I grew up eating shepherd’s pie and still enjoy making it. It’s a cheap, filling meal that can be a complete meal in one dish. Today I’m showing you how I made it in my crock pot (although I often make it in the oven).

Ingredients:

  • Mashed Potatoes – This is a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes!
  • 1 lb. hamburger meat
  • Veggies washed and cut into pieces – You can do all kinds of veggies, but my favorite are carrots, onions, celery and corn.
  • 1 10.5 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder
  • Cheese – optional

Cook your meat, drain and put it in the bottom of the crock. Splash with some Worcestershire and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. The next layer is the veggies, then mix the milk and cream of mushroom soup and pour it on. The last layer is the mashed potatoes. Cook for on high for 4 hours (or less if your crock pot cooks really hot like mine). If you want you can sprinkle some cheese on top towards the end.

Variation: Sometimes I make it like a recipe in my Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook called Supper-In-a-Dish. Instead of using mashed potatoes, just slice the potatoes and pour the milk/cream of mushroom mix on top, but Cameron and I have decided we like the mashed potato version better.

Crock Pot Tip: Move the crock out of the kitchen! Even though a crock pot doesn’t heat up the house as much as the oven, in our little home, I can still feel the temperature rise when the crock pot’s on. A couple of times I’ve moved the crock pot out to our shed to cook. This not only keeps the house cool, but also frees up more counter space.

This post is linked at Tammy’s Recipes for Kitchen Tip Tuesdays.

 

I had some fresh oregano that I needed to use, so I decided to make up some spaghetti sauce to freeze for future use. This sauce can be used not only for spaghetti, but also for pizza, lasagna, chicken Parmesan…you get the idea. You can even throw in some browned ground beef if you want.  It can simmer on your stove top or in your crock pot (see tip about herbs in crock pot below).

Ingredients:

  • 1 can tomato sauce (14.5 oz)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 2 cans tomato paste (6 oz. each)
  • 1/2  tomato sauce can of water
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • pepper
  • salt
  • oregano (fresh or dried)
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar (more if you like your sauce sweeter)
  • olive oil

Sauté onions and pepper in olive oil. Once they’re almost soft add the garlic and cook a few seconds more. Add all the ingredients to the crock pot, tasting to make sure you have the right amounts of seasonings. Turn on low and cook at least 2 hours. I cooked mine for a few hours, since I was gone, but Crockin’ Girls told me 2 is enough.

If you want to freeze it just let it cool and put in labeled freezer bags.

Crock Pot Tip: “Ground herbs and spices tend to dissipate over long cooking times, so it’s best to add them near the end of cooking. Whole herbs release flavors over time, so are a good choice for crockery cooking. You should taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary, before serving.” – Divinerecipes.com

This post is linked at Tammy’s Recipes for Kitchen Tip Tuesday, A Thrifty Mom, and Frugally Sustainable.

This isn’t really a recipe for a meal, but a recipe for shredded chicken and chicken broth that can then be used in lots of various meals and it’s super easy, frugal and healthy!!

Ingredients:

  • Whole Chicken
  • Veggie scraps (more on that later)
  • Water
  • Splash of vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bay leaf (optional)

Put the whole chicken in your crock pot (make sure you have one big enough for the whole bird). Then put in veggies. To be less wasteful, I’ve started saving veggie scraps for this. When cutting up veggies I save the tough outer skins of the onions, celery  leaves and limp celery, and carrot peelings (make sure to wash the carrots and celery). I just throw them in a bag in my freezer until I need them to make chicken broth.

Put enough water in to cover the chicken and veggies. Add a splash of vinegar, salt, pepper and a bay leaf.

Cover and cook on Low for 8-10 hours. When it’s no longer pink and the chicken easily falls off the bone, it’s ready. Let it cool until you can handle it, then take all the chicken off, discarding the bones and skin (unless you have a furry friend, who might like the skin). Strain the broth, and discard the veggies. If you want to make your broth lower in fat, put it in the fridge until a yellow skim forms on the top and take that off, it’s the fat.

Now you have chicken and broth all ready for future meals! If you’re not going to use them right away, they freeze easily.

9 cups of broth and 4 cups of chicken all for $3.60!

How much you get will depend on the size of your chicken, but with this chicken I got 9 cups of broth and 4 cups of shredded chicken. Since the chicken was on sale for 77 cents a pound I only paid $3.60 for it!

This shredded chicken works great in a lot of recipes my favorite are chicken tortilla soup, chicken quesadillas, chicken salad sandwiches, or chicken pasta salad.

The broth can be used in a lot of recipes too. I usually use it to make soups or cook rice in it to add flavor.

Crock Pot Tip from my Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook:

Don’t have enough time? A lot of dishes can be made in less time by increasing the temperature to High and cooking the dish for about half the time as is necessary on Low. -Jenny R. Unternahrer, Wayland, IA

This post is linked at Armstong Family Fare for Kitchen Tip Tuesday, who’s hosting it for Tammy’s Recipes today.

I LOVE baked potatoes! We usually top them with chili, but I really like them with just some sour cream, salt and pepper too. Yesterday I tried “baking” the potatoes in my crock and they turned out fantastic, and just as easy as making them in the oven!

  1. Scrub and pat dry your potatoes
  2. Poke a few holes in them with a  fork.
  3. Rub in oil (I used olive oil) and salt.
  4. Wrap in aluminium foil and put in your crock pot. I cooked 6 potatoes on low for 7 hours, but you may need to vary the cooking time, based on the size and number of potatoes and your crock pot.
  5. Enjoy with your favorite toppings!

Crock Pot Tip: A crock pot uses about 8 cents of electricity in 7 hours, whereas an oven uses between 16-24 cents per hour of use. I know the savings is small, but crock pots also keep your house cooler in the summer! Information from Michael Bluejay, a.k.a Mr. Electricity.

This post is shared at Tammy’s Recipes for Kitchen Tip Tuesday.

Today I have another economical crock pot recipe! This was the first time I’ve ever added broccoli to my potato soup. I had some potato and broccoli soup at a restaurant the other day and loved it so much, I thought I’d try it at home!

What you’ll need:

  • 6 potatoes Peel and cut them or leave the skins on, scrub and then cut. If you don’t have a potato scrubber click here to see how you can make one yourself.
  • 2 celery stalks diced and feel free to cut up the leaves for the soup too.
  • Quarter of an onion diced
  • 2 cups of washed and cut broccoli – I used raw, but frozen would probably work fine too.
  • 2 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon. This is optional but I think just a little bacon adds a lot of flavor.
  • 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
  • Cheese for topping
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.

Add all the ingredients, except the evaporated milk and cheese. Put enough water in the crock to just cover the veggies. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours. Before serving add the evaporated milk and serve with cheese on top or mixed in.

Crock Pot Tip: “Milk products such as cream, milk, and sour cream can curdle and separate when cooked for a long period. Add them during the last 10 minutes if cooking on High, or during the last 20-30 minutes if cooking on Low.” – Mrs. J.E. Barthold and Marilyn Yoder from my Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook

I know it’s not really soup weather, but I love this soup so much I’ll eat it when it’s 100 degrees!

I don’t usually measure all the ingredients, but I did this time so I could share the recipe. It can be varied any way you want though, skip the beans, add extra veggies, or whatever your little heart desires!

Toppings:

  • Corn tortillas cut into bit size pieces or tortilla chips. I prefer tortilla chips. This is a great way to use up those broken chips in the bottom of the bag!
  • Salsa, fresh or canned
  • Cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Lime wedges
  • Avocados
  • Jalapenos

Saute the carrots, celery and onions in olive oil until slightly tender. Put all the ingredients in a pot or crock-pot and simmer until veggies are completely tender. Serve with desired toppings and enjoy!

I’m really sorry I don’t have a picture! I kept forgetting to take one, and now the soups all gone. :(

© 2015 Purposely Frugal Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha
Performance Optimization WordPress Plugins by W3 EDGE