Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos

pulledporktacos

I’m such a huge fan of the slow cooker. We don’t use it often enough, but every time I use it, I make it a goal of mine to use the darn thing more often. That never happens, though, because I just always seem to forget about the slow cooker when menu planning. ::sigh::

One of my favorite things about the slow cooker is the amount of time it takes to be in the kitchen. This recipe is a great example of that. It requires just a few ingredients, and you just let the slow cooker do its job for 8 hours. Not much work at all, and you have a delicious, homemade meal ready for you for dinner that evening.

A meal like this is perfect for a new mom, actually, and today I’m so excited to be a part of Katie’s (of Katie’s Cucina and Sew Woodsy) surprise virtual baby shower, which was organized by Julie of The Little Kitchen and Christine of Cook the Story.

Katie is a good blogger friend of mine, who I met at Food Blog Forum last year. When I met Katie, I felt like we were just instant friends. She’s just super sweet…just like she comes across on her blogs!

Food Blog Forum 2013

She and her husband, Jon, are expecting their first baby…a BOY in March. :-) Since they’re pretty much DIY gurus, I’ve especially enjoyed following the nursery planning on their DIY blog, as well as her Instagram. I’m sure it’s going to come out amazing!

For Katie’s baby shower, the theme is easy recipes & crafts for busy families. I instantly thought of the slow cooker for this theme, and since tex-mex cuisine is a favorite of mine, I just had to share this recipe with y’all.

This is such a great, basic recipe for a meal. The pulled pork takes very little prep time, and it’s super versatile. You could use it for tacos (like I’m showing y’all today), enchiladas, serve it over mexican rice, quick tortilla “pizzas”, nachos, etc. Also, since this calls for 3 lbs. of pork, you can easily make this for a dinner one night, freeze the leftover meat, and use it for dinner another evening.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a shower without a whole variety of recipes/crafts to try! Check out these amazing ideas from the other bloggers who contributed to Katie’s shower. Congratulations again, Katie…can’t wait to “meet” your little one!

Katies-Cucina-Virtual-Baby-Shower-500

Easy Broccoli & Cheddar Soup from The Little Kitchen
Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers from Cook the Story
Individual Tortilla Caprese Pizzas from a farmgirl’s dabbles
Easy Cheesy Potato Corn Chowder from A Little Claireification
Slow Cooker Jambalaya from A Spicy Perspective
Italian Style Stir Fry from Aggie’s Kitchen
Apricot Chicken from Bombshell Bling
Easy Baked Spaghetti from Chocolate & Carrots
Cuban Casserole with Whole Grain Mustard Butter Biscuits from Climbing Grier Mountain
Freezer-Friendly Quinoa Meatballs from Cooking with Books
Baby Boy Subway Art Printable from H2OBungalow
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Cake from Inside BruCrew Life
Asparagus And Leek Quiche from Kokocooks
Roasted Lemon Parmesan Chicken with Red Potatoes from Life After Empty Nest
Yogurt Blueberry and Honey Smoothie from My Sweet Zepol
Pesto Parmesan Chicken Salad from Shaken Together
Printable Baby Whale Themed Cards and Project Life Mini Album from Simply Kelly Designs
Coconut Cookie Butter Sandwich Cookies from Simply Southern Baking
Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Garden Vegetables from Sweet Remedy
Easy Kofta Kebabs from Tasty Chomps
Crock Pot Fajitas with Chicken and Quinoa from The Dinner-Mom
Overnight Oatmeal from The Hungry Housewife
Honey-Dijon Chicken, Apple & Quinoa Wraps from The Kitchen Prep
Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Soup from The Lemon Bowl
DIY Whale Art from While They Snooze
One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice from Yellow Bliss Road

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos
Source: inspired by Can You Stay For Dinner

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. boneless boston butt/pork shoulder
  • 1 jar of store bought salsa
  • 1 batch of taco seasoning

Directions:

  1. Pour the jar of salsa in a 5-6 qt. slow cooker. Gently place the boston butt/pork shoulder over the salsa. Sprinkle the taco seasoning over the top of the pork. Set the slow cooker on the low setting and cook for 8 hours. Shred the pork using two forks and enjoy…..or for a more crispy texture, follow the next step.
  2. Optional: To give the pork a crispier texture for some pieces, shred the cooked pork and place it in a rimmed baking sheet, spreading the meat as evenly as possible. Place the meat under the broiler on “low” and allow it to bake, checking it every minute or so, until the meat starts to brown/crisp on top (about 5 minutes).
  3. I served mine with plenty of chopped cilantro and white cheddar, but you could also opt for finely chopped red onion, salsa and/or sour cream, to name a few ideas! Top them however you like!

 

Crockpot Steak Fajitas

beeffajitas

We’ve had some skirt steak sitting in the freezer for a couple of months, so I decided to try my hand at making fajitas with this stuff. The meat can tend to be a little tough, so I figured the crockpot would help. I kind of made this recipe up in my head, so it was a big experimen! Luckily, these were very flavorful, and while the meat wasn’t super tender, it was much better than just cooking it on a skillet and serving it!

Crockpot Steak Fajitas

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. skirt steak, cut into strips
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. taco seasoning
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil (divided)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Add 1 tbsp. oil to a skillet on medium-high and allow it to heat up. Add steak pieces in with the taco seasoning and brown them. Don’t fully cook the pieces, but give it a little sear.
  2. In a 2 qt. crockpot, add the water, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Add the seared steak and leftover oil.
  3. Cook on low for 2.5 – 3 hours.
  4. After the meat is cooked, add oil and a tsp. each of salt and pepper to a skillet and cook down onions and bell peppers on medium-high.
  5. Toss in meat with 3 tbsp. seasoned liquid from the crockpot and cook the mixture for another 2-3 minutes or until the majority of the liquid has cooked off.

Serve with warmed soft tortillas and other toppings! Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Zesty BBQ Chicken

Last weekend, I was off and I wanted to blow Joey’s socks off with some killer food. We had chicken breasts in the freezer and a slow cooker for me to use while I was running errands…I found this recipe on All Recipes and was NOT disappointed…this chicken literally fell apart and shred beautifully into some TASTY bbq chicken sandwiches…mmm…


Not at all attractive looking…kinda looks like dog food actually but I promise it’s good!!


Check out how well it shreds…we used a fork with little effort!! mmmm…

Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken BBQ
Source: AllRecipes

Ingredients:

  • 4 frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2/3 (12 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce (We used Jack Daniels original sauce)
  • 1/3 cup Italian salad dressing (I used Fat Free Dressing to lighten it up a bit)
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

Place chicken in a slow cooker. In a bowl, mix the barbeque sauce, Italian salad dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the chicken. Cover, and cook 3 to 4 hours on High or 6 to 8 hours on Low.

Serves 8…these breasts can easily split into two servings!!

Nutritional Information:
Calories 206.3
Fat 1.6g
Fiber 0.1g

POINTS*: 4

**add standard whole wheat hamburger bun for 2-3 points and easily have an entree for 6-7 points**

Guinness Braised Beef Brisket

This is a recipe I found off Cooking Light. It was our first experience with a slow cooker, and I learned the lesson of never, ever open the cover of the slow cooker…after 8 hours, we seared the brisket in the Le Creuset and put it in the oven at 350 for 1 additional hour. The meat was still super tender (the meat literally fell apart) and was delicious!


Ingredients
2 cups water
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup Guinness stout
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh or 1 tablespoon dried dill
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can low-salt beef broth
6 black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
1 (3-pound) cured corned beef brisket, trimmed

Preparation
Combine first 11 ingredients in a large electric slow cooker, stirring until well blended; top with beef. Cover and cook on HIGH 8 hours or until beef is tender. Remove beef; cut diagonally across grain into 1/4-inch slices. Discard broth mixture.

Yield
6 servings (serving size: 3 ounces)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 226(39% from fat); FAT 9.7g (sat 3.2g,mono 4.7g,poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 17.9g; CHOLESTEROL 87mg; CALCIUM 28mg; SODIUM 1105mg; FIBER 0.9g; IRON 2.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 15.2g

Points: 5*