Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Slow cookers are such a magical convenience when it comes to cooking. What other appliance can you randomly throw in five ingredients, leave for the day, and when you come home dinner is ready.  I have such wonderful memories of my mom’s crockpot as a frequent week night participant in the cooking process.  On the other hand, I hate my crockpot.  I can’t say that it doesn’t work, it just works a little too well. #thingsarenotmadeliketheyusedtobe  Six hours on ‘warm’ and my chili is a blackened blob caked to the bottom. That may be a bit of an exaggeration (but not too far off).  The ideal cooking time for my crockpot is about 4 hours on low, hardly a throw-it-in-and-leave-for-a-nine-hour-work-day type thing.  I have every intention of getting a new one, but that intention has been lingering for almost three years so its probably not going to happen anytime soon.  Now say, completely hypothetically, that you had a crockpot meal planned but then overslept and now need it ready in two hours.  This little quirk of my crockpot dearest is now completely useful.

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Slow Cooker Salsa ChickenRecipe from Semi Homemade Mom


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (frozen is fine)
1 cup salsa
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 packet taco seasoning
1/2 cup sour cream
6 tortillas


Place chicken in the bottom of your slow cooker. Sprinkle taco seasoning on chicken. In a bowl, combine soup and salsa. Pour over chicken. Cook on high 4 hours. Shred chicken with two forks and stir in sour cream. Serve on tortillas or as desired.
After two hours on high lunch is served.  The chicken went from frozen to juicy perfection.  Great flavor and a snap to prepare. This is a perfect meal for a busy weeknight or lazy Sunday lunch.

Black Bean Taco Pizza

When I was growing up every Friday we had pizza and watched TGIF.  It was the one meal a week that we ate in front of the tv instead of at the table (well Friday nights and lunch any time the Broncos had an early game on Sunday).  So shortly after we got married I decided that we would establish theme nights.  So now Friday night is pizza night.  Typically “pizza” for us is a frozen disc of dough, sauce, cheese, and uneven pepperoni but, with the occasional stroke of cooking motivations (rare for a Friday night,we have meals such as this.  Black Bean Taco Pizza is a fresh break from the norm and still uses convenience foods for a quick fix.  The original recipe used a homemade crust but, it’s Friday, so refrigerated crust it was.  This recipe was a snap to put together with such fresh ingredients.  Cilantro always adds such great flavor.  Yum!

Black Bean Taco Pizza

Recipe from The Poineer Woman


1 regrigerated pizza crust
1 can (14 Ounce) Black Beans
1 teaspoon Taco Seasoning
4 whole Corn Tortillas, Sliced Into Thin Strips
½ cups Canola Oil, For Frying
1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar
1 cup Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
1 head Green Leaf Lettuce, Sliced/shredded Thin
2 whole Ripe Tomatoes, Diced
½ cups Cilantro Leaves
¼ cups Sour Cream
3 Tablespoons Hot Sauce


Pour black beans into a saucepan. Add seasonings to taste and heat up beans over medium-low heat. Use a potato masher to mash the beans to desired texture. Continue cooking/heating beans over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until no longer runny (should be the texture of refried beans). Set aside.

In a small skillet, heat canola oil over medium heat. When hot enough to fry, drop in the tortilla strips in batches, frying quickly and removing from oil with a fork when crisp–about 30 to 45 seconds per batch. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside. (I typically burn these but they are still yummy)

Place oven rack in the bottom position in the oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Spread pizza dough on an oiled baking sheet. Spread layer of refried beans all over pizza crust. Sprinkle mixed grated cheeses over the top. Place pan in the oven (in the bottom half of the oven) and bake for 9 to 12 minutes. Watch it to make sure crust doesn’t burn.

Spanakopita Turkey Burgers

Burgers are by far one of my favorite foods.  There is just something so comforting and delicious about grilled meat patty and juicy toppings.  Recently I have been branching out from the normal beef variety. Turkey burgers are great for winter months since they are better cooked on the stove than on the grill.

Spanakopita Turkey Burgers

Recipe from Iowa Girl Eats


For the burgers

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 small red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper

1 box frozen spinach, thawed & squeezed dry of excess moisture

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 Tablespoon grill seasoning

4oz crumbled feta cheese

1 1/3 pounds 99% lean ground turkey breast

For the sauce

1 clove garlic

1/3 seedless cucumber, grated & squeezed dry of excess moisture

6oz plain Greek yogurt

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 lemon, juiced

salt and pepper

Additional ingredients needed

4 buns

Red onion, sliced

2 tomatoes, sliced

1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced in half


Heat oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Saute onion with salt & pepper until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add in garlic and saute for another minute, stirring constantly. Remove to a plate to cool.

Combine all ingredients for sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.

Combine cooked onions with spinach, oregano, grill seasoning, feta cheese, and turkey breast. Form into 4 patties and grill on high for 5 minutes a side, or until cooked through.

Top burgers with sauce, sliced onion, tomato and kalamata olives.

Overall they were pretty good.  I’m not a fan a frozen spinach since I never seem to get all the water out so I would opt for chopped fresh spinach and add it to the onions for the last minute of cooking.

Chicken Gyros

On the menu for tonight? Chicken Gyros.  This recipe is awesome.  So awesome, in fact, that this is the second week in a row that it’s presence is gracing our kitchen.  I never make the same meal two weeks in a row.  Its THAT good!  However, if you are not particularly fond of garlic this recipe may not be for you.  Or you could cut back on the amount of garlic you use.  Hmm, I don’t think I have ever put “cut back” and “garlic” in the same sentence.  Unless, maybe, there was a “do not” in front of it.

To maximize the taste of this recipe it is best to make the sauce and marinade the day before so the flavors can blend.  Plus, the little extra effort the day before makes the fact that you can now have a fabulous meal on the table in about 5 minutes absolutely priceless!  If you are one to plan ahead, this is great for those days when you have places to go and don’t want to sacrifice a good dinner.

The ingredients are pretty simple and used in both the tzatziki sauce and marinade, which helps with groceries (I hate buying a 2 cup container for 1 Tablespoon of an ingredient), plus there are a lot of pantry basics.

Chicken Gyros

Recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything


Tzatziki sauce:
Chicken Gyros1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used regular plain yogurt)
1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil

For the chicken:
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Juice of 1 lemon (2-3 Tablespoons)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 heaping Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1 1/4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Pita bread
Fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
Red onion, sliced thin


Shred the cucumber or chop in food processor. Wrap in a towel a squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Mix together the yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

To prepare the chicken, combine the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Whisk together until mixed well. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Cook the chicken as desired, either in the skillet or with the broiler. Once the chicken is completely cooked through, transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into strips. Heat pitas. Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes and sliced onions. Serve immediately.

Throw together a greek pasta salad with fettucini, olive oil, tomatoes, red onions, black olives and feta cheese and you are ready to serve.  Yum!