I adore – adore! – this recipe for slow cooker beef with broccoli for many reasons (not the least of which is that it is a scrumptious conglomeration of cheery broccoli and tender steak in a silky sauce)…but here are two of the top reasons. First of all, it lets me enjoy one of my favorite take-out treats without any of the suspicious extra ingredients I always wonder about when I eat that take-out version. Nope, only fresh ingredients in this recipe, all pronounceable and not that many of them! And second, it cooks up in the slow cooker, so on those days when I have a feeling that I am going to walk in with a burning desire to order dinner in, I pop this in the slow cooker instead and voila! All the deliciousness in a pretty healthy version, and courtesy of my favorite kitchen appliance. Ready to toss that take-out menu? Let’s make it!
This warm (yes warm) and wonderful mustard chicken salad came out of my burning desire to eat a salad in the dead of winter, combined with the fact that I only wanted warm things to eat. I know…there just seems to be something about the fact that when it is absolutely not salad weather in any way, shape or form, that’s what I need to have for dinner. What’s a girl to do when the salad craving strikes before the calendar flips over to spring? A girl makes a warm mustard chicken salad full of warm veggies and warm chicken and a snappy mustard dressing. Salad and coziness all in the same plate. Let’s make it!
So, you know that super thick broccoli cheddar soup you get at some of those all you can eat chain restaurants? The one where there it is so thick that your spoon practically stands up by itself in the bowl and the broccoli is so cooked that it is one with the soup? This is not that soup. Nope. This is a lighter version where the soup is a gentle creamy cheddar broth and the broccoli florets are cooked separately so they have a nice little crunch. And even better, most of it happens in the slow cooker, one of the most magical appliances in my kitchen. Let’s go make some!
My favorite part of this recipe for one pan roasted chicken and vegetables is the fact that it gives me a delectable, feels-like-Sunday-dinner combination of tender roasted chicken and scrumptious veggies in practically no time. My second favorite part is that this scrumptious combo of eats roasts up all on one pan. One pan that is lined with foil. Yes, this means that after you have served it up, the clean-up consists of crumpling up that foil that it baked on and putting the pan away. No scrubbing, no soaking…as long as you can find someone else to put the dinner plates in the dishwasher, you are pretty much golden. Yep, one pan roasted chicken and vegetables means that you not only get a good and good for you supper, you can also use all that extra time for doing something that is not cleaning up the kitchen. Which brings me to my latest obsession.
This mason jar veggie macaroni and cheese is not my usual approach. When it comes to mac and cheese, I tend to be a make-it-from-scratch kind of girl, and I have a number of recipes right here on the blog that let you do just that. But every once in a while, you need to go for the box. You know the box I am talking about – the macaroni and packet of cheese mixture that we all lived on during those college and just past college days that sometimes meant the difference between supper and no supper. Boxed macaroni and cheese has come a loooong way since my college days, and when you add in veggies AND serve it out of a mason jar…it can be one fine, quick, economically delicious supper.
Just when I think I can’t possibly come up with another way to slice and dice macaroni and cheese (and please, take a look at my related posts at the bottom of this post to see what I mean!), I somehow manage to come up with another way. My brother recently asked me if I had to pick a last meal what it would be, and after much thought I have picked…macaroni and cheese. (Side note: We get along just fine, andI am almost certain this was general curiosity and I have nothing to be worried about. 😉 ) Which maybe explains all my varieties of it, and this one has two great things going for it. Lots of colorful veggies, and the whole thing cooks all together in one pot all at the same time. If that is mac and cheese heaven, I don’t know what is!