Crockpots Aren't Just For Soup

Do you bring out your crockpot and put it back to work when falls arrives? I find that many people don't even think about using their crock pot during the summer. That is a mystery to me.

Crockpots can make summer foods or the accompaniments to a grilled meal even easier. If you are going to grill chicken, why not make a pot of red beans and rice as a side dish? How about crockpot roasted summer vegetables or a big batch of taco or burrito filling? Taco meat is great for a summer salad. You can plan ahead and freeze leftovers.

Forget the grocery store rotisserie chicken. Put a whole chicken in the crockpot with a few seasonings before you leave for work in the morning and come home to a healthier, tastier version of the store cooked chicken.

An outdoor picnic with pulled pork sandwiches and coleslaw is standard fare for summer. Or maybe, a french dip sandwich with peppers? The crockpot is perfect for cooking meat in seasonings to that tender fall apart stage.

And why not soup in the summer? Sometimes, I want a less filling meal. A crockpot of a broth based veggie soup with a crusty bread is an excellent light meal for the summer time. It is also a great way to use the wonderful fresh summer veggies.

Do you ever go to an Italian restaurant and order spaghetti or lasagna even in the summer? Why not put the ingredients in the crockpot and dinner can be ready when you get home from work.

B-B-Q beans to go with the ribs - yummy out of the crockpot and you haven't stood over a hot stove for hours stirring and watching. That crockpot will also keep them at serving temp and can be plugged in outside (use proper electrical outlets please!).

One more consideration - your crockpot doesn't heat up the house. It saves you time and reduces your energy costs. It costs about 2 - 3 cents an hour to use your crockpot. It costs 50 - 60 cents an hour to use your oven. Even if your crockpot cooks for 8 hours that is considerably less than one hour in the oven.

There are so many resources for excellent crockpot recipes suitable for summer. So pull your crockpot out of the back of the cupboard and bring it back into your kitchen for tasty summer meals.