Thursday, January 24, 2013

Accidental Crockpot Creation

I have no idea how this happened, but I'm pretty happy it did.  If you've been following the blog for awhile you know that I'm completely afraid of my crock pot.  I don't know how to use it, the recipes that I've found are usually multi-step, include cream of something, and I'm always afraid that I'll leave for work and burn the house down. 

I was inspired by Hy-Vee's $3 dinner idea for Beef and Vegetable Lo Mein when I logged on to activate my new fuel saver card.  It was yum at first site and I wasn't sure how I was going to pull it off...enter the crock pot.  I knew I had a package of frozen steaks in the freezer that desperately wanted to be eaten, so in the morning I popped them (still frozen) into the crock pot with a garlic clove, half an onion, a little olive oil and a splash of soy sauce.  I turned it on low and hoped for the best (and that our homeowner's policy was current.) 

Over my lunch hour I stopped at Hy-Vee, which is literally my place "where everyone knows your name", waved hello to all the friendly employees that I have come to love, and ran into several friends who were also grocery shopping sans kiddos.  I picked up some fabulous produce, including the organic broccoli and seasonal oranges pictured above, and only broke the rules for four cans of diced tomatoes.  My total was $68.04. 

When I came home from work about 5:30pm we still had a kitchen to speak of and the meat smelled incredible. I quickly washed and chopped up some broccoli, mushrooms, and scallions, heated a pan and coated it with olive oil. I threw in another garlic clove and sauteed the mushrooms and broccoli.  I sliced the meat and put it in nearly last since it was already cooked.  I added a little of the drippings from the crock pot to the pan for extra flavor, and squeezed half an orange for a little citrus note.  Scallions went in just before I put everything on the plate.  While all of this was going on in the pan, I quickly boiled some lo mein noodles (which believe it or not, I had in my cupboard!)

It was a truly fabulous Use-it-Up night!  I still don't totally trust my crock pot, but I might be gaining just a little more confidence in it...

What I Used-Up:
Three frozen steaks
Lo Mein Noodles
1/2 onion
1 orange
1 head of broccoli

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