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 6-8 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

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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 ( :

Roasted Cabbage Recipe

I was never a big fan of cabbage...

I avoided pretty much all of the cruciferous vegetables for most of my life until I started playing around with different preparations.  Well, it turns out that I love cabbage when it's roasted…and…topped with shallots, crispy prosciutto and drizzled with balsamic glaze and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese…mmm!

If you don't care for the toppings, just roast with the oil, salt and pepper for a minimalist version of the dish.  Either way it may be just the perfect side dish to go with your St. Patrick's Day meal!

Some other great St. Patrick's Day Recipes on epicuricloud:

Roasted Cabbage: Step-by-Step Directions:

Roasted Cabbage Recipe:

Christina Verrelli - epicuricloud.com

Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 large head green cabbage

1 large shallot

2 tablespoons oil (suitable for high heat cooking)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4-6 paper-thin slices of prosciutto

1 tablespoon thinly shredded Parmesan cheese

2-3 teaspoons balsamic glaze*

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Arrange oven rack to the center position.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment or brush with some additional oil.  Slice the cabbage from the top-side to the stem-side into four 3/4-inch thick slices.  Peel and slice the shallot into 1/4-inch slices.  Arrange the cabbage slices on the prepared baking sheet and divide the shallot pieces on top of each.  Drizzle all evenly with 2 tablespoons oil (I used avocado or safflower oil which are suitable for high heat cooking.)  Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.  Roast in oven for 20 minutes.  Slice prosciutto into 1/2-inch ribbons.  Top partially cooked (after 20 minutes) cabbage slices with prosciutto ribbons.  Return to oven and continue to roast for 15-20 minutes or until the prosciutto is crisped and the edges of the cabbage are charred.  Remove from oven, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and drizzle with balsamic glaze*.

*NOTES:

You can purchase balsamic glaze or you can make your own balsamic reduction, below.  It would be fine to drizzle the roasted cabbage slices with a teaspoon regular balsamic vinegar as well.

Balsamic Reduction:  Heat 1 cup good quality balsamic vinegar over medium-high heat until it comes to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until reduced to ¼ cup.  Allow to cool.

Printable Recipe: Roasted Cabbage

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I hope you enjoy the recipe!  Tina ( :

Double Chocolate Pavlova Recipe

Are you ready for some RED-HOT LOVE in the kitchen?  

I thought so!  Well, as you’ll see this recipe brings all that and more!  

One of the things I LOVE most to do in the kitchen is to conquer.  No, I’m not talking Game of Thrones type conquering; I’m talking about dominating your fears in the kitchen.  Recipes, techniques, equipment you’ve never used before can be intimidating.  I LOVE the feeling when you go outside your arsenal of  “comfortable” and conquer something new!  It makes me feel like Daenerys Targaryen walking through RED-HOT fire! 

Something I was intimidated to try is called a Pavlova – just the name made it sounds all kinds of fancy pants.  Then I saw one made on the Food Network and it didn’t look so hard.  It seemed a perfect recipe to use my new best friend in the kitchen – my brand spanking new RED-HOT KitchenAid Stand Mixer.  Having used a hand mixer all my life, I have been having so much fun learning all this machine can conquer.  In this recipe, it is the master of the egg whites.

The Pavlova is said to have been named for the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.  The dessert started appearing in Australia and New Zealand after her tours there in the 1920’s.  There is much HOT debate between the two countries over who actually originated the recipe.

A Pavlova is a meringue-like base that is crisp and crackly on the outside and marshmallowy on the inside.  It starts in a HOT oven, then it gently cools with the oven door propped open.  The first one I made was a traditional version topped with lemon curd, whipped cream and berries.  Thinking ahead to Valentine’s Day, I created a double chocolate version, in a heart shape that is topped with whipped cream and RED berries.  I just LOVE the textures of this Pavlova – it’s crunchy, chewy, creamy and juicy all at once.  Hope your Valentine’s Day is RED-HOT and full of LOVE and chocolate! 

(From my Balanced Eats column in Main Line Media News)

Make heart shape:

Whip up the Pavlova:

Double Chocolate Pavlova Recipe
Christina Verrelli – epicuricloud.com

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:
Pavlova:
1 cup superfine sugar (see Note)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 egg whites, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Whipped Cream:
1½ cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla

Berries of your choice

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Fold a 9”x12” piece of paper in half widthwise.  Draw a half heart shape starting at the fold.  Cut out.  Unfold and lay the heart in the center of the parchment and trace with a pencil.  Turn the parchment over so the pencil line is on the bottom.  Lightly dust the parchment with a little cocoa or cornstarch – this helps prevent sticking.  In small bowl, mix together sugar and cornstarch.  

Using stand mixer with wire whip or hand mixer (may take a little longer using hand mixer) on medium speed, beat the egg whites and salt to soft peaks (about 4 minutes using stand mixer).  Add water and continue to beat until soft peaks form again (about 2 minutes using stand mixer).  Add sugar/cornstarch mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time while the mixer is running.  Continue to beat until all sugar mixture is blended in and then for 1 minute longer.  Add vinegar and vanilla and beat on high for 5 minutes (longer if using hand mixer) or until the mixture is glossy and stiff.  Sprinkle the cocoa powder and the chocolate chips over the mixture and gently fold in. 

Spoon the mixture onto the shape of the heart marked on the parchment.  Smooth the top and sides.  It will be about 2-3 inches thick. 

Turn the oven down to 300 degrees and place the baking sheet on the center rack.  Bake for about 1 hour – 1 hr. 10 min. or until the outside is hard and cracked and the inside looks like chocolatey marshmallow.  Turn oven off, prop oven door open with the handle of a wooden spoon and allow it to cool in oven for 1 hour.  

When ready to serve, whip cream until slightly thickened, add sugar and vanilla and continue to whip until it holds soft peaks.   Spread whipped cream over Pavlova and top with fresh berries.

Notes:
-You can buy superfine sugar (Domino makes one) or you can make your own by running granulated sugar through the food processor on high for about 30-45 seconds.
-You can make the Pavlova ahead and wrap tightly with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container for about 2 days.

Printable Recipe: Double Chocolate Pavlova

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Thanks for spending some time in the cloud with me.  I hope you love the recipe!

Tina ( :