Slow-Cooker Salsa Chicken Rice Bowl Recipe

slow cooker salsa chicken rice bowl recipe - epicuricloud

Aahh...the "lazy days" of summer are just around the corner! 

LAZY days??  Who makes this stuff up?  Most of the summer we're still doing the same working, cooking, cleaning, schlepping kids around…only it's hot and humid!  Ha!  My tip for summer survival - keep your slow-cooker handy!

Yep, slow-cookers are not just for when the leaves are falling and Jack Frost is nipping at your nose.  It can do the cooking while you're working, running around or sitting on the beach all summer long.  There's nothing like coming home to a dinner that's done!  And if that wasn't great enough - slow cookers save you money!  You can braise a large inexpensive cut of meat all day, making it tender and delicious.  It'll make enough to feed a crowd or to freeze for another meal.  

You know those summer days when you are wilted from the heat and you just can't bear to fire up the stovetop or oven - the slow-cooker gives off a lot less heat!  Love to grill?  Me too!  While you're grilling, your slow-cooker can handle the sides.  Baked beans, macaroni and cheese - even corn-on-the-cob and cornbread can be made in your slow-cooker!  Give me a grill and a slow-cooker and I'll be a happy camper all summer long!

I'm sharing one of my family's favorite slow-cooker recipes - Salsa Chicken Rice Bowls!  3-simple ingredients in your slow-cooker make this go-to dish.  It's great all year round, but I especially love it in the summer because it's light, full of flavor and you can top it with whatever summer veggies you like!  

Want more great warm weather slow-cooker recipes?  Me too!  I reached out to some other bloggers to bring you this round-up of great recipes.  Enjoy!

Warm Weather Slow-Cooker Favorites:

Slow-Cooker Salsa Chicken Rice Bowl: Step-by-Step Photos

Slow-Cooker Salsa Chicken Rice Bowl Recipe:

Christina Verrelli – epicuricloud.com
Serves 8
Prep. Time 5 minutes
Slow-Cooker Time 6 hours

Ingredients:
6 (approx. 3.5 pounds) boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 cups salsa
4 tablespoons (2-ounces) taco seasoning
Hot brown rice for serving (1/2 – 1 cup per person)

Topping Ideas:
Salsa
Sour Cream
Black Beans
Shredded Cheese
Black olives
Pickled jalapenos
Salsa
Shredded lettuce
Avocado
Cilantro
Lime wedges to squeeze
Tortilla Chips

Directions:
Place chicken breasts in slow cooker.  Stir together salsa, taco seasoning and pour over chicken.  Cook in slow-cooker for 6 hours on low.  Remove chicken to cutting board and use two forks to pull chicken into bite-sized pieces, then stir back into salsa mixture.  Serve chicken mixture over rice and top with whichever toppings sound good to you! 

Notes:  
The cooked chicken mixture freezes well.  It is also a great filling for tacos, burritos, quesadillas and enchiladas.

Frozen brown rice is a great time saver.

Printable Recipe Link: Slow-Cooker Salsa Chicken Rice Bowl

Perfect for Pinning ⬇ Thank you!!

Slow-Cooker Salsa Chicken Rice Bowl Recipe - epicuricloud

Thank you for spending some time in the cloud with me!  I hope you enjoy the recipe!  Tina ( :

Fennel, Olive and Feta Frittata Recipe

Fennel Olive Feta Frittata Recipe Epicuricloud

"Fennel - Olive - Feta - Frittata" - Say that 5 times fast! ( :

I haven't made a frittata in a while, but I was making a fennel and apple salad the other day and the fennel reminded me of a yummy frittata I had made a few years back.  

Do you like fennel?  I didn't think I would like it at first, but it is delicious!  When raw it's crunchy, sweet and has a mild licorice taste.  When cooked it loses some of the licorice taste.  Fennel's growing season is fall through early spring - so it's a great time to eat some fennel while still in season!!  

This frittata cooks up quickly and makes for an easy weeknight supper or…would be perfect for a brunch...Mother's Day perhaps (hint, hint, wink, wink to my family!)  I love to serve the frittata with a simple arugula salad.  The peppery, bitterness of the arugula pairs really well with the rich taste of the frittata and the sweetness from the onions and fennel.  YUM!

Fennel, Olive and Feta Frittata, Step-by-Step Photos:

Fennel, Olive and Feta Frittata Recipe

Christina Verrelli – epicuricloud.com
Prep. Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:
Frittata:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped sweet onion 
2 cups thinly sliced fennel bulb (reserve the fronds)
¼ teaspoon pepper, divided
½ teaspoon salt, divided
10 large eggs
2/3 cup whole milk
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
½ cup pitted and quartered Kalamata olives
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
non-stick cooking spray

Arugula Salad:
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon minced fennel fronds
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups baby arugula

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  

Heat a 10-inch cast iron (or oven safe) skillet over medium heat.   Add oil, onion and fennel bulb, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt, cook, stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes or until softened and beginning to caramelize. 
 
Whisk together eggs, milk, 1/3 cup of the Parmesan cheese, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt.  Stir in parsley, olives and feta.  

Lightly spray edges of skillet with non-stick cooking spray.  Pour egg mixture over the onions and fennel in hot skillet.  Cook stirring slowly for about 1 minute or until the eggs begin to set around the edge of the skillet.  Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the egg mixture and transfer skillet to preheated oven.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the center is just set.  

While frittata is cooking make dressing: shake in a small jar or whisk together vinegar, salt, pepper, fennel fronds and 3 tablespoons olive oil.  Set aside.

When frittata is done, remove from oven and allow to rest for about 5 minutes.  In large bowl, dress the arugula with the dressing.  Cut frittata into 6 or 8 wedges and serve topped with arugula salad.  

Printable Recipe Link: Fennel, Olive and Feta Frittata

Perfect for Pinning ⬇

Fennel, Olive & Feta Frittata - epicuricloud.com

Thank you for spending some time in the cloud with me!  I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Happy Mother's Day!  Tina ( :


Strawberry Lemonade Brownies Recipe

Sweet, Tart & Fruity - Sound like anyone you know??

I had the best strawberry lemonade at a family birthday party last weekend!  We were celebrating my daughter and my niece both turning 13 this spring!  The lemonade was sweet and tart and fruity - kind of like thirteen year old girls - hehe!  (Love u girls!)  Well anyway, Stacy, my cousin-in-law makes the most awesome strawberry lemonade!!  Seriously - I've been thinking about it a lot - so much so, that this idea popped into my brain - Strawberry Lemonade Brownies!

I thought I'd start with my Lemon Brownie recipe from two years ago and go from there.  I wanted to add fresh strawberries, but thought they would be too wet in the brownie, so I chopped them and gave them a quick roast in the oven while I made the rest of the recipe.  The roasting concentrated the strawberry flavor and helped release some of the excess moisture in the berries.  I also crushed up a bag of freeze dried strawberries and mixed them in with the dry ingredients - double strawberry goodness!  The batter was the most gorgeous pink!  I couldn't wait to see the color of the baked brownie!

I cut into the baked brownies and they were - beige - what??  What happened to the gorgeous pink?? ) :  They tasted great, but I really wanted them to look a little pink.  So, back to the drawing board I went - I spoke to one of the nice bakers at Whole Foods about using beets to make it pink and she thought the beet flavor would overpower the strawberry and lemon flavors, so she sold me some of her natural red food coloring and I decided to try some old school McCormick's red food coloring as well.  The results all tasted the same - but if you want some pinkish color, you're going to want to add some coloring.  The glaze on top gets its color from a little of the powdered freeze dried strawberries - it seems the color holds up well when it's not subjected to heat.  

     Strawberry Lemonade Brownies: Step-by-Step Photos

Strawberry Lemonade Brownie Recipe:

Christina Verrelli - epicuricloud.com
(Makes 24 brownies)

Ingredients:

Non-stick baking spray

2 cups chopped fresh strawberries

1½ cups plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

4 eggs

2½ teaspoons lemon zest, divided

4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice, divided

1½ teaspoons lemon extract (look for “pure” or natural)

Red food coloring (1½ teaspoons natural/14 drops traditional)

1½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 (1-ounce) bag freeze dried strawberries (crushed), 1 tablespoon reserved

1 cup white chocolate chips 

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Toss chopped fresh strawberries with 1 tablespoon sugar and spread on baking sheet.  Roast for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Prepare 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan: Spray with nonstick baking spray and if desired, line with a double layer of foil or parchment paper cut to fit and extended past top of pan – fold over edge of pan.  Spray the foil/parchment with additional non-stick spray  (This will allow you to remove the brownies from the pan when cool for easy cutting.)

In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar with mixer.  Add eggs one at a time and mix until just incorporated.  
Add 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, lemon extract and food coloring.  Stir the flour and salt together in a small bowl and add to wet ingredients along with the crushed freeze dried strawberries (reserve 1 tablespoon for glaze.)  Mix until just incorporated.  Stir in white chocolate chips and the roasted berries.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes (time may vary based on your oven) or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  
While baking, make glaze: In small bowl, stir together confectioners sugar, remaining 1 tablespoon crushed freeze dried strawberries, remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice and remaining 1 teaspoon lemon zest.  Remove brownies from oven and prick evenly 25 times with a fork.  Spread glaze over warm brownies.

Allow to cool completely.  Use overhanging foil/parchment to lift out of pan to large cutting board and cut into 24 squares. 
(I use my electric knife to cut really neat bars.)  

Printable Recipe Link: Strawberry Lemonade Brownies

Perfect for Pinning to Pinterest: ⬇

strawberry lemonade brownies - epicuricloud

Thanks for spending some time in the cloud with me!  I hope you enjoy the recipe!  Tina ( :