Crock Pot Recipe for Vegetables …Easy!

Looking For an Easy Crock Pot Recipe for Vegetables ???

Crock Pot Roasted Vegetables

I love oven roasted vegetables and now I’m going to show you how to make an easy crockpot recipe for roasted vegetables.  The secret ingredient is one packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing Mix.  

Here is the Crockpot Recipe for Roasted Vegetables

Crock Pot Roasted Veggies
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 6 cups fresh vegetables ( broccoli, baby carrots, cauliflower, etc)
  • 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing Mix
  • ¼ cup water
Instructions
  1. Spray the crock pot with cooking spray. (I used my 2 quart insert)
  2. Wash and trim the vegetables and put them into the crock pot.
  3. Sprinkle with the dry ranch salad dressing mix
  4. sprinkle with the water.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 2½ to 3 hours.

You can watch my Video Tutorial for this easy crockpot recipe here:

 

Here are the ingredients for this easy crockpot recipe…Only 2 main ingredients…Easy!

Crock Pot Roasted Vegetables Ingredients

 

You can use any combination of fresh vegetables that you like.I like the combination of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower.  

Fresh Vegetables for Crock Pot Roasted Vegetables

Add all of the vegetables to the crock pot.  Sprinkle with the dry mix.  Sprinkle the water over all.  Stir, cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

There are many advantages of crockpot cooking.

  1. Crockpot cooking is convenient!  Crockpot recipes allow you to throw everything in the crockpot in the morning and come home to a delicious home cooked meal in the evening.
  2. A crockpot does not heat up the kitchen the way the oven does and that is especially important during the hot summer months.
  3. Crockpots are portable so they are great to take to potlucks and parties.  Just plug the crockpot in when you get there and it will keep the food warm for hours!

What would be your favorite vegetables for this easy crockpot recipe?  Share your ideas in the comments section below. 

Be Sure to Try These Other Make Life Special Crockpot Recipes!

Vickie’s Mom’s Sunday Pot Roast Dinner

Cooker Chops – Great for Easy Entertaining!

Vickie’s Italian Beef Recipe

Remember, “Let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy!”

 

 

Video: Crock Pot Roasted Veggies


Crock Pot Roasted Veggies are quick, easy and healthy!


Potato Smashers for Easy Potato Recipes

Looking for some easy potato recipes?

Potato Smashers are like Potato Skins, covered with crisp bacon and sharp cheddar cheese…but on a grander scale!  You can make these in about 15 minutes and your family and friends will rave!

Print the recipe here:

Potato Smashers
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 8 small new red potatoes, about 2 inches in diameter
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons Zesty Italian Salad Dressing
  • ½ to 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Place potatoes and water in 2 quart microwavable bowl. Microwave, uncovered, om HIGH for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Let stand a couple of minutes to cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in large skillet 8 minutes or so..until crisp, turning frequently. Drain on paper towels, leaving the grease in the skillet.
  3. Drain the potatoes, press each potato with the bottom of a small bowl or saucer to flatten to ½ inch thickness.
  4. Heat Italian dressing in the skillet with the bacon grease. Add potatoes; cook 4 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown.
  5. Meanwhile, crumble bacon. Turn the potatoes over; sprinkle with the cheese and bacon.
  6. Cover skillet with lid and cook an additional 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Potato Smashers Ingredients 

Place potatoes and water in 2 quart microwavable dish.  Microwave, uncovered on HIGH for 10 minutes…

Microwave Potatoes

Cook the bacon…and save the grease!  You are going to brown the cooked potatoes in that grease in a few minutes!

Cook Bacon

 

Drain the potatoes and “smash” each one with the bottom of a small bowl or saucer..

Smash Potatoes

 

Heat the dressing in a large skillet with the bacon grease..add the potatoes. 

Add Italian Dressing to Potato Smashers

 

Use kitchen scissors to crumble the crisp bacon.

Crumble Bacon with Kitchen Scissors

 

Cook the potatoes 4  minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown.  Turn the potatoes over.

Flip Potato Smashers

 

Top with bacon and cheese.

Top Potato Smashers with Bacon and cheddar Cheese

 

Serve….

Potato Smashers

This is one of my favorite potato recipes!

Video: Potato Smashers

Potato Smashers are loaded with bacon and cheddar cheese.

You Have To Make These Little Cheese Bread Bites!

Little Cheese Bread Bites are hard to resist!

I always make a double batch of Little Cheese Bread Bites because 10 of these is just not enough at our house!  These are great as an appetizer or to serve with soup or a salad.  Watch the Make Life Special YouTube video and see just how easy these are to make!  

 

Little Cheese Bread  Bites are great to serve as a appetizer or with your meal. Only 3 main ingredients…what could be easier?  Enjoy!

Little Cheesy Bites
 
Recipe type: appetizer, bread
Ingredients
  • 5 oz jar Old English Cheese Spread
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup flour
  • dash of salt (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine the cheese spread and melted butter in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Add flour and a dash of salt. Mix well.
  3. Roll into small balls and refrigerate for one hour or longer.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place balls on a greased baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes. Balls will flatten as they cook. Serve hot.
  6. Makes about 10 Little Cheesy Bites.

 

Note:  The Kraft Old English Cheese Spread is found in the pasta section or the deli section of your grocery.

Here is another Make Life Special Cheese Bread recipe that is a rustic bread.  Easy Cheese Bread 

 

 

Moroccan Lamb Chops AKA My Rockin’ Lamb Chops

Moroccan Lamb Chops Pinterest

Lamb Chops are absolutely delicious!  These are so easy to make –marinated for 15 minutes and then grilled to perfection!  They are melt-in-your-mouth good!

Moroccan Lamb Chops AKA My Rockin' Lamb Chops
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Meat - Other
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Let lamb chops set out about 15 minutes. Then drizzle lightly with the Moroccan Olive Oil and the Bergamot Lemon Balsamic Vinegar.
  2. Brush to evenly distribute. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  3. Grill 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Watch closely because the olive oil may cause the grill to flame.

Here are the stars of this recipe…..only 3 main ingredients!

Moroccan Lamb Chops Ingredients

Now, about the Moroccan Olive Oil and  Bergamot Lemon Balsamic Vinegar….I always try to use ingredients that are readily available.  These two ingredients are so great, I had to use them.  I get them from The Olive Oil Marketplace which is located in Alton, Il – about 30 miles from here.  If you don’t have an olive oil market close by, you can order these online.  I’m going to be doing a big feature on this shop after the first of the year.  The owners of  the store LOVE to cook!   So watch for some delicious  recipes to come from this joint effort!

Moroccan Lamb Chops Olice Oil and Balsamic Vinegar

 

And about the lamb chops….I just called my local butcher and they got them for me.  While they don’t carry them in the case, they can usually order them and have them in 24 hours.

 

Drizzle with the Moroccan Olive Oil and Bergamot Lemon Balsamic Vinegar.   

Moroccan lamb Chops Drizzle w Balsamic Vinegar

 

Moroccan Lamb Chops - Salt, Pepper & Brush

 

Let the lamb chops marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.  Grill for 5 minutes on each side.  

Serving Idea

Enjoy!

Moroccan Lamb Chops Tablescape 

 

Robust Risotto

Risotto originated in Italy and is a rice dish that is cooked in broth to a creamy (dreamy!!)  consistency.  Risotto can be served as a first course – with some crusty bread – as we are doing  here.  As a first course, it is great paired with a Brut Champagne.  Check out this great pairing at Velvet Palate.

Risotto is typically cooked in a meat, fish or vegetable based broth.  This recipe uses chicken broth ( low sodium) .  Many types of Risotto contain Parmesan cheese, butter and onion.  This recipe uses Parmesan cheese, butter and shallots.  Then we ramp it up to robust by adding 1/4 pound diced asparagus, 1/4 pound sliced shiitake mushrooms and Prosciutto (which is a type of Italian bacon).

You have to use a high starch rice to make risotto and this recipe uses Arborio Rice.  This type of rice has the ability to absorb liquids and to release starch and so it is stickier than the long grain rice varieties.  

While there are many variations on Risotto, the basic preparation remains the same.  

  • The rice is first cooked in onion ( or shallots ) and butter or olive oil to coat each grain in a film of fat.  
  • Then, red or white wine is added and has to be absorbed by the grains.  This recipe uses white wine.
  • When the wine is absorbed, the heat is raised to medium and very hot stock ( I used chicken stock in this recipe) is added in small amounts while stirring gently, almost constantly ( this process is what creates the smooth creamy-textured liquid).  
  • At this point, it is removed from the heat and the finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is vigorously stirred in to make the texture as creamy and smooth as possible.  
  • This recipe adds the cooked asparagus and mushrooms at this point and is then topped with the scrumptious cooked prosciutto for a robust and over the top risotto!             

Robust Risotto
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth, heated
  • 4 ounces diced prosciutto
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ¼ pound asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into small pieces
  • ¼ pound sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1½ cups arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine, heated
  • 1 cup to 1½ cups shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Simmer the broht in a saucepan. Keep warm.
  2. Heat the wine in a separate saucepan and keep warm.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to large pan and heat. Saute the prosciutto for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  4. Add the asparagus and saute 2 minutes. As they begin to get tender, add the sliced mushroom and cook an additional 3 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the liquid is removed. ( do not include any of this liquid or the risotto will not be creamy!). Remove from skillet and set aside.
  5. Add the additional 1 tablesppon of olive oil to the skillet and sweat the shallots and garlic until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the DRY rice and saute until each grain is coated in oil.
  6. Deglaze the pan with the warm white wine and stir until completely absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Now, start adding the hot broth to the pan in ½ cup increments; simmer and stir frequently until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next, about 45 minutes total.
  8. Lastly, stir in the cooked asparagus, mushrooms and the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Season with salt and pepper, top with cooked prosciutto.
  9. Enjoy!!

Be sure to check out Nicole’s Mushroom Risotto which is a more delicate risotto recipe with a creamy cheesy texture.

This Robust Risotto is a little more time consuming than my other Make Life Special recipes but I was requested to feature this recipe.  I think it is really worth the effort because the layers of flavors in this dish are outstanding.  This really is very easy to make.  Here are the how-to photos:

Ingredients….

 

Crisply cooked Prosciutto ….

 

Heating the liquids….

 

Saute the asparagus and then add the mushrooms….

 

Ladle the broth into the rice…

 

Grate the cheese…

 

Ingredients ready to add to the Risotto mixture….

 

Risotto after it has absorbed all of the liquid…

 

Stir in the cheese, asparagus and mushrooms….

Risotto is great to serve as a first course with crusty bread or as a side dish with pork.

Remember,” Let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!”  

 

Crock Pot Seasoning Mix: Hearty Beef Stew

Crock Pot Seasoning Mixes are new in grocery stores and they are a great time saver for busy cooks.  There are currently three mixes available:

These were recently featured in Family Circle Magazine as a “Big Hit”….and I agree!

I reviewed the BBQ Pulled Pork Seasoning mix under a separate post:  BBQ Pulled Pork Seasoning Mix Review .  I really loved the BBQ Pulled Pork Seasoning Mix and was just as pleased with the Hearty Beef Stew Seasoning Mix.  The mix produced a stew with a deep and hearty flavor that simmered in the crock pot all day.

I followed the directions on the packet for the beef stew.  It only took a few minutes to assemble the stew and then the crock pot did the rest of the work!

The stew cooked on low for 8 hours and the flavor was really amazing!  If you are in a hurry, you can cook it on high for only 4 hours. 

In addition to beef stew, this seasoning packet can be used to make several other recipes in the crock pot.  The Crock Pot Seasoning Mix  website has several delicious recipes I want to try.  I want to make the Beef Burgundy next — it looks so easy and good!

    I also want to try the Slow Cooked Pepper Steak recipe.    

I love the versatility of the Crock Pot Seasoning Mixes.  The Hearty Beef Stew Seasoning Mix can be used to make beef stew or a variety of other great dishes such as the two I’ve shown above. 

My next review will be on the Savory Pot Roast Seasoning Mix.  I have decided to make Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Smashed Potatoes with the Savory Pot Roast Seasoning Mix.  This recipe is on the Crock Pot Seasoning Mix website. 

I received a packet of the Crock Pot Hearty Beef Stew Seasoning Mix for this review.  No compensation was received.  These are my honest and true opinions.  

 

Crock-Pot Seasoning BBQ Pulled Pork Mix Review

Crock-Pot Seasoning Mixes have just been released in stores and what better time of year than fall to review these down-home, comfort food creations!  Any time of year is perfect for crock pot cooking.  In the spring and summer, crock pot cooking helps keep your kitchen cool.  In the fall and winter, crock pot cooking allows you to create delicious soups, stews and main dishes that are full of that wonderful slow cooked flavor.

I think the Crock-Pot Seasoning Mixes are really exciting!  They are a big time saver for a busy cook and allow you to create easy and creative main dishes with only a few ingredients.  There are currently three mixes that are available:

  • BBQ Pulled Pork
  • Savory Pot Roast Mix
  • Hearty Beef Stew Mix

The BBQ Pulled Pork was first on my list!  As many of you know, I have deep Southern roots and BBQ is near and dear to my heart. ( In fact, I was shocked when I moved north and discovered that there is not one BBQ barn, shack, or restaurant within a 60 mile radius of here!)

I made the BBQ Pulled Pork exactly as the directions on the packet suggested.  I used a  3 pound Boston Butt roast along with the Crock-Pot BBQ Pulled Pork Seasoning Mix, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup dark  brown sugar, 1/3 cup cider vinegar and 1 cup water.  I cannot even begin to describe the wonderful aromas that came drifting out of my kitchen as the pulled pork cooked away in the crock-pot all day!

At the end of the cooking time, I “pulled” the pork……

……and served it up on buns!

I LOVED the flavor of this pulled pork!  It reminded me of BBQ I used to eat in the South —-sweet yet spicy.  I will definitely make this again ( and again ) when I’m in the BBQ mood. 

The Crock-Pot Seasoning Web Site  has additional recipes you can make that are creative uses for these mixes.  I can’t wait to try their recipe for BBQ Apple Pork Chops!  Thick pork chops cook in the slow cooker with onion, apples, apple juice, white vinegar, mustard and of course the Crock-Pot BBQ Pulled Pork Seasoning Mix.  It looks absolutely wonderful!  I’ll be reviewing the other mixes as well, but for now…..I’m thinking about having another Pulled Pork Sandwich!

Note:  I received the Crock-Pot BBQ Pulled Pork Seasoning Mix to use in the review.  No compensation was received.  These are my true and honest opinions. 

Praline Topped Brie

Praline Topped Brie is a decadent appetizer that can be whipped up in 5 minutes and is sure to impress your guests!  What could be better than the gooey savory flavor of warm brie hot out of the oven – topped with the sweet delight of orange praline topping!

To view the YouTube step by step cooking tutorial for this recipe, click here:  Praline Topped Brie


Praline Topped Brie
 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4 to 6
Ingredients
  • 8 oz OR 13 oz round of brie cheese
  • ½ cup orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup pecans, chopped and toasted
  • Crackers or toasted baguette-style French bread for serving
Instructions
  1. Place pecans in 350 degree oven for 5 minutes to toast.
  2. Trim top rind from brie round .
  3. Place brie in baking dish.
  4. Mix the orange marmalade and brown sugar together in a small bowl, Spread on top of the cheese.
  5. Sprinkle with toasted pecans.
  6. Bake in a 350 degree oven about 15 minutes or until cheese is slightly softened and topping is bubbly.
  7. Serve with crackers or bread slices.

 

Place the pecans in a baking dish and lightly toast in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes.

Trim the top off of the brie round.

Place the round in an ovenproof baking dish.

Mix the orange marmalade and brown sugar together in a small bowl.

Spread the topping on the brie.

Sprinkle with toasted pecans.

Bake in a 350 degree oven about 15 minutes or until cheese is slightly softened and topping is bubbly.

Remove from oven and serve.

Praline Topped Brie hot out of the oven:

Serve with crackers or hot bread.  Enjoy!

Remember, let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  

 

Vickie’s Almost Famous Chili

Fall is for football games, pumpkins and mums at the front door and a big pot of Chili simmering on the stove.   I was in a Chili Cook Off  years ago with several girlfriends and I discovered that there are about as many recipes for Chili as there are people who love it!  We called our team “The Red Hot Chili Peppers”.  Our recipe had about 25 ingredients and cooked all afternoon.  We won the Chili Cook Off but I’m sure none of us ever made that Chili recipe again because it had too many ingredients and cooked too long for all of our busy schedules.  That’s why I call my recipe “Almost Famous”.  I never won a Chili Cook Off with this recipe – but it scored big with everyone who has ever tasted it.

This recipe only has to simmer 15 minutes – so it can easily be cooked after a long day at work.  So, grab your Chili pot and get ready to round up some great chili for your gang!

 

Vickie's Almost Famous Chili
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce
  • 15 ounces chili beans ( I use medium, but feel free to use mild or hot)
  • 15 ounces dark red kidney beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons instant dried onion flakes
  • 2 packages chili seasoning packets ( that are supposed to each season 1 pound of beef)
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • Condiments to sprinkle on top of each bowl of chili: chopped onions, Fritos corn chips, sour cream, grated cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Brown ground beef and drain well.
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Stir to blend well.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Serve piping hot with the condiments sprinkled on top. Enjoy!

Brown the ground beef and drain well.

Add the remaining chili ingredients and stir to blend well.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Ladle up a big bowl of this yummy chili and serve it topped with chopped onions, Fritos corn chips, a big dollop of sour cream and some shredded cheddar cheese sprinkled on top.

Remember, let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy!

 

 

Make Life Special is now a YouTube Partner

Make Life Special launched YouTube videos on July 31, 2012.  The how-to tutorial videos feature recipes from this website.  We were notified on October 7, 2012 that Make Life Special has been accepted as a new YouTube Partner.  YouTube offers Partner status based on relevant content , popularity of the videos and the level of commitment to adding and maintaining the videos.   You can view the videos on YouTube by going to our channel:  MakeLifeSpecial : Visit in Vickie’s Kitchen.  New videos are being added every week.

 

 

Make Life Special
2 Cypress Rd Litchfield, IL 62056 US
Phone: 217-556-8297 Website: http://www.makelifespecial.com