Posts Tagged ‘Slow cooker’

Well, winter is here, and so is the soup weather. Every winter I make a few favourite soups in my slow cooker, and I keep them in the fridge for lunches, or light dinners. This week I have made a very thick pea and ham soup, because that is the way I like it. For something different, I also use yellow split peas instead of the usual green.

Ingredients

500g packet of green OR yellow split peas

2 small ham hocks

3L water*

1 onion, diced

1-2 carrots, finely grated

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 bay leaf

water, extra, to simmer ham hocks.

*if you have a small slow cooker (3/3.5L), add only enough to fill, and reserve the rest until the ham hocks have been removed from the slow cooker. You could also use salt reduced chicken stock

Method

1. Place ham hocks in a large pot, cover with water, and gently simmer for 45min-1hr to remove impurities, and some of the fat

2. Rinse split peas and remove and discoloured peas.

3. Place split pease, garlic, carrot, and bay leaf in slow cooker, mix to combine.

4. Place ham hocks on top of other ingredients. You may have to give them a good shove to fit them in, and submerge them in the other ingredients.

5. Pour over water until you reach the rim of he slow cooker pot. Set any leftover water aside for later.

6. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on high for 5-6hrs until ham is falling off the bone

7. Remove ham hocks. Trim fat and skin, and chop meat. Return meat to slow cooker, and top up with remaining water. Put lid back on and continue to cook for 45min-1hr

8. Taste for seasoning, and check for consistency. If you like a thicker soup, leave the lid off and allow to thicken slightly. If you like a thinner soup, top up with boiling water, and taste for seasoning again.

This recipe can also be cooked on the stove top, in a large stock pot, just follow the same process, and adjust the cooking times to suit 🙂

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So, tomorrow is fortnightly grocery shopping day, which means meal planning and shopping lists. Not only am I on a mission to get organised for family meals and lunchbox treats, but I am now also on a mission to do it on a budget. I want to save some serious $$ on our grocery bill. I have found meal planning has helped shave a bit off the cost, but I need to take it 1 step further. Where to start though? Well, I decided to trade out some of the more ‘expensive’ meals, for cheaper alternatives. So, gone from the menu are lamb casserole, and fancy dishes, and added in their place are some old favourites.

This fortnight I have:

1. added 2 meals based around tinned tuna

2. made the most of bulk buying cheap. premium mince, and incorporated 4 mince dishes.

3. replaced steak and veg, with beef casseroles using cheap cuts of meat

4. subbed out 1 chicken thigh/breast based meal, with cheaper chicken drumsticks

5. switched to a basic pasta bake, rather than the usual chicken/spinach/ricotta canneloni that can sometimes add up when it comes to $$

6. searched the fridge/pantry to see what curry pastes and condiments I had left

With that in mind, here are the first weeks dinners 🙂

Image Credit: Julie Goodwin

Friday- Home made beef rissoles and vegetables, served with gravy

Saturday- Tuna Mornay

Sunday- chicken burritos

Monday- Slow cooker beef casserole

Tuesday- Cottage Pie

Wednesday- Tandoori chicken, rice, and steamed greens

Thursday- chicken and cheese pasta bake

Baking:

Carrot and Pineapple Muffins

Carrot and Pineapple Muffins

Choc Chip cookie dough (for freezer)

Cheese and vegemite scrolls

The Organised Housewife