365 Days of Slow Cooking
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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Low Carb Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole with Eggs, Sausage, Cheese, Leeks, Mushrooms and Cauliflower

This post is brought to you by Sargento®. The content and opinions expressed are always my own.

A savory, low carb breakfast casserole made in the slow cooker with eggs, cauliflower, leeks, mushrooms, sausage and shredded sharp cheddar cheese. 
A savory, low carb breakfast casserole made in the slow cooker with eggs, cauliflower, leeks, mushrooms, sausage and shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

You know what's been fun for me and my kids lately? Watching cooking shows together! They love the Chopped Junior show and the Kids Baking Championship on the Food Network. They'll come home from school and watch an episode or two that they have recorded. The other night my 7 year old son comes into the kitchen and gets a little grater and an orange and starts zesting an orange. When I ask him what he's doing he tells me that he learned it from the cooking show. Um, but what are you going to do with that zest? He doesn't know. I had a good laugh at that one.

When I'm in the kitchen, sometimes I like to pretend I have to make something in a certain amount of time or with only a limited number of ingredients. It actually makes me a lot more creative to have limitations. Weird, right?

Well this recipe was that way for sure. What would you make if you had to make a recipe with Sargento Cheese, cauliflower, crimini mushrooms and leeks? I played around with the idea of making some sort of soup but decided against it...I just wasn't sure how it would turn out. Instead, I decided to make an egg casserole in the slow cooker. You could totally make this as breakfast for dinner in you wanted. I loved how the cauliflower was sort of the base of the dish. And although very healthy and low calorie, it almost took the place of the regular hashbrowns you'd typically use in a recipe like this. Of course you can't eat a breakfast casserole without a healthy amount of cheese on top. I went with the Sargento sharp cheddar because it's a high quality cheese that is cut from blocks of 100% real, natural cheese. I love using sharp cheddar for recipes like this...it just adds so much more flavor than mild cheddar.

I really want to know what you would make with these ingredients! Pretend you're on Chopped, give yourself a time limit and let your imagination run while. Let me know it turns out. I also really think you should enter your recipe into the Food Network Chopped Challenge. You could with $5000 and a trip to NYC to compete in a televised Chopped cooking challenge for $10,000. Seriously, wouldn't that be so cool? I always wonder how I would fare in a challenge like that...they never use slow cookers on those shows, so I can imagine that I would probably be the weakest link.

You're going to start this recipe off with cauliflower florets. I cut mine fairly small because I wanted them to blend into the dish instead of getting a big chunk of cauliflower when I stuck my fork in for a bite. I slightly blanched the cauliflower (in the microwave for easiness sake) and then drained it and added it to the bottom of the slow cooker.

How to Clean and Cut Leeks (and 10 recipes that use leeks)

I don't use them often but when I do I never remember how to clean them and cut them and which part to eat (is it the leafy green part or the white part?).

So I'm actually writing this post for myself so that I can reference it in the future. If it helps you too then WAHOO! Chances are, you are smarter than me and already know this :) If that is the case then you can move on to bigger and better things like making...

Cheesy Potato and Leek Soup
Ham and Bean Soup
Potato and Bacon Soup
Bacon Brussels Leek Pizza
Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Cranberries and Leeks
Spaghetti with Leek Alfredo
Soba Noodles with Leeks
Homemade Macaroni and Cheese with Ham and Leeks
Green Curry Soup with Cauliflower and Leeks
Skillet Poached Eggs with Spinach and Leeks

Monday, February 8, 2016

Easy Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

Easy slow cooker recipe for Louisiana red beans and rice--not too spicy but plenty of flavor!
Easy slow cooker recipe for Louisiana red beans and rice--not too spicy but plenty of flavor!

Seeing as tomorrow is Mardi Gras, I decided to make a slow cooker red beans and rice recipe to celebrate. As I started taking pictures of this recipe my kids were home from school with some friends. They were all hungry so I scooped them a bowl of beans and rice. They loved this recipe! "Can you give my mom that recipe? It's so good!" I didn't know if the kids would like it because it's a bit spicy (not bad) but they did. Yay!

This recipe is really easy. I debated on whether to make dried red beans or just use canned beans. I decided to just use canned beans for the sake of time but if you're interested I'll come up with a dried bean recipe in the future. It would be super easy (but just take more time to cook).

This recipe uses easy to find ingredients. The only thing I had to search for was the Andouille sausage (a cajun-seasoned sausage). There was only one brand available at the grocery store that I went to, but I did find it.

Ingredients for red beans and rice

I like to soften up my onions and bloom the spices at the same time using the microwave. Don't laugh--I actually learned this method from America's Test Kitchen. No need to dirty a pan, just use a medium microwave safe bowl.

saute onions in the microwave easily

You'll pile the softened onions, the sausage, drained beans, diced green peppers and all the other ingredients into the slow cooker and turn it on for a few hours and walk away. I decided to cook the rice separately on the stove because I have gotten mixed results with rice in the slow cooker and I just didn't want to take the chance that this wouldn't work out. It was a good choice. I liked the dry rice paired with a wetter almost stew-like beans and sausage.

Get your Cajun on and make some red beans and rice!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Two question survey

Hi there,
Can you please take this 2 question survey? It should take less than 60 seconds. I so appreciate it, I truly value your opinion.