all about the pumpkin. ¬†I’m really taking this “it’s the first weekend of Fall” business seriously! ¬†I came across this recipe a few days ago and just knew today would be perfect for it. ¬†I had a beautiful long-ish run this morning and I knew I was going to be watching football afternoon so I did’t want to be spending a lot of time standing around in my kitchen. ¬†It’s time for the crock pot, baby! ¬†We love us some chili in this house – no, it does not matter that it’s 86 degrees outside! – and this chili has pumpkin in it! ¬†I was totally intrigued and just knew we had to try it. ¬†So, after about 15 minutes of prep, the chili was in the crock pot and I was sitting on the couch watching Rich Eisen on NFL Game Day on NFL Network (shameless NFL plug).

Chili is one of those great meals that usually comes together pretty quickly, you can make as spicy (or not!) as you want, you can pick your protein whether meat or vegetarian and will frequently clock in as healthy and low fat. ¬†What a great way to feed a family (or a hungry runner!) and make everyone feel good! ¬†I entered all the ingredients into the recipe section on the My Fitness Pal app on my phone – did you know you could do that?! – and this recipe clocked in at 254 calories per serving with only 2 grams of fat. ¬†Certainly can’t argue with that! ¬†Hearty yet light, delicious, and easy. ¬†What more could you ask of comfort food?

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Pumpkin Chili

1 lb ground beef (I used 93/7 lean)

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice (I used Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes.  Like I said, we like things with a kick.)

2 cups tomato juice (I used Spicy Hot V8.  See above.)

2 (15.25-oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin

2 tbsps chili powder

2 tsps ground cumin

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Hot sauce to taste

1.  In a medium saute pan, brown the ground beef; drain.  Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

2.  In a slow cooker, combine the diced tomatoes, tomato juice, beans, pumpkin, chili powder, cumin, pumpkin pie spice, salt, pepper, and hot sauce.  Stir to combine.  Add in the cooked beef mixture and stir.

3.  Cook on low 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with your favorite chili toppings such as cheese, sour cream, or tortilla strips.

Yield:  8 servings

Calories 253; Fat 2.3g; Cholesterol 29.5mg; Sodium 495.4mg; Potassium 652 mg; Total Carbs 26.9g (Dietary Fiber 7.1g, Sugars 4.6g); Protein 17.1g

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