Slow-cooker meals for on-the-go families

By ANDREW ARMSTRONG / Recipe Columnist

We are a society craving fast food. In between taking the kids to baseball practice, picking your teens up from band camp, working and paying the bills, you barely have time to take care of your own needs, let alone cook. The families that are always on-the-go will enjoy this week’s segment of Crock-Pot cooking.

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Andrew’s Crock-Pot Chili Con Carne

1 pound of ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 teaspoons of salt

1 teaspoons of black pepper

½ a teaspoon of thyme

½ a teaspoon of oregano

1 teaspoon of cilantro

1 lime, juiced

2 teaspoons of chili powder

3 cloves of garlic

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 small can of tomato paste

1 can of Rotel (8 ounces)

1 can of diced tomatoes (8 ounces)

1 can of black beans (8 ounces)

1 can of red kidney beans (8 ounces)

In a skillet sauté the meat and fresh vegetables. Pour the mixture in a Crock-Pot with the remaining ingredients and cook on high for 3-4 hours.

Crock-Pot Italian Meatball Stew

1½ pounds of ground, beef

½ a cup of bread crumbs

3 eggs, beaten

¼ a cup of milk

½ a cup of mozzarella cheese

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of black pepper

2 carrots, chopped

1 can of tomato paste

2 cups of water

2 beef bouillon cubes

½ a teaspoon of oregano

1 teaspoon of seasoned salt

½ a teaspoon of basil

1 package of frozen mixed vegetables (10 ounces)

Mix the first eight ingredients together. Roll the mixture into balls and place in the bottom of a Crock-Pot. Pour the remaining ingredients in the pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Crock-Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage

1 cup of soy sauce

1 cup of vegetable oil

1½ tablespoons of brown sugar

1 cup of orange juice

1 teaspoon of ginger powder

1 tablespoon of garlic salt

Mix the ingredients together and refrigerate. This sauce is good for pouring over food or as a marinade.

Crock-Pot Irish Lamb Stew

1½ pounds of ground lamb

1 tablespoon of butter

2 medium onions, chopped

4 cups of beef broth

3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped

½ a teaspoon of salt

½ a teaspoon of black pepper

¼ a teaspoon of celery seed

¼ a teaspoon of marjoram

¼ a teaspoon of thyme

1 package of frozen peas (10 ounces)

6 tablespoons of flour

Brown the meat in the butter and pour into a Crock-Pot. Combine everything but the peas and flour. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Once cooked mix in the peas, ½ a cup of water, the flour and cook on high for 30 minutes.

Crock-Pot New England Roast

1 chuck roast (3 pounds)

2 teaspoons of salt

¼ a teaspoon of black pepper

2 onions, peeled and quartered

4 carrots, cut in chunks

1 stalk of celery, chopped

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons of vinegar

5 cups of water

1 small cabbage, quartered

3 tablespoons of butter

1 tablespoon of onion powder

2 tablespoons of flour

1½ cups of beef broth

2 tablespoons of horseradish

Mix everything together and cook for 5-7 hours, add the cabbage the last 30 minutes.

Crock-Pot Alphabet Pot Roast

1 beef roast (4 pounds)

1 can of alphabet soup (10 ounces)

1 cup of red wine

¼ a teaspoon of dried basil

2 tablespoons of parsley

1 tablespoon of flour

Mix everything together and cook on low for 8-10 hours.