Of the many, many lessons I've learned as a new mom, multitasking is the ultimate key to checking off as many items as possible on my never-ending to-do list. Mind you, this doesn't mean that I'm successfully "balancing it all"—since I'm a stay-at-home, working mom, realistically cooking a three-course dinner is the last thing I'll want to do after a full day caring for my son and writing.
Enter the trusty slow cooker, which I've come to rely on as a busy mom. There are typically a handful of ingredients both fresh and canned that I always keep on hand, and on days when I know I'll be pressed for time, this chicken stew recipe is the one slow cooker dish that always saves dinner.
Adapted from this easy recipe, I'll often add celery, a can of black beans, corn, and egg noodles, depending on whatever I've got in the pantry at the time. It only takes about 15 to 20 minutes to wash, peel, or chop all the veggies, which I'll do right after lunch while my son's napping. From there, all I need to do is throw all the ingredients into the slow cooker and essentially allow the meal to cook itself—saving me precious time and eliminating the conundrum of what to make for dinner. Read on for the one crockpot recipe that I always rely on as a busy mom.
1 1/2 cups russet potatoes, washed, peeled, and cut into bite-size pieces
1 1/2 cups carrots, washed, peeled, and cut into bite-size pieces (or use baby carrots)
1 1/2 cups celery, washed and chopped
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. sage
1/4 tsp. thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can of cream of chicken soup (add water or milk if required)
Place all of the vegetables at the bottom of the crockpot. Add all the seasonings (except for the cilantro), and top with the chicken.
Follow the directions for the cream of chicken soup (some call for water or milk), and then add to the crockpot.
Cook on low for six hours.
What are your favorite slow cooker recipes when you're pressed for time? Share them in the comments, and then read on for the five foods that should never be cooked in a crockpot.