Category Archives: Slow Cooker

Gluten Free-zer Friday – Basic Beans

Today is the last day of Spring Break for the kiddos and Daddy is off from work today, too!  Gluten Free-zer Friday’s recipe will be up later today after I am back from playing with the family.  The science museum is calling out to us…  If you have a link to add before I get back, pop it in the comments and I will add it when I return.  


See you later!


Participating in Gluten Free-zer Friday

1. If you would like to participate in Gluten Free-zer Friday, simply email your post link to your gluten free freezer recipe (angelas_kitchenATcomcastDOTnet) or leave a comment below and I will add you to the roundup.

2. Link back to this post on the post with the recipe you have linked. 


**Edit:  Here’s the Gluten Free-zer Friday recipe!

This is what I do to cook up beans for in the freezer.  Yes, I know you can just open a can, but I like to presoak them and they are super cheep this way.  I find that dried organic beans I cook up myself are about 60% cheaper than opening a can of conventional beans.  The texture is better, it’s super easy to do and I can control what is in them.  Works for me!  You can season the beans as you like, however, I usually leave my beans plain so I can season depending on what I am cooking that night.  




6 cups of dried beans (I like to have a variety on hand)

6 tablespoons lemon juice or cider vinegar


Rinse beans and pick out any yucky beans or gavel.  Put beans into the crock of a 6 quart crock, cover with warm water about 2 inches above beans and stir in lemon juice or vinegar.   Allow beans to soak for 12 to 24 hours.  

Drain and rinse beans and return to crock.  Cover with water plus a couple of inches.  Cover and cook on low for 6-10 hours (this depends on the bean you are cooking) or until the beans are cooked through and tender (NOT mushy).  Drain beans and allow to cool.  


To freeze:  After the beans cool, I package the beans into 3 cup amounts in freezer bags.  3 cups will equal the same amount as 2 cans of beans, which is how many I usually use in my cooking.  Remove as much air as possible from the bags, label the bag and freeze.  


I’m walking 60 miles in the Breast Cancer 3-day!  Will you help me reach my goal

Slow Cooking Thursday – French Toast Casserole

Head over to Sandra’s for Slow Cooking Thursday and see what is in everybody else’s crock pot!


Today’s recipe is one I am trying for the first time today.  I will adjust the time on it if it looks like it needs it later.  I wanted to try this out when I am kind of around the house today to check how it is cooking.  If it works out well, we can have French toast for breakfasts during the week without the fuss.  Woo-hoo!  I used the recipe from the queen of crock pot cooking, Stephanie at Crockpot 365.  I just tweeked the recipe a bit to be slightly less sweet, with some different seasonings, and to be all dairy free (she is already a gluten free girl).  I also used a couple of different techniques I use when doing French toast casserole for the family so that it cooks up evenly for us.  It may make it a bit like a bread pudding style French toast, but for the casserole, that is what we like as the custard base seems to better absorb into the bread. 


Check out all of the slow cooking recipes Stephanie shares at Crockpot365.  They are all gluten free and her blog is fun reading.  Her blog is one of my favorites…


Slow Cooker French Toast Casserole (adapted from Stephanie’s recipe at Crockpot365)

Serves 6-8


8 cups gluten and dairy free soft bread cubes, about 1″ to 1 1/2″ (I cut up Noah’s rolls I had on hand.  Stephanie use a gluten free raisin bread. Mmmm….)

1 dozen eggs

4 cups gluten and dairy free milk substitute (I used unsweetened plain almond milk, Stephanie used heavy cream as part of her milk.  To make dairy free, you could use 1 cup coconut milk blended with 3 cups almond for a richer French toast.) 

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon gluten free almond extract

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup walnuts or other nut, optional


Oil the inside of a 6 quart  slow cooker. Place the bread cubes into the slow cooker.

Put the rest of the ingredients, except the nuts, into a blender and blend at a low speed until combined.  Pour egg mixture over bread cubes.  Cover crock and put crock into refrigerator until about 6-8 hours before you would like your meal.  (Mine soaked for a couple of hours, but you could even let soak overnight, which is what I do with my regular French toast casserole.)  Stephanie set it to cook right away, but I like to let a French toast casserole’s egg mixture soak into the bread before baking so that the egg is more evenly distributed though out the casserole.

When ready to cook, put crock in slow cooker base and cook on low for 6-8 hours. 

After 8 hours, Stephanie had a bit of liquid left in the crockpot, but the bread on top was browned nicely and the egg was done. She took the lid off for  30 minutes before she remembered that she had left the lid off of the crockpot, and that it was still plugged in.  All the moisture was gone and the french toast was perfect. (That is why I am trying to cook the casserole about 7 hours before I would like to eat, just incase I need to let it sit for a half hour.  I’ll let you know how it worked for me.)


**Edit (after supper):  This took 8 hours to cook, plus the 30 minute lid off time.  Perfect for overnight!  I did not mind the 30 minutes as it gave me enough time to ready some strawberries and turkey sausage to have with the French toast.  The smell through the house really got the kids to speed through washing their hands and get ready for dinner, too!  

I caught my son and MY MOM licking their plates, so I think that means I have to make this again.  My mom thought this was perfect as is (she licked the plate!!), but I thought just a bit moist, so the next time I will reduce the milk substitute by half of a cup, then if still too moist, a half cup more.  That should do it for me for the moisture level to be right.  I will update with the new amount of liquid when I make this again (next week for Spring Break sounds like a great idea).

I am putting this down as an official family favorite. (And a favorite of my mom’s, too, apparently!  Hee, hee, hee!!)  Thanks, Stephanie!!

Slow Cooking Thursday – Turkey Sloppy Joe’s

The recipe is one that I have have here, however, sometimes the slow cooker is a better option for me.  If I am making it for the slow cooker, I always double or triple the recipe that way it doesn’t over cook in the crock and also because I have a ton of people eating at my house!  

You can also make this ahead to freeze.  After you cook and cook the turkey, onions and carrots, cool mixture and put into a large freezer bag.  Dump rest of ingredients into bag.   Mix ingredients around in bag, remove as much air as possible, seal and label bag then freeze.  When you are ready to cook, thaw the contents of the bag, dump in your crock and follow cooking instructions below.  How simple is that?


Head over to Sandra’s for Slow Cooking Thursday and see what is in everyone else’s slow cooker!


Sloppy Joes – Makes 8 servings 

2 tablespoon olive oil 

2 medium onion, minced  

4 carrots, finely minced  

2 pounds ground turkey 

1 cup gluten free ketchup, fruit juice sweetened preferred 

2 tablespoons brown sugar 

4 teaspoons gluten free yellow mustard 

pinch of salt, optional 

pinch of ground pepper 


Heat oil in skillet over medium to medium-high heat.  Sauté onion and carrots until onion is translucent, then add ground turkey.  Using a heat safe spatula, break up meat in skillet until turkey is completely cooked about 5 more minutes.  Transfer to crock and add rest of the ingredients.  Mix well, cover then cook on low for 6 to 7 hours until flavors are combined and  vegetables are softened.  I check about 1/2 hour before eating and see if the sloppy joes look too “juicy”.  If they are, I remove the lid of the crock and cook on high, stirring periodically until the right consistency is reached.

Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

Slow cooker hot chocolate.  Mmmmm….  Made with real chocolate, just what we need to start the year of right!!   


Head over to Sandra’s for Slow Cooking Thursday and see what is in everyone else’s crock!

Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

serves 8 (unless you are married to my husband!!  He loves his chocolate!)


6 – 9 oz. good quality GFCF dark or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (depends on how rich you like your hot chocolate)

6 cups almond milk

1 (14.5 ounce) can coconut milk

4 tablespoons sugar or cane juice crystals

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


Stir together all ingredients in slow cooker.  Put on cover and turn on to low .  Cook until chocolate is melted and almond milk is hot, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Whisk until  well combined, then serve.

Slow Cooking Thursday – Chicken Jambalaya

This is what we are eating tomorrow.  Head over to Sandra’s for Slow Cooking Thursday and see what is in every else’s crock pot!  


Slow Cooker Chicken Jambalaya 

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

14 oz. gluten/dairy free kielbasa or smoked sausage, sliced (preferably nitrate free)

1 – 28 oz.  fire roasted diced tomatoes

2 medium onions, diced

2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 cup gluten free chicken broth

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme

3/4 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3 bay leaves

In a slow cooker combine all ingredients and mix.  Cover.   Cook on low for 7 hours or on high for 3 1/2 hours. Discard bay leaves before serving over cooked rice.


Optional:  You can stir in 1 pound of frozen, peeled and cooked shrimp that have been thawed about 15 minutes before the end of cooking time.  Serve when shrimp is heated through.

Slow Cooker Thursday – Salsa Roast Beef

**Edit on December 4, 2008** I posted this last week, but as Slow Cooking Thursday took time off for Thanksgiving, I thought I would share it this week instead!  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!


Head over to Sandra’s for Slow Cooking Thursday and see what is in everybody else’s crockpot!

I made this super simple dish yesterday and have leftovers for tomorrow for anyone who is turkey-ed out.


Slow Cooker Salsa Roast Beef

3-5 pound chuck roast, trimmed of extra fat.
2 cups of your favorite salsa. (I use Green Mountain Gringo’s Roast Garlic)

Rinse roast and pat dry with paper towel. Pour salsa over the top of  the roast. Cook on high about 1 hour, then turn to low for 6-8 hours, until tender.



Slow Cooking Thursday – Pumpkin Butter

Head over to Sandra’s for Slow Cooking Thursday and see what is in everyone else’s crock!


My contribution this week is Pumpkin Butter.  Yummy!


First you need pumpkin or squash puree.  You really want to start with fresh puree, and not use the canned puree.  It really makes a difference in the taste.  And let me tell you, butternut squash is super tasty as a “butter”…  I like to start with about 5 quarts of puree and other ingredients, so I can use my 6 quart crock and make a big batch.  A pumpkin yield is usually about 2 or 3 cups of puree per 6 inch diameter pie pumpkin.  That cooks down to about half that volume in making pumpkin butter.  You can steam or roast (I think roasting brings more sweetness out in the pumpkin) your pumpkin then puree with a blender or immersion blender until smooth.  


Slow Cooker Pumpkin Butter


Measure out how much pumpkin puree you have.  For each 5 cups cooked pureed pumpkin (from 2  3-4 pound pumpkins)  (I usually start with about 20 cups of puree so I have a nice sized batch.)
2 cups apple cider
2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup maple syrup
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and stir together to combine.  Set the crock pot on low heat. 

Put the cover on the slow cooker sideways to vent.  You don’t want to seal the crock tightly because the steam needs to escape so the pumpkin butter can reduce in volume and thicken.

Leave to cook for 6 – 8 hours.   How long depends on the size and power of your crockpot, how much water your pumpkin started with, how thick you like your butter.  Stir the pumpkin butter occasionally. 

When the pumpkin butter has reduced in volume by about half, taste it to check the sweetness.  Add more maple syrup to taste, if needed.  If you left it a bit too long and it is too think for your taste, mix in a bit of apple cider to thin.  


Allow pumpkin butter to cool, divide into pint sized freezer safe containers and freeze, putting one in the refrigerator to enjoy right away.


Why freeze pumpkin butter instead of canning?:  The reason I freeze pumpkin butter instead of canning is that pumpkin and squashes are not a veggie recommended for home canning, even with a pressure canner.  According to the According to The National Center for Home Food Preservation (a land-grant university consortium sponsored by the USDA, and considered to be the leading authorities on food safety science and food preservation research):

“Home canning is not recommended for pumpkin butter or any mashed or pureed pumpkin or winter squash, but we do have directions for canning cubed pumpkin. Pumpkin puree can be frozen or made into a spicy pumpkin leather…

There are not sufficient data available to allow establishing safe processing times for any of these types of products. It is true that previous USDA recommendations had directions for canning mashed winter squash, but USDA withdrew those recommendations…

Some of the factors that are critical to the safety of canned pumpkin products are the viscosity (thickness), the acidity and the water activity. Studies conducted at the University of Minnesota in the 1970’s indicated that there was too much variation in viscosity among different batches of prepared pumpkin purees to permit calculation of a single processing recommendation that would cover the potential variation among products (Zottola et. al, 1978). Pumpkin and winter squash are also low-acid foods (pH > 4.6) capable of supporting the growth of Clostridium botulinum bacteria which can cause the very serious illness, botulism, under the right storage conditions. If the bacteria are present and survive processing, and the product has a high enough water activity, they can thrive and produce toxin in the product.

More recent research with pumpkin butter has been done at the University of Missouri. Pumpkin butter is mashed or pureed pumpkin that has had large quantities of sugar added to it, but not always enough to inhibit pathogens. Sometimes an ingredient such as vinegar or lemon juice is added to the formulation to increase the acidity (decrease the pH). However, pumpkin butters produced by home canners and small commercial processors in Missouri have had pH values as high as 5.4. In fact, the pH values seemed to be extremely variable between batches made by the same formulation (Holt, 1995).

It is not possible at this point to evaluate a recipe for pumpkin or mashed squash for canning potential by looking at it. At this point, research seems to indicate variability of the products is great, and in several ways that raise safety concerns. It is best to freeze pumpkin butters or mashed squash.”

So, then, pumpkin pie filling, pureed pumpkin, and pumpkin butter would NOT be candidates for safe home canning.  Yes, I know you can find old recipes and text books to find processing times, but, dude, just be safe and freeze your butter in containers and store the opened one in the fridge.  Better safe than sorry!!

Overnight Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

I think you could do this in a small slow cooker overnight on a WARM (not high or even low) setting, so there is no burning, but I have not tried that.  This works well for my kiddos because I get up before everyone else and start the crock.  The overnight soaking helps to really speed up the cooking time.  By the time my big boy eats, it’s ready.  I turn it to warm and by the time my girls are ready to eat it is still warm and not like glue.  If I try to make oatmeal on the stove in one large batch so I don’t have to make breakfast twice, whoever eats second gets cold glue for breakfast – blah!  If you don’t want to tie up your crock, after the overnight soaking, you can cook on the stove until done.  You can also just scoop out the amount you need and just cook that if you have family members who eat at different times, like we do during the week.


Head over to Sandra’s for Slow Cooking Thursday and see what is in everyone else’s crock!




Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal


2 cups GF certified oats

1 can (15 ounce) pumpkin puree

2 cups almond milk or substitute of choice

2 cups water (or 2 more cups of the almond milk)

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 tablespoon GF vanilla

3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon salt


Put everything into a 4 quart slow cooker before bed.  Stir well.  Cover.  


In the morning, stir the contents of the crock.  Cover.  (My 4 quart is dead, so I am trying to remember the time, so this part may be different)  Cook on high for 45 min to 1 hour.  Check if cooked through.  (It usually is for us, I think)  Stir.  Serve and top with a little additional almond milk and toasted pecans and coconut if desired.

Slow Cooking Thursday & Freezer Friday together


So, yeah…  didn’t get a post up yesterday for Slow Cooking Thursday.  Sorry, Sandra!  Today’s recipe works for the slow cooker AND it freezes great.  My son really likes this one a lot, especially with tortilla chips or corn bread and a salad.




Head over to MJ’s and check out Freezer Food Friday.  If you have a great recipe to share the freezes and is gluten free, please leave a comment below with the link and I will add you to the Freezer Food Friday – Gluten Free Edition!


You can freeze this after it cooks in the slow cooker.  You can also freeze before slow cooking it by pre-cooking the meat, cooling then adding into a gallon sized zip-seal freezer bag.  Add the rest of the ingredents to the bag.  Remove as much air as possible, seal the bag and squish the ingredients around to mix.  Label and flatten bag.  Freeze.  When ready to cook, thaw bag, put in crockpot and cook!


I originally got the base recipe from 30 Day Gourmet and it was on their site forever.  I don’t see it now, but this is how we make it gluten and dairy free to our tastes.  


Taco Chili

(makes about 12 cups – I usually double and put into my 6 quart slow cooker)


2 pound ground beef or bison (you could also use ground turkey)

1 – 28 once can crushed or diced tomatoes

1 – 15 ounce jar of salsa (I use Green Mountain Gringo’s Roasted Garlic…mmmm)

1 – 10 ounce bag frozen corn

1 -15 once can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 teaspoons instant minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon instant minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon crushed, dried red pepper (optional)
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano


Brown ground beef until cooked though.  Drain well.  Mix the rest of the ingredients in the slow cooker.  Mix in the cooked meat.  Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. 


Serve with tortilla chips or gluten free corn bread.

Slow Cooking Thursday

While moving all my content over from my other blog, I found this soup that I first put on my blog on December 1, 2006  that I just had to share with the Slow Cooking Thursday group.  It is a tasty one and I’ll be making it this weekend.  It is a super economical, very much a comfort food sort of thick soup/stew with really nice flavor.  And it is easy enough for my big kids to make (guess who’s making soup this weekend?).  I think I need to make some gluten free corn bread to go with it!  


I was so excited this morning when I found a comment from Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness on my site saying she had tagged me as one of her favorite “excellent” blogs!  That is so sweet!  Thank you so much!  You should all go over and check out her site.  Her site is focused on all gluten, dairy, soy, egg and corn free!  It is an amazing site.  I love all the great experiments with different ingredients she uses, always in season.  She has some other really great blogs on her list.  I feel very honored to have been included.  Thank you, Cheryl!


Head over to Sandra’s blog for Slow Cooking Thursday and see what is in everyone else’s crock pot!  She has a beef stew and potato dumpling on there today that I am going to have to figure out gluten and dairy free.  It looks super tasty!  Thanks for the tip on how to insert your banner, Sandra.  I got it to work this week.  Woo!


Ground Beef and Bean Stew

2 lbs ground beef or chuck

6 cups turkey stock (you could use beef or chicken, but I had this on hand)

2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes (undrained)

1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced

4 thinly sliced carrots

2 celery ribs, thinly sliced 

1 medium red bell pepper

4 cloves garlic, minced

1Tablespoon dried basil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 10 pkg frozen corn

4 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed

3 cups cooked rice

Brown ground beef.  Put into a 6 quart crock pot with rest of ingredients except corn, beans, and rice.  Cook on high for 1 hour.  Change to low for 4-5 hours or until veggies are tender. Add corn, beans and rice.  Stir.  Cook on low for 1 more hour or until heated.

Serve with tortilla chips, guacamole, and tofu sour cream if desired.