Continuing with our theme of tools kids can use in the kitchen is the crock pot. With winter upon us it’s a great time for soups, chili, and stews to keep us warm on cold winter nights. These recipes are simple enough to follow and easy to prepare using a crock pot. Older kids around the ages of 12-13 years old can use a crock pot as well as other heating implements: a stove, a skillet, etc…This age group can also read simple recipes & use a vegetable knife for preparing vegetables.
When I was brainstorming a recipe I could share using a crock pot a few ideas popped into mind: Creton (a French Canadian meat spread that’s also a family tradition), chicken enchiladas, soups, or a chili. I ruled out Creton pretty quickly after I realized the cooking time was outrageous for working households and boring for kids (the meat sits on the stove and simmers until no water is left for HOURS!!!). The second idea I ruled out simply because I wasn’t in the mood for enchiladas. I decided upon soups/chili because it was easy to prepare, it was winter, and I’m always cold!
With that being said my fiancee and I went with a vegetarian version of the recipe that I found on account of it being Friday when we tried this recipe and we’re Catholic. It’s usually a well known Catholic tradition to abstain from meat on Fridays as a way of remembering the death of Christ and preparing our hearts to celebrate the mini Easter every Sunday. As a result, we usually do Meatless Fridays instead of Meatless Mondays (still good for the environment no matter what day is chosen!).
Crock Pot Sweet and Spicy Bean Chili
29 oz. can of Kidney Beans, rinsed
1 teaspoon oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced fine
16 oz. can of corn
10 oz. can of Italian Style Diced Tomatoes
8 oz. can of plain tomato sauce
1/4 c. of low sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon fresh garlic
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1.) Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat and saute the diced red peppers, onions, and garlic with a little oil until slightly translucent
2.) Transfer to crock pot and add the remaining ingredients (beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn, chicken broth, and spices).
3.) Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or on LOW for 6 hours.
4.) Serve with any additional toppings desired.
Note: If preferred, 1 lb of ground turkey or beef can be used instead of the beans or try half ground meat and half beans.