Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What a crock

I need some help y'all.  (Like you didn't already know that.)

Perhaps you remember when I revealed my beautiful grandmother is going through stages of dementia.  Well, my aunt is at her winter home with her for vacation and reported back that she's declining.  The weight of all everyday activities is falling on my grandpa who, if the truth be told, isn't the picture of perfect health himself at over 80 years old.  Unfortunately grandma can't cook anymore and he never learned so it's restaurants for them most of the time and he doesn't like eating out for every meal.  So we're going to have to do some things to help ensure they get some home cooked meals and I said I could go over once or twice a week to assemble something in a crock pot.

Then I realized I don't have a whole lot of recipes that appeal to the older adult palate...aka-bland.

Obviously I'll have to do some research as well going through websites and such but I thought maybe I would check with my peeps and tone down any spices or things I know they wouldn't eat.

What are your go to crock pot recipes?

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52 comments:

  1. That is a good idea to "cloud source" crock pot recipes. I know it will be a big help to grandma and grandpa and they will appreciate it!

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    1. Definitely. Those people need to eat some veggies!

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  2. http://www.skinnytaste.com/search/label/Crock%20Pot%20Recipes

    This is my fave: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2009/11/crock-pot-minestrone-soup.html

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  3. Roast (pork or beef) with potatoes and carrots is easy and an older population favorite. I'll look through my other recipes and see what might work.

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    1. Heck, that's one of my favorites! I plan to make that one of their first meals back. Any other recipes you can find would be appreciated.

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  4. One of my favorites is slow cooker salsa chicken from Spark. Swap the salsa for a can of diced tomatoes and leave out the taco seasoning and it becomes a not spicy but still tasty meal. Meatloaf in a crock pot is easy too. It doesn't brown up like in the oven, but the taste is good. I prefer oatmeal to cracker crumbs, I think it holds up better in the crock pot. A basic roast with a little water and some onion soup mix sprinkled on top is easy and most people like it. None of these have much in the way of balance, but I bet your grandpa would be happy to make a salad or heat some canned/frozen veggies to go along with them.

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    1. Ooh, that sounds good! I'll have to try it with salsa for me and tomatoes for them. I didn't know you could make meatloaf in a crockpot! (Or I guess that it would hold together) I'm on it!

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    2. My ex made meatloaf in a small crockpot - like 1.5 qt. It was a 1.25 lb of ground beef, breadcrumbs, an egg, some ketchup, & bbq sauce. Cooked it til it wasn't pink.
      It looked like dog food to me (& kind of smelled like it)

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  5. Looking forward to this thread!! I need crockpot recipes too. The easiest thing that I make is salsa chicken which can be done in a crockpot or the oven. I literally pour salsa over chicken breasts and cook it. Done! I am not the greatest cook lol but the kids like it!

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    1. It's been ages since I made that, thanks for reminding me about the classics!

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  6. I like Pioneer Woman's drip beef sandwiches. Use the basic recipe, it's not spicy at all, pretty plain and delicious on a toasted bun with some provolone cheese. Lots of leftovers too---I would probably freeze some for a later meal.

    http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/02/drip-beef-two-ways/

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  7. Sorry to hear about your grandmother (mine is declining, too, so I'll be visiting her later this morning).

    Most of what I cook in the crockpot is on the spicier side, but bbq chicken and what I call Italian chicken are also quick and easy. Just cover the chicken with either bbq sauce or marinara and cook until done. For folks not watching their calories (in fact, probably needing to add a few calories), I'd add rice and/or pasta for the meal.

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    1. Thanks Cammy. Sorry to hear about yours as well. This disease SUCKS!

      Ooh, those sound great and I think they could do the pasta too. Yum!

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  8. My friend would make a chicken noodle mix in the crockpot. Bland and cooked soft so they can enjoy it as a soup or thicken it up and eat it as a pasta dish! She wud add parsley, a little dash of black pepper and salt and thats that..sometimes she wud add carrots and sweet potatoes (to make it filling but not heavy)...

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  9. CMy new obsession is crockpot chicken taco chili. It's SUPER easy and it can be as spicy or non spicy as you want. 1 can each - black beans, kidney beans. 1 bag of frozen corn. 2 cans of diced tomatoes with green chilis. 1 onion. 1 - 8oz can of tomato sauce. 1 T each - taco seasoning, chipotle chili powder and cumin. 3-4 frozen chicken breast. Put everything in the crockpot with the chk breast on top. Cook for 6-8 hrs. Remove chk breast, shred them and return them to the pot and mix it all together. I let it go for another hour just to let the chk soak in more flavor. It's AMAZING!!!

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    1. Girl, I am salivating! I'm making that for us! LOL

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  10. What about some plain old vegetable soup? Easy to make a big batch and freeze for later so they don't get too tired of eating the same meal over and over. Plus, veggies!

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    1. Nothin' wrong with plain old vegetable soup! :-) Actually you just reminded me I have some in the freezer! LOL

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  11. Chilli with out all the hot spices...then just add fat free cheese or sour cream or both to their bowls at the end with crackers or a toasted cheese sandwich! Yum

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    1. I'm sure they'd love it plus it makes the house smell so good when its cooking!

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  12. Roast in a crockpot with potatoes and carrots.

    Pulled pork sandwiches (pork roast, then add bbq sauce)

    A whole chicken in the crockpot

    Chicken noodle soup in the crock pot

    Chili in the crockpot

    Beef stew in the crock pot

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  13. First, have you asked them if they prefer bland food? The older I get, the more spicy it has to be for me to taste it at all. Admittedly, I'm not their age yet, but check with them about their preferences.

    Second, I see some suggestions that have beans in them. That is something that my mother hasn't been able to eat for a long time, so make sure your grandparents can tolerate them.

    I don't have new suggestions at the moment, but I'll think on it, and I'll also ask my mother for some of her favorites. She does in fact have to have bland food, so what she likes should work well if your grandparents prefer it that way, too.

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    1. Girl, my grandpa refuses to eat a salad that has anything other than iceberg lettuce because it's too green/"fancy." My grandma's favorite meal out is chicken strips. She's been on me since I was a kid about how my "spicy food was going to kill me." LOL They are pork chops on the grill with no spice and a plain potatah kind of folk. The spice cabinet consists of salt and pepper. LOL

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  14. One of my favorite crockpot recipe blogs is "A Year of Slow Cooking". Quite a few of the recipes are kid friendly which would probably be good for grandfolks. And if something was not good she definitely says so.

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    1. Thanks! I'll definitely have to check it out!

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    2. A Year of Slow Cooking is my "go to" website for crock pot recipes; she has a lot of great ideas. (And she's quite honest if something doesn't turn out the way she'd hoped.)

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  15. Some one else suggested it, but I'll second it- roasted chicken. You can switch up the flavor or just go with salt and pepper, but it would make several days worth of meals.

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    1. They both love chicken so I'm sure it will be a big hit!

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  16. http://www.ringaroundtherosies.net/2012/02/freezer-cooking.html

    This is a time saver with you preparing a bunch of meals, putting them in freezer bags (labelled of course) and freezing them. When a home coked meal is needed all you do is take out a bag, drop everything in the crock pot and turn it on. One shopping trip, one mess in the kitchen to clean up and several meals ready to crock!

    http://www.bestcrockpotrecipes.net/Crockpot-Recipes/crockpot-soup-recipes/crock-pot-beef-stew.php#.UT9HUVfrBcg
    This one my family practically licked the crock clean on (I think they would have if I would have let them)
    There are more recipes on that site also

    http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/
    this is a lady that used her crock pot every day for an entire year! Each recipe has a VERDICT printed about the thoughts of her family about that days crock pot recipe

    Hope Grand mom and Grand dad do well with the crock pot. Don't forget to get some crock pot/slow cooker liners to make clean up easy peasy for them!

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    1. Thanks so much for the great links! Can't wait to go through them and see what they might like!

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  17. I don't have any recipes to share but I agree with all the suggestions for stews/ soups, pulled pork and roasts!

    And I totally feel you on the no spices things- my Mother In Law is allergic to garlic and onions and abhors anything spicy or with too much 'flavor' so cooking for her is always a challenge lol!

    Good luck!

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  18. Cranberry Chicken

    1 bottle Catalina salad dressing (fat free okay)
    1 can of cranberries (whole or jellied is fine)
    1 packet Lipton onion soup
    fresh or frozen chicken breasts cut into strips or frozen chicken tenders

    Mix everything up in a Crockpot and cook on about 4 hours on "high" (if chicken is frozen). Adjust time and temp. as necessary. Serve over rice or mashed potatoes. You could use instant mashed potatoes to make things easier. I personally like it over rice. After everything is cooked you can freeze it as well and then just reheat in a microwave or on the stove top.

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    1. I'm making this for them out of sheer curiosity! :)

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    2. I know it sounds odd, but I make it often for families with new babies or who have someone ill--and it is always a hit.

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  19. When London Broil is on sale, or round steak, I get that. In the crock pot, in this order, I put sliced potatoes, 1 cup sliced carrots, 1 whole onion sliced, then lay the beef on top of the onions, add 1 can beef broth and let 'er rip all day (8 hours on medium, about 6 on high). It's ubber good.

    I will keep your family in prayer. It's difficult to deal with the declining health of those we love. But it's always an opportunity to love on them even more.

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  20. Before my Grandma died I used to make Italian chicken for her. Pour a bottle of Italian dressing over chicken breasts. She had it over either boiled noodles or rice. She kept canned veggies and would open a can and microwave it to have along with it

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  21. After my mother passed, I bought some compartmentalized freezer containers. When I cooked for us, I'd fix a plate for my dad in one of those containers and put it in the freezer. I also got some small freezer containers that were microwave safe and when I made soup or stew, I'd freeze a couple containers for my dad. When I went to see him, I'd stash a few meals in his freezer at a time so all he had to do was nuke dinner and still get a homecooked meal. If you do this, be sure to label them and date them. You shouldn't keep them in the freezer longer than 60 days.

    My failsafe crockpot meal is a roast, potatoes, and carrots with whatever kind of broth or soup you want to add (I use beef stock or onion soup mix).

    My next usual is pretty much the same but with chicken breast and frozen mixed veggies or fresh potatoes, carrots, celery. With some extra chicken stock, that can turn into soup easily.

    Another favorite around here is a package of meaty ribs (what we call country style or "fingers" down here) with a bottle of BBQ sauce. They come out very tender and none too spicy. Served with a side and some veggies, they work every time.

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  22. I really love crock pot chicken and dumplings. You just put in 4 skinless breasts, a carton of chicken brother, a can of cream of chicken soup, a can of cream of celery soup, and whatever seasonings you like. I normally use low sodium broth and add a little pepper and thyme. You cook it on low for 6-8 hours depending on your crock pot and then break up the chicken with a wooden spoon when it's done. Instead of making dumplings you can use biscuits. I like the Grands one. I cut each one into 4 pieces and roll them up and put them in for about a half hour after the chicken is done. It's really easy and good on a chilly day. It's not the healthiest dinner every, but you can probably figure out a way to reduce the sodium and add in some frozen veggies to make it healthier. I normally make it plain and serve a veggie on the side because if I add veggies to the soup, my picky kids won't eat it. I do bbq chicken in there in the summer too. Just add in a bunch of whatever kind of sauce you like with some chicken and they can shred it up and have sandwiches later on.

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    1. *chicken broth, not brother, good grief lol

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    2. Oh man, I'm SOOOO making this not just for them but us too! I've been wanting to make that because I've always been intrigued by making dumplings out of biscuits but never knew anyone to vouch for it. Now I do! :)

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    3. I was skeptical when I first tried it, but I love it! I make it when we have a lot of people coming over, and they've all loved. It's so much easier than cooking a whole chicken and picking it apart and then doing dumplings from scratch. Adding in some thighs does make it a little more flavorful though. I like to use 1 can of homestyle grands biscuits and just cut them each into 4, ball them up, and dunk them in and give them a little stir. You have to give them a few stirs for the half hour so until they are done, that way they don't end up one big blob in there. The original recipe I found just had you use water instead of broth, which I found rather bland, so I use the carton of chicken broth. I've used vegetable broth too and I like it that way. I'd love to try adding in potatoes and different things, but my family is SO darn picky. Oh, I occasionally chop some onion very finely in there, but if I am out of onions I will sprinkle some onion powder over the chicken and add other seasonings. It makes a big amount too. My husband has what is probably over 2 servings, and the kids both had a small bowl, I had a decent sized bowl, and there is some leftover. It's good reheated the next day, but tends to get thick so I will add a little milk in when I rewarm it.

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  23. I don't have any crock pot recipes but have you looked into meals on wheels programs? We have them in NJ and they are a great benefit for older and housebound people. In my area, I don't believe there's a charge and they're run out of the local Office on Aging.

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    1. I didn't think about that, I'll have to run it by the family and see what the consensus is. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  24. Check out www.crockpot365.blogspot.com by Stephanie O'Dea - she cooks for kiddos. Her pomegrante roast was yummy.

    I make a pork roast - mix a can of whole berry cranberry sauce with a couple tablespoons of brown sugar and a teaspoon of regular yellow mustard together and pour over the top. Very tasty. I add a few more dried cranberries.

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  25. So sorry, Anele. I know how hard it can be to watch a grandparent decline like that. I'm glad that you are close by to give them the support they need, though--I'm sure they are so grateful for your help!

    I'm probably not much help here, of course. I know my mom used to make a beef stew in the crockpot with stock, tomato sauce, carrots, and potatoes. The good thing about those crockpot meals is that they should have enough for leftovers for the next day!

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