Tag Archives: Gourmet Slo-cooker

BBQ Beef & Beans

Here’s an easy, nutritious way to stretch a buck: BBQ Beef and Beans. I modified the recipe I got from my friend Chef Gary. If you take a little help from the grocery store (canned beans, rinsed and drained, and jarred barbecue sauce of your choice), you need only ten minutes to get this into the slow cooker. This is one of my favorites to take to a potluck dinner.



I use the stainless steel Gourmet Slo-cooker by Americraft so everything is done in one pot. If you use a crockery slow cooker, you will need a skillet to brown your meat and onions.


  • 1 pound chuck, cubed
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 4 cans beans (your choice of type. I like variety so I mix 4 kinds of beans)
  • 12 ounces prepared barbecue sauce (avoid varieties containing high fructose corn syrup)
  • nonstick cooking spray


  1. Spray skillet or pan with nonstick cooking spray. Salt and pepper the cubed chuck, add it to the skillet, cover, and brown over low heat.
  2. Open canned beans and drain, rinsing with cold water. Set aside.
  3. Add chopped onion to the browned chuck. Adjust heat to medium. Do not cover. Cook until all liquid has evaporated (about two minutes).
  4. In slow cooker pan or Crock-pot, add meat and onions. Slowly stir in the rinsed beans.
  5. Add barbecue sauce. Stir to combine. Cover and cook over low heat for at least four hours. Use lowest possible setting because all the food is cooked. Your only concern is infusing flavor.
  6. Serve warm.

Yield: 5 pints

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Enjoy either as a side or main dish. Remember, beans are a great source of fiber and nutrition yet without the saturated fat of meat.

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Filed under beans, condiments, cooking, Healthful Eating, Recipes

Slow Cooked Chicken Makes a Hasty Tasty Meal

My friend recently asked why I bought the new 6-quart slow cooker when I already had the 4-quart model and typically cook for just two people. Here’s my answer.

One of my Hasty Tasty Meals strategies is cooking ahead, and slow cooking allows you to maximize your cooking with little fuss. A larger pot is roomy enough to hold several different foods.

My favorite cook-ahead meal is a chicken. If my pan is large enough, I can start with enough potatoes to make two days’ worth of potatoes. I can cook carrots with the potatoes, giving me two side dishes for two meals. Finally, the chicken flavors and moistens the root vegetables. How efficient. The six-quart size produces a minimum of eight servings of each food.

First, I peel 4 potatoes (Peeling is optional–these russets had tough peels, but I scrub and leave the peels when possible) and cut into uniform pieces, approximately 1″. These go on the pan’s bottom. I top with sliced carrots or, because they were on sale this week, baby-cut carrots. Next, I form a rack for the chicken from two celery ribs and a large onion, quartered.

Season the chicken thoroughly. I use a rub made with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. Kosher salt, ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper, 1 tsp. dried thyme, ½ tsp. dried sage, and 1 Tbsp. paprika. Place the chicken so it rests on the vegetables.

Celery and onions form a roasting rack.

Celery and onions form a roasting rack.

Cover and cook on High for 4 – 5 hours. That’s it. Just ten minutes of prep and you’re free to run errands or do other chores. If it makes you nervous to use a dry pot, add a cup of water or broth. I don’t. The chicken and vegetables produce enough liquid to make a pan gravy before serving if you desire. (Remove the chicken and vegetables from the pan. Then whisk in 1 Tbsp. corn starch dissolved in ½ cup cooled broth or water. Boil to thicken and season to taste.)

The six-quart Gourmet Cooker by Kitchen Craft Cookware

The six-quart Gourmet Cooker by Kitchen Craft Cookware

If serving the same meal twice in one week doesn’t appeal to you, switch it up with other vegetables. For instance, I added a side of broccoli one day and green beans the other. I served biscuits once and dinner rolls once. I whipped half the potatoes, and stirred half in with the green beans. Finally, I didn’t serve the chicken meals consecutive days, although we aren’t averse to chicken two days in a row.

Don’t limit your slow-cooking to beef roasts or stews. Try cooking ahead a mix of foods. You won’t feel like you’re eating leftovers, and you’ll spend less time in the kitchen. Enjoy the food and extra time.

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Filed under chicken, cooking

Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken

The idea for this delicious and easy dish came from my author friend Susan Sweet. I modified her recipe a bit by adding vegetables, but that’s an option. Her recipe calls for pineapple juice. I didn’t have any, but I always have crushed pineapple in my pantry. I prefer the added fiber.

Prep time for this meal is about ten minutes. Then plug in your slow cooker and forget about it for five or six hours. I put this on Sunday morning and it’s ready by the time we return home from church.


Serves 4


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 20 oz can crushed pineapple (include juice)
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • (optional) 1 Tbsp. corn starch if you prefer thicker sauce
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice



What you need to make slow cooker pineapple chicken










  • Empty contents of crushed pineapple into slow cooker pot. Stir in soy sauce, brown sugar, and (optional) corn starch.
  • Add celery, onion, and bell pepper pieces.
  • Cut chicken into one inch cubes and add to the pot.
  • Cover and set slow cooker to Low. Cook for at least five hours.
  • Serve over 1/2 cup cooked rice per person.

Cut chicken into 1″ size pieces


Cook on lower setting for 5 or 6 hours


Serve over cooked brown rice


Filed under chicken, Healthful Eating, Recipes

A New Year’s Day Soup

This recipe originally appeared in Hasty Tasty Meals in the RV (© 2006)

I created this recipe especially for my mom. She loved blackeye peas, and she loved this soup. It’s a great use-up of your turkey stock if you make it from your Christmas turkey bones. I prefer dried blackeye peas, but canned works, too.

You can make this recipe either in the pressure cooker in half an hour or slow-cook it half a day. Either way, there’s no need to presoak the blackeye peas. Make it up ahead and re-heat to serve. (Soup’s always tastier the next day!)


Blackeye Pea Soup


1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrot grated
1 potato, cut up into 1” pieces
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 quart low sodium chicken broth
1 can blackeye peas, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups water and 1 cup dried blackeye peasadd cooking time)
1 can Rotel® tomatoes and green chiles

1 bay leaf


Preheat the oil in a 4-quart sauce pan (I use either the Gourmet Slo-Cooker or the pressure cooker) on Medium and sauté the onion and garlic for 5 minutes. Add celery, carrot, potato. Sauté another 5 minutes. Add the quart of broth, can of Rotel®, and can of blackeye peas (or dried peas and 2 cups water). Bring to a bubble then reduce heat.

Slow-cook method: Remove pan from burner, add bay leaf, and place on the electric base. (or pour into a Crock Pot® if you prefer) Slow-cook on a medium-low setting for 5 hours, or longer if using dried peas. Remove bayleaf, check and adjust seasonings, then serve.


Pressure Cooker Method: Secure lid of your pressure cooker, bring to pressure and cook 15 minutes for canned blackeye peas and 30 minutes for dried blackeye peas. Remove from heat, release pressure according to your manufacturer’s instructions, then carefully open the cooker.

Check the peas for doneness. If necessary, return pot uncovered to the burner and simmer until the blackeye peas are cooked. Remove bay leaf, adjust seasonings, then serve.

Happy new year!

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Filed under black-eye peas, Healthful Eating, Recipes, Soups & Stews