By Ann Martin
Don’t get me wrong, when summer hits I really do enjoy cooking on the grill! There are those days throughout the summer where it just gets too hot do even cook outside. That’s when I resort to using my slow cooker. Not only does it save on electricity, but it doesn’t heat up the house either. I used to only use my slow cooker for those hearty soups, stews and meals during those frigid winter months, but I have tried out a few delicious summer recipes now too. Making a slow cooker summer meal, just takes a little time to prepare and then leaves you free to enjoy the entire summer day with family and friends and your meal will be waiting for you when get back home.
- 3 cups frozen chopped broccoli
- 1 pound frozen bay scallops
- 3/4 pound frozen raw, peeled medium-size shrimp
- 2/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3 sprigs parsley
- 1 thick slice onion
- 1 thick slice lemon
- 1/2 pound angel hair pasta
- 7 tablespoons reduced-fat basil pesto (such as Buitoni)
Coat slow cooker bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange broccoli on bottom of bowl, then top with frozen scallops and shrimp. Pour broth and wine over top, then add parsley, onion and lemon. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours or LOW for 4 hours. Drain and discard parsley, onion and lemon.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package, 7 minutes; reserve 1/2 cup water. Drain pasta; place in large serving bowl.
Add seafood and pesto to pasta; toss well to combine, adding pasta water by the tablespoonful, if needed.
Wild Rice with Chicken and Sugar Snap Peas
- 1 1/2 cups wild rice mix
- 2 3/4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 pound chicken breast tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- 8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved
- 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 head Boston lettuce
Rinse rice under cold water. Place rice in slow cooker bowl and add the broth, chicken, shallot, carrot and celery. Cover and cook on LOW for about 5 hours or until rice kernels are open but not mushy.
Remove cover and stir in snap peas, vinegar, walnuts, parsley, salt and pepper.
Remove 12 small bowl-shaped leaves from head of lettuce; rinse and pat dry. Spoon about 1/2 cup rice mixture into each lettuce cup and serve.
Creamy Summer Vegetable Stew
- 8 ounces frozen pearl onions
- 2 cups baby carrots, halved
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
- 1/2 pound zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch half-moons
- 1 15 1/2 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup light cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoons grated Asiago cheese
- 2 cups cooked white rice (optional)
Place onions, carrots, corn, broth, vinegar and 1-1/2 teaspoons herbes de Provence in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 hours.
Stir in zucchini and chickpeas; cook for 45 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together cream, cornstarch, salt, pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence; set aside.
Stir in cream mixture and tomatoes and cook an additional 15 minutes or until thickened. Sprinkle with Asiago and serve with rice, if desired.
Ann Martin is a writer for Dinnerware Center, which carries an extensive line of dinnerware and tableware sets, such as the Noritake and the Oneida Flatware. Ann is a writer for other home and cooking websites. When Ann is not writing, she enjoys spending her time reading and traveling.
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