Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Back to school, back to crockpot with chicken, spinach, and tomato casserole

During the school year I use my crockpot at least once a week. It gives me a chance to cook from scratch, avoid preprocessed garbage, and add a few vegetables into our diets -- all without struggling through a complicated process after teaching all day. I've added to my collection over the summer with help from Stephanie at A Year of Crockpotting and other crockpot aficionados in the blogosphere. The original version of this recipe came from Chris at Ordering Disorder, her blog at Work it! Mom. I've added a few twists to it, of course. (FYI: I don't teach straight from the textbook, either.)

Chicken, Spinach, and Tomatoes Served with Spaghetti

2 chicken breasts
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 packages (8 ounces each) baby spinach, or 1 pound washed and dried fresh spinach leaves
2 cans diced tomatoes, drain liquid
small onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup diced green pepper
herbs as desired (I used a little fresh basil and thyme)
a splash balsamic vinegar
1 lb spaghetti, or preferred pasta

Thoroughly wash spinach.
Toss chicken breasts into the crockpot. (I diced the chicken first)
Drop the mustard on top of the chicken.
Put all the spinach on top of the chicken. Squash it down to make it fit. The spinach will shrink in the cooking process.
Let cook for about 5-6 hours.
About 20 minutes before serving, fill spaghetti pot with water and set to boil.
Open up and drain the cans of diced tomatoes. Dump them into a skillet. Add the balsamic vinegar and onion.
Saute it for a few minutes, until most of the excess liquid is gone.
Scoop out the chicken and spinach from the crockpot and add to the tomatoes. Mix it all up and allow to simmer on low while the pasta cooks. Stir often.
Add some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano on top. La Petite suggested feta cheese; that sound delicious to me. Next time, feta cheese it is!

My spinach came from the garden. It was quite fresh, and the aroma from the crockpot was very strong. The end product, however, was delicious.
Consider rice or couscous instead of spaghetti or pasta.
MidCentury Modern Moms has also been posting on the Back to School theme. No new little preschoolers or kindergarteners there; we're dealing with teens, college kids, IEPs, ACTs, SATs, GPAs, and more!

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Blogger Jill said...

That sounds delicious! Printing it out as I type! Thanks for sharing.

8/26/2008 8:57 AM  
Blogger dlyn said...

This lloks great - I will give it a try the next time I need a cook-all-day crock pot meal!

8/26/2008 6:08 PM  
Blogger Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Yum! Three cheers for the crock pot!

8/26/2008 7:57 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

Feta cheese is a great suggestion. My crock pot is at the very bottom of my pantry. Buried under about 2000 paper bags. I'll find it eventually.

8/27/2008 1:31 AM  

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