I threw this in the crock pot the other day and I have no idea the quantities I put in so I’m just spitballing, but it was delicious and the easiest meal I’ve ever made. I used 2 chicken breasts and had it for 3 meals, but I ate two sandwiches each time so it could theoretically make 6-9 meals if you’re serving it with something else or have a small appetite.
1. 2-3 large chicken breasts. I went with frozen, boneless, and skinless, but I’m sure any would work just fine.
2. About 10 oz. of barbecue sauce, I went with Aldi brand.
3. About a quarter cup of honey? I’m not sure how much but just use your own judgement.
1: Combine all 3 ingredients in the crock pot and let cook for 4-5 hours on high, or 6-8 hours on low.
2: Eat the chicken by itself or…
3: Toast bread (so the sauce doesn’t make it soggy) and enjoy it on a sandwich or two.
100% didn’t realize how dirty my mirror was until I took this photo. Yes, I immediately cleaned it once I noticed.
Feeling real blah today (well, this entire weekend), but at least I don’t look too blah. It’s going on midnight and I’m finally in bed. Alarm is set for 5:15am because I can’t keep making excuses. I need to workout and I know if I don’t workout tomorrow morning, I won’t workout at all.
This week is going to suck if I’m being honest. I haven’t really planned yet what I’m going to teach and what test prep we will do. I spent the little free time I had this weekend cleaning/organizing, grading, and getting those random teacher things done that had been piling up. Cross your fingers for me that I get a lot done tomorrow.
Workout stuff is pulled out.
Coffee is made.
Breakfast and lunch are ready to go.
Crockpot dinner is prepped.
Bags are organized.
Single dad Liam takes his new neighbor, Zayn, into his house for a couple of weeks while Zayn’s house is being renovated. The two aren’t even dating, but with little sleepless James to deal with, they might as well be raising him together.
Based on this prompt: (x) (also found on ao3 under the same username)
Pausing for a moment, his fist only inches from the stained mahogany, Zayn bit the edge of his lower lip as he once again felt the need to ponder his decision to knock on this door. Maybe it was the perfectly trimmed hedges that did it for him, maybe the slight smell of a Crockpot dinner wafting underneath the crack in the front door. Maybe it was the fact that he could just barely make out music coming from inside. But this house felt right.
Breathing out, he finally allowed himself to bridge the gap between his hand and the wood. Having already practiced what he was going to say at least fifty times, he shouldn’t have been nervous. That didn’t mean he couldn’t feel his heart racing, though, as the sound of footprints–accompanied by the sound of singing–came closer and closer. The door swung open, Zayn only able to catch the belting of “–Y wonderwall” before the singer, a shirtless, blonde man, abruptly closed his wide-open mouth. Zayn’s eyes immediately scrolled down, noting his abs but catching on his happy trail.
“Sorry,” the man stammered, his face flushing. “I’m expecting a friend to drop by, and so, I just assumed, you know…” A gulp caught in his throat as he looked down his own body, realizing his attire was also potentially not appropriate for a fellow he’d never met before. “Anyway…” he finished, rubbing his hands along his thighs. A smile grew on his lips, crinkles forming by his eyes as he did so. The sight infectiously forced Zayn to smile back, his initial worry replaced by a feeling of curiosity. “I’m Liam.” He stuck out his hand, very proper like. Zayn smirked, but took his hand anyway. “You must be the new neighbor, right?”
Zayn nodded, gulping as he tried to find the right words when all he could seem to focus on was the wall of abs in front of him. “Yeah, I’m Zayn.” Taking a breath in, he forced himself to bring his eyes up to Liam’s face as he clarified, “But that’s actually kinda why I’m here, mate. My house is gonna get renovated for a couple of weeks cause it’s really not livable right now. Mold and stuff, you know.” With a flick of his wrist, he continued on. “And I’m an artist, and don’t really have a lot of money…” He scratched his head, not able to keep his eyes on Liam’s. The thought of having to ask such a favor hurt Zayn immensely. “But I was wondering if you maybe had an extra bedroom I could rent just for a bit?”
I leave the bones in if I’m at home; if I am talking it to work I take them out. Sometimes I pull the skin/fat off and sometimes I don’t. Stirring yogurt into a bowl of this can make a nice creamy sauce. Also it freezes well, nice and stewy when reheated.
Hey kids, I’m back with another low-cost meal that can really save the day when you’re at the end of a paycheck and also super hungry. Makes leftovers (or serves more than one person, at least) and is great if you’re busy or just don’t have the energy to stand around in the kitchen and cook dinner.
This is a crockpot recipe, by the way!
Ingredients: 1 Bag Frozen Broccoli (whole broccoli is cheaper than just the florets, and they’ll soften with the long cooking time) 1 Bag shredded carrots 2 cans cream of [your choice*] soup, (low sodium if you can find it) Black pepper Water or milk (as needed)
*I use cream of celery to make it vegetarian, but cream of chicken works, as does cream of mushroom – pick what you like! You can also use one can of “cream of” soup and one cheddar cheese soup for creamy broccoli cheddar soup!
1. Open your cans of soup and pour them into your crockpot
2. Thin the soup with enough water or milk that it has the consistency you like – I pick the consistency of pourable gravy.
3. Add your frozen broccoli and your shredded carrots - the carrots add a little sweetness and some extra vitamins.
4. Season liberally with black pepper.
5. Turn your crockpot to low and let it cook for 6-8 hours. I don’t suggest cooking this on high as it sometimes causes the soup to separate. It doesn’t make it inedible, but it’s not as pretty!
- This is vegetarian by default, but you can always add bacon (which you can buy pre-cooked and pre-chopped (though it’s somewhat expensive) in your grocers refrigerated section. You can also add baco-bits (which are vegan!) at the end for some crunch and smokiness.
- Not a fan of broccoli? You can use cauliflower if you like that, or even potatoes for a cream of potato soup. You can buy both frozen diced potatoes and frozen cauliflower in the freezer section of your grocer.
- A little of your favorite hot sauce added at the end can elevate this dish from “good” to “great” by removing the inherently “canned” flavor that canned soups bring to the table.
** If you can find low sodium soups, I suggest using them instead, because canned creamed soups have a very high sodium content that may not be appropriate for the average persons dietary needs.
Okay, so broke college kid here!
I pretty much live off frozen chicken and veggies, but I got really tired of that the other day and decided I wanted something different. So I whipped this up with a frozen venison loin my dad sent me back to school with.
–a crock pot, preferably with liners for easier cleanup
–meat of your choice. I used frozen venison, but this would probably also be awesome with beef or pork.
–a can of cream of mushroom soup
–veggies of your choice. I used 2 potatoes and half an onion and it made enough for a few meals for me.
–spices! I used powdered ranch dressing, garlic, no salt seasoning, and a little bit of chili powder. I highly suggest using a packet of brown gravy mix though, my roommate does that with hers.
1) Chop your veggies and set them in the pot as a bed. Sprinkle some spices.
2) add the meat. I just did mine straight from the freezer, but I did rinse it off first. Douse in spices.
3) add the can of mushroom soup, and then fill the empty can with water and add that too. Try to break it up and spread it around as evenly as you can, but don’t worry too much about this as it costs everything pretty evenly anyway.
4) Set the crockpot–I have 9 to 5 classes, so I did mine for Low, about 8 hours. The meat was thoroughly cooked but still a little bit pink and very tender.
This turns into a really easy one pot dish that’s super filling, full of protein, and just as comforting as the pot roast you had growing up. If you make some rice or mashed potatoes on the side, you can stretch it out farther. But this made enough for two of us that night and then two more days worth of dinner for me.
Word to the wise: this does turn out pretty salty. So if that’s an issue, watch your spices and try to get low sodium soup. This would be really good with some bread on the side and sour cream on top!
It’s getting late in the year and kinda cold, so soups have been my go to meal. I’ll be honest, this one takes all day, but it’s a start it and forget it kinda deal.
This soup’s especially nice because you can use a lot of frozen or canned stuff.
- 8 oz cut up potatoes (frozen or canned is okay!)
- 8 oz corn (I use frozen)
- 1 can creamed corn
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 med bell pepper
(I use the frozen pepper & onion mix)
- 2 cups broth
- 10 oz salmon (roughly two drained cans worth)
- 1 jalapeño
- 1 cup cream or non-dairy equivalent (I’ve had good luck with unsweetened coconut milk)
1: Add potatoes, both corns, onion, bell pepper, jalapeños, and broth. Cover and cook for 7-8 hours low or 3-4 hours high
2: Right before serving blend some of it up. Pour that back in. Add your salmon and cream after blending.
3: Stir and let cook another 10 minutes. Adjust any seasoning before serving and you’re done!
I like eating mine with crackers and hot sauce. :-)
Herbs (Whatever you like! I use parsley and a splash of dill)
Salt & Pepper
Garlic (to taste)
All right, get your handy-dandy crock pot (which is my second favorite dorm cooking tool. My first favorite being the george foreman grill, but I don’t have one this year.) and spray down the sides so the rice doesn’t stick. Add around a tablespoon of butter into the pot.
Take two cups of hot water and put it into a bowl (Or right into your crock pot if you don’t want to clean more) and dissolve a bouillon cube into it. Add that into the pot as well. Add garlic, a few tablespoons of lemon juice, salt, pepper, and herbs. Measure out a cup of rice, pour it in, and give it a stir. (One cup of dry rice makes about two cups cooked. For me, two cups makes four servings of rice. If you would like more rice, double the water/bouillon mix for every cup you put in.)
Place your chicken breasts (I usually do one for every meal, but you can add more or less depending on what you want. You might want to adjust the rice/broth mixture though.) into the rice broth, then put on your lid. Cook on high for two hours. Shred the chicken into the rice and mix well.
They didn’t expect me to live, but I did. I’m not the same; even I know that, and I’m the one with the brain damage. I’m a little quicker to anger than I was before. I don’t necessarily laugh at things the same way I used to. And that’s not even accounting for the fact that my speech is still a bit slurred.
But I’m not stupid and I’m not crazy.
It was a car wreck during my senior year of high school, and I don’t remember if it was my fault or not. The other driver didn’t live. I know it was a woman, and I know her husband greatly grieved her death, but I only know that because it’s what I’ve been told. I don’t remember anything for about three months after the wreck.
My parents took me to the best TBI specialists around. My motor skills, save for my slightly slurred speech, are back to where they should be, almost. I even hope that I can still go to college someday. It’s been four years and I’m not there yet, but I’m working on getting better every day.
The worst thing, though, are the hallucinations. My doctor explained to me and my parents that I had something called… okay, I forget what it was called, but basically, the neurons in my brain don’t communicate the way they used to. Hallucinations aren’t typically a part of it, but with traumatic brain injury, you just never know how things can happen.
They were awful when they started happening. I saw literal monsters in my closet. One morning, I went downstairs and swore I saw my mother butchering our cat. She finally convinced me that she was cutting up a chicken to go in the crockpot for dinner. I still ate a PB&J that night.
I went on a few different neuroleptics for a while, but I didn’t like the side effects. I’ve had these hallucinations long enough that I’ve learned to deal with them. I know that if I see something extreme, it’s not real. And fortunately, they’ve been decreasing, but sometimes, they still scare me. I have developed my own mantra for how I get through the hallucinations when I see them.
I know the guy standing by the bathroom when I got up to go pee in the middle of the night isn’t real.
He isn’t there.
His knife isn’t real, either.
He didn’t open my bedroom door.
He isn’t mumbling about his dead wife and how it’s all my fault.
He isn’t stepping beside my bed and holding the knife over his head.
I’m not going to scream for my parents. I’m an adult now.
Monsters aren’t real. Hallucinations aren’t real.
But I’m not going to lie to myself. This one is scaring me far worse than they usually do.
Lentils are the best. Brown lentils, like most lentils, are really healthy, but unlike some other kinds, they don’t dissolve and they don’t need soaking.
High in protein, fiber, and minerals like iron
Versatile- go with most flavors
Easy to find (grocery stores- dried beans isle or goya isle, in latin american/south asian groceries)
Free of virtually all allergens
Easy to cook in a pot, rice cooker, slow cooker, probably even the microwave
Very very cheap
Freeze/Keep well once cooked, keep forever dried
Brown lentils (aka marrow lentils, aka lots of other names), which look like this:
Water (about 2.5x the amount of lentils)
Any flavorings, broth, herbs, garlic, spices etc (I use better than bullion vegetable broth, garlic, miso, and mushroom granules usually. They’re good with sriracha once they’re cooked.)
How to make:
Put lentils in pot. Put water in pot. Put flavorings in pot. If you use garlic you can just peel it and dump it in, or crush it a bit. You don’t need to cut it.
Bring them to a boil, turn the heat down, cover them.
They’re done when the water is gone and they’re soft, about 20-30 mins depending on how much is in there, maybe a little longer. The skins will slide off a little. If you like them a little chewy, take them of earlier. If not, cook them longer and they’re easier to chew. You can cook as long as you want. If they’re not done but the water is gone, add more water. If they’re done but the water isn’t gone, just take the lid off and let it steam off.
Add extra water and seasoning, dump in carrots, onions, potatoes, whatever. Even easier, just add mixed frozen veggies. Lentil soup! Super healthy, warm, tasty.
Easy building block for a very healthy, balanced meal: Dump on a boiled/baked sweet potato, eat with bread or some spinach/broccoli or whatever you want. Mix in veggies, rice or other grains, etc for healthy lentil salad. Add to soups/curries/pasta etc- very good in tomato sauce. These are a lifesaver for me as an athlete who doesn’t eat animal products, often needs to cook on my own, and generally doesn’t have the energy for fancy things.
Now, according to wikipedia traditional teriyaki sauce includes mirin but sometimes that can be kinda hard to find in the states so here’s a way to make a basic glaze that tastes pretty similar to traditional teriyaki sauce, is pretty lot on spoons, and can be used with just about any type of meat or meat substitute.
What you’ll need to make the sauce:
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup soy sauce*
- ¼ cup minced garlic*
- ¼ cup minced ginger*
To make variations:
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- a couple dashes of rice wine vinegar
*low-sodium soy sauce can be used
*you can buy pre-minced garlic and ginger (normally they’re located in the produce dept of most grocery stores), or you can easily used ground ginger or garlic if you don’t have any fresh stuff on hand
- Mix hot water and sugar together until all the sugar is dissolved (this mixture is called a “simple syrup”)
- Add soy sauce, ginger, garlic (if you are adding vinegar or red pepper flakes do so now) and mix well
- Take meat product or meat-substitute and place in a large skillet or pot, pour sauce over this and turn on medium heat until it starts to boil (start to bubble)
- Cook on medium heat, moving meat/substitute every five minutes) until meat product or meat substitute is fully cooked and sauce has reduced into a syrup
- Tada! You’re done. Serve this over rice with some veggies (either cooked with the sauce or steamed on the side) and you’ve got a nice meal that can make quite a few leftovers.
so whole chickens go on sale for around 80 cents a pound really frequently (places like Safeway and Kroger affiliates), and the meat can be used to make so many different things! it requires a little more effort and time (a good “day off” activity), but it ends up being a lot cheaper than buying individual chicken pieces. I recently made a 5 pound chicken in my slow cooker and used it for three different meals to feed me and my fiance, and then used the bones to make over two quarts of delicious chicken broth! the ingredients cost less than $10 and it made so much food!
*one 4-5 pound chicken (fits in a medium sized crockpot)
*salt and pepper, to your own taste
*two large carrots cut in half or a handful of baby carrots
*one onion, chopped into quarters
*a drizzle of any kind of oil (olive, vegetable, whatever you have! you can even use a small pat of butter)
*any kinds of spices or herbs that you have on hand! my neighbor grows a rosemary bush and lets me take trimmings from it, so I used lots of rosemary in mine
drizzle the oil on the bottom of the slow cooker, add carrots and onions. place the chicken on top of the bed of vegetables and rub whatever spices + salt and pepper all over it. if you’re brave, rub some underneath the skin! cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 4 hours. that’s it! you can also stuff things like halved lemons, garlic or parsley in its little chicken butt for extra flavor!
Step 1: buy pork roast (it goes on sale at kroger all the time)
step 2: put in crockpot
step 3: pour two cans of cream of mushroom soup over the pork. water to thin it is optional
step 4: cook on low 6-8 hours.
step 5: eat.
That’s it that’s the recipe
Optional: when pork is done, take out the now warm mushroom soup and bring it to boil in a saucepan on the oven. Add a cornstarch/water slurry and let it thicken up. Pour over pork and/or instant mashed potatoes (which are super cheap and easy to make and taste as good as real)
Cooking this soup takes awhile but it’s super easy. This recipe is as my mother gave it to me: for a huge amount of soup to be cooked in a large pot on the stove but I’m planning on cutting it down and cooking it in my tiny crockpot for myself at school. To do that you would just use less of everything. This recipe has been handed down for generations in my mother’s family and it nicknamed “the Jewish Penicillin” because it’s pretty much my family’s go-to cure for anything.
The only other thing is there aren’t really proportions that come with this, you kind of just get what you can and toss it all in a pot.
1 chicken (an old soup hen works best), including feet and giblets (the feet and giblets add a lot of flavor but the feet are optional. I suppose the giblets can be as well if you can’t find them or are exceptionally grossed out by them, you’ll just miss out on a lot of flavor.)
salt and pepper to taste
A huge pot
wash the chicken including the feet and the giblets. Place in pot and fill pot with water until chicken is covered with water. Add vegetables. There’s no need to chop them because by the time the soup is done they will be very soft and can be cut much more easily to serve in that state. bring the contents of the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and allow the soup to simmer for the next several hours. Usually I’ll make the soup in the early afternoon and allow it to simmer until dinner time. You can chop up the now soft vegetables to serve and the chicken should just pull apart.
As is this recipe makes enough for my family of four to eat dinner and then have leftovers for at least 3 more meals.
To cook in a crock pot:
I have a very small crock pot so I do the same thing as above but instead of using a whole chicken I use several legs/thighs/breasts (or whatever available, but bone in is best) and giblets. Other than that everything is exactly the same.
This soup freezes beautifully. Just pop it in some containers and stick it in the freezer and it keeps forever.
My family usually serves it over pasta with an accompanying cheese course and it makes an absurdly filling dinner that way. You can also just eat the soup and believe me, it makes a filling meal (that’s what I do in school because cheese is expensive).
A note on chicken stock:
Even without chicken stock the broth from this recipe is divine and very flavorful. Prepared stocks are high in sodium and other less than healthy things, which is why my mom doesn’t use them. HOWEVER, if you can’t/don’t want to use the giblets and feet but are worried about the flavor, feel free to throw some prepared stock in.
This is a very freeform recipe so people can feel free to modify it to suit their own needs best.