Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Crock Pot Easy

I've had a crock pot for many years and I'm sad to say that it doesn't get used as often as it could. I don't know if it's just me, but I find it hard to really regulate how much it's cooking the food. I know that the longer cooking things go in first and all that, but in the past, I've made things and some of the ingredients are mushy while others are under-cooked. I've found if I'm home and am able to keep an eye on it or to add some ingredients later on in the cooking time I have more success, but the "dump and leave all day" method never really worked for me. Until now. I made this because it fit in with my cleanse but I can see myself making it again at any time. It did take some advanced preparation, but it was easy and delicious!  The night before, I made a batch of salsa. 

Excuse the not-so-good photo. I took it with my phone. Anyway, I adapted the salsa recipe I've used in the past to be suitable for my cleanse. 

Tomato Salsa

3 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup red or green pepper, chopped
1 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tbsp. lime juice 
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped small (I added a few of the seeds for some kick)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Mix it all up in a big bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight. 

The next day, you'll see that the tomatoes have released a lot of their juice and it will seem kind of sloppy. That's OK. You want all that flavourful juice. Normally, this would get a dash of hot sauce to amp it up, but alas, hot sauce is made with vinegar. That's OK. This is going to get spiced up anyway. 

The dish that uses the crock pot I found while looking around on the Eat Clean site. The original called for jarred salsa, but I could not find one that didn't have vinegar and/or sugar it. I think using home made is better anyway. I increased the amounts and used tofu instead of chicken. When I buy tofu, I usually get extra firm and a lot of the time it goes straight into the freezer. When you freeze tofu, it changes the texture. It gets chewier and more porous. Once it's thawed, it will require some gentle squeezing to get all of the water out. It really holds a lot! 

Slow Cooker Mexican Tofu

1 (14-16 oz) block extra firm tofu, frozen, then thawed 
1 (19 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
1 batch salsa (above)
2 tbsp. cumin
1½-2 tbsp. chili powder 
1 tsp. salt
few grinds of black pepper

Drain liquid from tofu and squeeze with the palms of your hands. Alternately, you can put the block of tofu on a plate, top with another plate and weight it down with some heavy books or cans and leave for 20-30 minutes. I'm never usually that patient, so I just squeeze it with my hands, but don't twist or squeeze too hard or you'll end up with crumbled tofu. 
Slice into 6-8 even slices and then squeeze the slices to get out the remaining water. You don't need it dry, but this extra step will ensure that you've gotten the majority out. Placing the slices between paper towels and squeezing with your palms is a quick method. 

Cube the tofu and place into crock pot. Add all of the other ingredients and mix to evenly distribute the spices. The tofu will soak up the liquid from the salsa and it may seem dry, but do not fret. Once it's finished doing it's thing there should be some liquid on the bottom of the pot. 

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. 

Serve over brown rice

Makes 4-6 servings. 

If you want the original recipe, it's here.


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  2. I love my crock pot..I'm going to make this too!

  3. :) Looks delish. Jenn

  4. I made this yesterday and it's great. I'm looking forward to having it for dinner tonight! One thing: I thought I had chill powder but I didn't so I used chill flakes..LOL..just 1's spicy but with a beautiful, big, slow heat..not for anyone else in my house!!! The salsa rocked, used fresh tomatoes from my Mom's garden..amazing.

  5. It's super easy, isn't it? I'm glad you liked it!