a year of crockpot recipes + crockpot honey sesame chicken

Hey there, happy end of the week! I am super excited to share my meal simplifying idea I came up!

I believe I was looking around on Pinterest, or maybe it was Facebook… where ever it was I came across this link to a post on Chef in Training for 50 slow cooker recipes. I browsed through them. They looked tasty and crockpots always mean simple. I started to think about which one I wanted to make. But then I thought, why not all?

With 52 weeks in the year and 50 recipes, that gives me just about enough for one a week. That’s one day a week I don’t have to think about what’s going to be on the table. I’ll just go straight down the list, one at a time, no picking or choosing. Keeping it simple. I like simple.  Quick and simple have become staples around here with my happy little monster here.

So for week 1 here’s  what I made.

crockpot honey sesame chicken


  •  2.5 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (or thigh)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons diced onion
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil (recipe calls for canola)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tablespoons water
  • Sesame seeds (I forgot this)


  1. Season both sides of chicken with lightly with salt and pepper, put into crock pot. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken.
  2. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through.
  3. Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce.
  4. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened.
  5. Cut chicken into bite size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving.
  6. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles.


  • I cut the recipe in half since I only had about 1.5 pounds of chicken on hand – cooked on high for 1.5 hours
  • Forgot the sesame seeds, so I’m glad I added the sesame oil for the flavor
  • Served it over bulgar for me – sushi rice for Jacob, with a side of avocado and coleslaw mixed with a little bit of asian dressing + a dab of mayo

What I liked

  • the flavor was amazing
  • chicken with tender
  • all ingredients I already had on hand

What I didn’t like

  • not being able to start the crockpot in the morning with the short cook time – I still had to throw it together after a day of teaching/xmas shopping
  • my sauce didn’t thicken up like I would have liked, and I had it on high for double the time it called to thicken up

I shared the link to the 50 slow cooker recipes on my Facebook page and already my cousin Andrea is following along with one a week as well. I think it would be so much fun if more of you followed along too! I’m planning to share a bit about each recipe, so if you end up making it too you can chime in! And if you don’t want to participate, at least you’ll get to see how a ton of crockpot recipes turn out. :)

Next week it’s onto slow cooker salsa verde pork.

Do you call your crockpot a slow cooker or crockpot? Do you love your crockpot as much as I do?  Want to participate in the 50 crockpot recipes?  One of them is eventually a cake…. :)

Happy Friday!



4 ingredient tuna cakes + vote for Hunter

Whether you work full time, have a new baby (like me!), or maybe even both, quick meals definitely come in handy. Not only do keeping the number of ingredients down to a minimum help with prep time, they save you money too! Less ingredients = less money to spend right?

We’ve been watching our budget again. Yes, again. We seems to go through spurts where we save-save-save, which leaves a little more wiggle room in the bank account, then we go a little crazy spending too much on clothes or stuff for the house. A bad cycle to get into. However, when we do go a little crazy spending, it tends to revamp our mind set to save. I think we end up winning in the end… we’ll say we do.

Back to the food! I originally made these tuna cakes with the sole purpose to use my mango salsa on top of them. I really just wanted to eat that salsa but not so much by the spoonful. I wasn’t that worries about how they’d turn out as long as they tasted okay… and I had my salsa.

Not only were they delicious with the salsa, they were great on their own! I’ve made them a lot of times now. Sometimes I top with avocado, sometimes with cheese, I’ve eaten them alone, but my favorite is of course, with mango salsa.

4 Ingredient Tuna Cakes


  • 1 can (7 ounces) tuna in water, drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4-1/3 cup chickpea flour * (depending on how much liquid is left in the tuna)
  • 2 tsp old bay seasoning


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl with a fork. It shouldn’t be too wet or too dry.
  2. Heat a skillet (cast iron preferred) over medium-high heat and coat with oil.
  3. Place 4 even patties in the pan. Cook on one side for 3-4 minutes, then flip. Allow the second side to cook another 3 minutes. Both sides should be golden brown.Top with favorite toppings!

* I’ve only used chickpea flour in these because I really like the texture and flavor, but if you don’t have it on hand I’d suggest oat flour (ground rolled oats) or breadcrumbs.

What would you put on your tuna cakes? Do you tend to cook with a few or lots of ingredients?

On a totally different note, I entered Hunter’s picture into a contest at local radio station for Portland’s Cutest Baby.

I’d love your vote! Follow the link to vote for my cutie: vote for Hunter!

Thanks all!



mini meal: egg-hummus salad

One thing I’ve learned to rely on since having a baby are quick, easy snacks — or mink meals. It’s not that I don’t have time to make food (although sometimes it does seem like that!), I just have so much I like to cram into my ‘free’ time when Hunter’s napping that eating suddenly turned into a quick affair.

Making a big batch of protein packed egg salad was one of my go to mini meal this week.

Instead of mayo I subbed in hummus with a touch of nutritional yeast for an added cheezy flavor.

Make ahead meals like these will definitely be a weekly thing!


Egg-Hummus Salad


  • 5 eggs, hard boiled
  • 1/3 cup hummus
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, small diced
  • 1/4 cup green onion, minced
  • Pinch of sea salt and pepper


  1. Roughly chop the eggs and place in a bowl. Mix in the bell pepper and green onion. Stir in the hummus, nutritional yeast, water, sea salt and pepper until combined.
  2. Serve on crackerss, in between 2 slices of bread or wrapped up in a lettuce leaf.

What will the protein star be for next weeks quick and easy mini meal? Salmon, tuna, chicken… lentils? Wait and see!