Tag Archives: slow cooker

Sweet and Sour Made Easy

Anyone else LOVE sweet and sour chicken from Chinese restaurants? Thought so. But don’t you feel a little guilty afterwards? Maybe.

Well, this sweet and sour chicken recipe is super easy AND healthier than the fried version. Why? Because it’s made in the crock pot. You can throw all the ingredients together in the morning before work, whip up some rice when you get home, and boom! Delicious and healthy sweet and sour chicken. And I promise you won’t miss the fried!

I found the original recipe from Cooking Classy on foodgawker. I didn’t change too much…mostly just the cooking times, increased the liquids (I like a lot of sauce) and the amount of veggies.

This dish is perfect for the summer, because the crock pot won’t heat up your kitchen. So make this recipe soon!!


Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken
(Serves 4-6)

1 1/2 – 2 lbs. chicken tenderloins
2 c. low sodium chicken broth, plus 1/3 cup
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. rice wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 c. low sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp. tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 – 1 tsp. Sriracha sauce OR 1/4 tsp. red pepper flake (optional)
1 c. diced fresh or frozen pineapple chunks
1 large bell pepper, color of your choosing, diced
1 large yellow or red onion, diced
1/3 c. cornstarch
Sesame seeds for garnish, optional

In your slow cooker, combine the 2 cups of chicken broth, sugars, vinegar, lemon, soy sauce, tomato paste, garlic, ginger, pepper and optional Sriracha or red pepper flake. Stir to combine. Add chicken tenderloins, pineapple, bell pepper, and onion. Combine with the sauce.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. About 30-45 minutes before you’re ready to eat, whisk together 1/3 cup of reserved chicken broth and 1/3 cup cornstarch. Pour into the crock pot and gently mix in. The chicken will be tender enough to break up into smaller pieces, but don’t break it up too much! Cook until the sauce thickens, about 30-45 minutes. Serve over white or brown rice. Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.

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Last Supper

Yup. This entry is all about the last meal I would ever eat if I had the choice. No, it’s not a fancy $50 steak or a ridiculously complicated, labor-intensive recipe.

It’s chicken and dumplings.

Ever since I was little, my mom would make this as a special treat. Even when I went to college, it was always my requested dish when I came home to visit.

Our family recipe uses white flour to make the dumplings (or Bisquick as we sometimes got lazy), along with bone-in chicken breasts boiled with carrots, celery, onion and spices. It created a chicken stock like broth, and when you boil the dumplings in it, it thickens up into a delicious gravy.

All in all, it was a meal I never attempted to make myself, but when I saw this chicken and dumplings recipe from The Gracious Pantry, I had to give it a go.

It uses a crockpot, so no need to watch the pot to make sure it doesn’t boil over. Bonus: I could put it together before playing football all day and it would be ready to eat when Tim and I got home!

I also like that the recipe uses whole-wheat flour. I incorporated some touches from my family recipe (like parsley, bay leaf and a few cloves of garlic instead of garlic powder).

You will seriously enjoy this meal, if you enjoy comfort food. And who doesn’t like comfort food?

Doesn't look like much...but man is it delicious

Chicken and Dumplings
(Serves 6)

For the Chicken:

3 large chicken breasts, diced into about 1” cubes
6 c. reduced-sodium chicken stock
1 large onion, diced
1 16 oz. pkg. carrots, either whole (sliced ¼” thick) or baby carrots
1 16. oz. pkg. celery, sliced ¼” thick
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. celery seed
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. parsley
Salt and pepper

For the Dumplings:

2 c. whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 c. milk

  1. Turn your crockpot on high and add in the chicken stock and bay leaves.
  2. In a large pan, toss in the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, celery seed and salt and pepper (about 1 tsp & ½ tsp respectively). Cook over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes until the onions start to become translucent and the carrots become slightly soft.
  3. Add the chicken, veggies, and parsley into the crockpot. Stir.
  4. To prepare the dumpling dough: mix dry ingredients together then add in the olive oil and milk. Mix until just combined
  5. When the broth is hot, drop by rounded tablespoons (like making cookies) into the broth all around the top of the surface.
  6. Cover and cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
  7. The dumplings will create a crust on top, so when they’re cooked, you can break them up and mix it around. Cook for a little longer after gently mixing so the broth gets a little thicker.
  8. Serve and enjoy when the chicken is cooked through!

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