Back to School Means Back to Crock-potting
The Teacher's Table
It’s the time of year again when schedules become hectic, when you’re running a million miles an hour, coming home exhausted and starving. Yup, school is officially back in season! Here in Southwest Florida, the kids actual start today, although teachers have been back since the end of July.
There is nothing worse than coming home so tired you can barely think and having to create a difficult meal. Yes, you want something tasty. You want something healthy. You don’t want to go out and waste money. So what do you do? I say bring on the crock-pot meals!
Words cannot describe the love I have for my crock-pot! I love that I can throw an inexpensive pound or 2 of meat and some seasonings into the crock-pot in the morning, turn it on for the day, and come home to a house bursting with the delicious smells of dinner. It makes life so much easier.
So I thought today I would share with you one of my tried and true, absolutely delicious crock-pot recipes. And bonus, once the meat is cooked you can make at least 3 different meals with it.
Everything starts off with the basic and totally drool worthy Crock-pot Beef Barbacoa. You can throw everything into the crock-pot and just leave it alone. When you get home from your busy day simply scoop the meat out onto a plate and pour the juices into a pan over high heat to reduce. This only takes a few minutes and you can shred the meat and prep the rest of the meal while the juices reduce.
Now the toughest part about dinner is deciding what to do with all this savory meat. I highly recommend that your first meal with this be Beef Barbacoa Tacos. They are easy! They are satisfying! They are a finger-licking, salsa dripping, perfect weekday meal. The recipe will feed 4 with no problems and can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd.
If your feeling energetic or you have made this tasty meat on the weekend, you might want to consider freezing it for future quick weekday meals too. I have several cups of this yummy meat frozen in 2 cup container ready to go.
If you’re not feeding a crowd, you will have Crock-pot Beef Barbacoa left over for a few other meals. I like to make Baked Beef Taquitos and Beef Enchiladas with homemade Enchilada Sauce. The Enchiladas can also be made in advance and frozen. I actually made 2 pans of these while I was making them. One to eat right away and the other I froze for future use.
If you still have just a little left over, because Mr. Teacher and I frequently do, I like to make super easy leftover quesadillas. Get a few tortillas and what every kind of cheese you have, we always try to have cheddar and peppercorn, but I have even used mozzarella or Swiss or blue cheese if I needed to. Trust me, almost anything goes! Put the cheese on top of the tortillas, add the meat and any of the following items or a combination of items: onions-cooked or raw, leftover or frozen corn, tomatoes, salsa, avocados, olives, peppers-raw, roasted, pickled, mushrooms, zucchini, cooked fruit-peaches, apricots, mango, or pineapple or any other little bits of things that are in your refrigerator. I make quesadillas for lunch nearly every Sunday and I don’t think we have ever had the some one twice! They are a great way to stretch a tiny bit of anything.
I hope these recipes will help you keep calm and your belly full during these first few weeks back.