Tag Archives: easy dinners

Savory Beans and Rice {Crockpot}

Savory Beans and Rice {Crockpot}


Being in the dog days of summer {might’ve actually hit 100 degrees yesterday!} I like to use my crockpot rather than the stove top or oven whenever I can! I also like to create frugal healthy meals…meaning I use a lot of beans around here! Here’s the newest recipe from my kitchen: Savory Beans and Rice.  It reminded me of Zatarain’s or Vigo’s Red Beans and Rice.  But this version is much healthier with brown rice and NO preservatives.  And also important: it was a hit with my kids! We covered it with grated cheddar cheese and they gobbled it down and asked for more!


  • 1 1/2 cups dry brown rice
  • 1 cup dry pinto beans
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t smoked paprika
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/2 a medium onion chopped
  • 8 cups boiling water
  • olive oil

Pour beans and rice into the crockpot.  Mix spices and salt together and add to the crock.  While water is heating up to boiling saute onions in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil for 2-3 minutes…until barely translucent.  Add onions to the crock and pour boiling water over everything.  Set crockpot on high and serve 3-4 hours later! 

I think this dish would dry out too much if you over cook it so I would keep a close eye on it!  Ours was done in 3 1/2 hours and thickened up a little after serving. 


  • It’s done!



  • For a little heat add cayenne or crushed red pepper
  • Add smoked sausage for a main course dish
  • Add chopped peppers of choice
  • Serve topped with sour cream or shredded cheese
  • Use left overs for burritos or enchilada filling
  • Add a can of crushed/diced tomatoes, chopped green pepper, and shrimp for a Jambalaya-type dish


***Random announcement:   maybe you noticed we haven’t been posting much this week. The summer is short in Minnesota and we try to take full advantage of the season by playing outside as much as possible. My computer is inside. Courtney is also busy with her little ones and preparing for the arrival of her baby this fall.  So this summer postings may be a little sporadic…just to warn you! Thanks for understanding!

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

Crockpot Beans

Easy Potato Salad

Freezer Cooking: Meatballs


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Ham and Bean Crockpot Soup

Ham and Bean Crockpot Soup

Anyone else have a ham bone left over from Easter dinner?  Well if you do, here’s a yummy way to use it up:  Ham and Bean Soup!


  • ham bone and any extra ham meat (chopped)
  • 3 celery stalks (with leaves!)
  • 3 T chopped onion
  • 1 c pinto beans (dry)
  • 2 c Great Northern beans (dry)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt

Place ham bone in the crock and fill with water.  Turn crockpot on to the “High” setting.  Add chopped celery.

Saute onion in olive oil on medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until translucent.  Add to the pot!

This is more than 3T of onions: I was multitasking and making two things at once and both recipes needed sauteed onions!

Add beans and a little salt.

8 hours later remove the bone and remove any meat still on it to put back in the soup.  If you have any extra ham meat (maybe another cup or so) add it to soup. 

 Serve and enjoy!


How do you like to use leftover Easter ham?


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Lemon Rosemary Crockpot Chicken

Lemon Rosemary Crockpot Chicken

Want another EASY chicken recipe?  You got it!  You can even pull a chicken straight out of the freezer and throw it in your slow cooker for this one!  {At least that’s what I did!} 6 hours later… you’ve got a delicious main dish for dinner! The lemon and rosemary give the chicken a wonderful flavor that reminds me of SPRING!


  • 1 whole chicken (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 2 T rosemary
  • salt

 Slice onion and lemon into rings, and cut celery stalks in half.  Rinse off the chicken, and place in the crockpot.  {If the chicken is thawed out I usually remove most of the skin first, but this time it was frozen so I didn’t.}  Sprinkle with salt.  Arrrange celery around chicken.  Cover the meat with the onion and lemon slices and then sprinkle everything with rosemary.  Cover and cook for 6-7 hours on high {3-4 hrs if chicken was thawed out.}




After you eat remove all the meat you can put the bones and skin back in the crockpot with the cooked lemon, veggies, and drippings and fill up to the top with water.  Cook overnight on the low setting and in the morning strain out the solid stuff and keep the chicken broth.  It’s so savory!  This is a great broth to use for the Rosemary Pumpkin Soup!  I freeze it in quart baggies up to 6 months.  It’s a great way to get more than one meal out of your chicken!

 Enjoy your Spring Chicken!!!!


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Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

After reading Tuesday’s Tutorial on DIY Yogurt you probably rushed right out and bought heavy whipping cream so you could make some too…right?!?! Well, here’s another delicious way to use up a little more of the cream that will help warm you up while we wait for spring: Creamy Tomato Basil Soup!


  • 1T butter
  • Half a large sweet onion {chopped}
  • 1 T basil {I only have dry this time of year but fresh would be even better!}
  • 1 quart tomato sauce {we froze our own without measuring so this a guesstimate amount}
  • 1 can diced tomatoes  {splurge on the Muir Glen Organic if you can!}or 1 fresh tomato diced
  • 1 T sugar or agave syrup
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • Salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil

On medium-low heat, drizzle olive oil and melt butter in a pot.  Add chopped onion and sauté for a few minutes.   Throw in the basil and allow to sauté until onions are very soft (5-8 more minutes at least).  Add diced tomatoes and stir together for a couple of minutes.  Pour in tomato sauce,  sugar and a little salt.  Let the mixture simmer together for a good 10-20 minutes.  {The longer this soup simmers, the better it is!} This is a good time to do a taste test and add a little more sugar if everything tastes too tart or a little more salt if needed.  The flavor will depend a lot on the kind of tomatoes you’re using.   Pour in the whipping cream and simmer on low until you’re ready to serve!  Bon appetite!

Now this is what I call mmmmm...DELISH! {And I don't even like tomatoes!}



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