Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice

Bob loves Red Beans and Rice. I normally add Meat, but he wanted Vegetarian style this time. If you would like to add Meat, we usually use Chorizo, Andouille, or Chicken, just sautee it first. If you would like it spicy, just add 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Chipotle Chili Pepper. I also added fresh Mushrooms. This is Cook’s Country recipe, and except for the slow-cooker prep, and less seasonings, this is very similar to what I normally do. They use Meat and no heat, but we like it a little spicy.


  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1 celery rib, chopped fine
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Optional: 1 cup sliced fresh Mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth (About 2 3/4 cans broth) or Veggie Broth for Vegetarian-style
  • 16 oz dried Red beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • 2 cups water
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 pats Butter
  • In a 12” skillet, cook onion, bell pepper, celery, (and Mushrooms if using) in a drizzle of Olive Oil and 2 pats Butter until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic, oregano, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add broth, beans, and bay leaf, bring to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until beans are just beginning to soften, about 20 minutes; transfer to slow cooker.
  • Cover Slow Cooker and cook on low until beans are completely tender, 4 to 5 hours (or cook on high for 3 to 4 hours).  Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Cook rice according to package instructions.  Serve beans over or next to rice.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2020

Roast Beef & All the Fixin’s (Instant Pot or slow cooker)

    There is almost nothing better than a thick, tender beef roast with all the fixings.  I’m talking tender Beef, Carrots, Potatoes, Mushrooms, Onions, and a delicious deep brown Gravy.  Talk about comfort food!  This recipe is designed for a Pressure Cooker, but feel free to use your Slow Cooker. 


3 – 4 lb Beef Roast

Drizzle of Olive Oil

½ can of Beef Broth

¾ cup Red Wine

1 TBSP Tomato Paste

4 large Potatoes, cut in half, then quartered

Fresh Carrots, Peeled, but left whole

1 TBSP Garlic, chopped

2 Large Onions, peeled and cut in half

2 cups Mushrooms, sliced

Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, ½ tsp dried Thyme, ½ tsp dried Rosemary leaves


     Set your Instant Pot on Sauté. Drizzle a little Olive Oil in the bottom.  When hot, sear your Roast on all sides.  I add a little Pepper every time I turn it.  When all sides are seared, remove the Roast to a paper plate.  Deglaze the Instant Pot with a little bit of Beef Broth and Red Wine.  Just a few TBSP of each will do the trick.  Scrape up all the bits.

    Add the Tomato Paste.  Return the Roast to the pot.  Pour the Beef Broth and Red Wine over the Roast, and then lay the Garlic on top.  Add the Seasonings. Close and lock the lid.  Press Off.  Press Manual.  Using the + button, set the timer for 50 minutes on Pressure Cook.  The pot will say On.  Once it reheats to Pressure Cook temp it will show 50 minutes.  When time is up, use Quick Release method by turning the pressure valve to the left.  Be careful not to let the steam burn your hand.  When steam has stopped, and it is no longer hissing remove the cover.

     On top of the Roast, add Potatoes, Onions, Carrots, and Mushrooms.  While the cover is off the pot will begin to cool, so don’t be dilly dallying.  Throw them in there and replace the lid.  Press Off.  Press Manual.  Using the + button, set it to 10 minutes on Pressure Cook setting.  You won’t believe it, but in 10 minutes, that big pile of vegetables will be perfectly cooked.

     Prepare your gravy thickener.  Approximately 1 cup of water, a few TBSP of Corn Starch and roughly 1/3 cup of AP flour.  I also added a few shakes of Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, and Pepper, Stir until smooth.  Set aside.

     Again, use the Quick Release method to remove the cover.  Place the Roast on a cutting board and cover with Aluminum Foil.  With a slotted spoon remove all the Vegetables to a serving platter.  Cover with Aluminum Foil.

     Press Off.  Press Sauté. Add your gravy thickener mixture to the juices, stirring with a whisk.  This pot makes the fastest gravy!  I used to stand there and stir for a longtime.  Now in 5 minutes, the gravy is thickened! 

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Pulled Beef with our Kentucky Bourbon BBQ Sauce (In Instant Pot or Slow Cooker)


Bob said they don’t called it pulled when it’s beef, but that’s what it is, so that’s what I’m calling it. We made it in our Instant Pot, but a crock pot would work just as well.

Prep: We cooked the beef in a tiny bit of water, removed the water when the meat was cooked. Then Bob shredded the meat and it was returned to the cooker with my Kentucky Bourbon BBQ sauce. SOOOOOOOO good!

I think I’m going to keep bugging you until every single one of you has made this BBQ sauce. You do NOT have to use the expensive bourbon. I’ve used the outrageously priced bourbon, as well as Jim Beam, and nobody knew the difference.

Yield: Approximately 2 cups. Keeps well in the refrigerator, so feel free to make it ahead.

1 cup ketchup
1 TBSP tomato paste
1/3 cup fine Kentucky bourbon
4 TBSP brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP low sodium soy sauce
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 ½ tsp minced onion flakes or onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp Chipotle chili pepper
½ tsp pepper
Dash salt


In 1 ½ qt saucepan, whisk all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes or until it becomes a rich color and thickens up to your liking.

NOTE: ½ tsp Chipotle chili powder will make a hot sauce. If you want medium, cut Chipotle down to ¼ tsp. If you like really hot, go for ¾ tsp. Atomic? Add 1 full tsp.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2017


Pulled Beef with Kentucky Bourbon Sauce




Ham in slow cooker (4)

     What’s that you say? You want ham and it’s 90° outside?  Of course that’s too flippin’ hot to turn the oven on.  What’s a person to do?  Cook the ham in your slow cooker, of course.  5 minutes preparation and you’re on your way to fun in the sun instead of being tied down in the kitchen all day.

Here’s how to prepare it:


6-7 lb ham (boneless, spiral, or bone-in)

1 cup brown sugar

¼ cup real maple syrup

1 large can pineapple slices in own juice

1 cup liquid, your choice of: water, pineapple juice, orange juice.  (I love to use the Ocean Spray Cranberry blends.  I’ve used Cran blueberry, Cran pomegranate, Cran raspberry, etc.  If it sounds good, it probably will be.)


Place 1 cup liquid in bottom of crock pot.  Add ½ cup brown sugar and lay ham on top, flat side down.

Drizzle liquid from pineapple slices and maple syrup over the top of the ham, allowing it to run down the sides.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Internal temp should be around 140° F

Don’t forget to check Westover’s Leftovers to see what you can do with leftover ham.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

Ham in slow cooker

Ham in slow cooker (2)

Ham in slow cooker (3)

Ham in Slow Cooker

Ham in slow cooker (4)



Chicken and Biscuits

     What is more comforting than coming home to a fragrant kitchen with a big pot of chicken and biscuits (or dumplings)?  Not much.  My easy recipe will have dinner on the table with minimal prep.  This is very easy and you can use my recipe as a guideline.  Know that you can use skinless boneless chicken, but I promise the flavor will not be as good.  The bones add so much flavor to the broth.  Change out the seasonings, gravy, veggies.  If you’d like biscuits, use canned.  If you want dumplings, a simple recipe is included below.  Beautiful dinner rolls?  Recipe below.  Mashed potatoes or noodles?  Sure!  Why not?  You’re the boss.


2 large bone-in chicken breasts

1 32 oz container chicken broth

1 can cream of chicken soup

½  cup flour


Use any or all of the following, and sprinkle only on the chicken

Paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, poultry seasoning, pepper, parsley:



1 rib celery, sliced

1 cup chopped onion

Minced garlic

Fresh carrots



Sweet mini peppers, sliced

Cooked crumbled bacon

¼ – ½ cup Chardonnay wine



If you have to go out in the morning, the seasonings, broth, soup, and flour could be laid out the night before.  Wash the chicken and tear the skin off.  Whatever fresh veggies you’re adding could be chopped and tossed in a baggie until morning.

To assemble in the morning:  Pour chicken broth in bottom of slow cooker.  Add flour and stir.  Add chicken and veggies.  Sprinkle with seasonings of your choice, pour undiluted soup on top of chicken, set on cooker on high and run out the door.

When you get home, stir gravy and cut the chicken into large chunks.  Return chicken to slow cooker.  Open biscuits and cut each one in half.  Lay on top of chicken and gravy, cover and let cook for 45 min to an hour until biscuits are done.



2 ¼ cups AP baking mix (Bisquick)

2/3 cup milk

Any seasonings you care to add.  I use garlic powder, onion powder, and parsley.


In a medium bowl, stir baking mix, seasonings and milk until combined.  Drop mixture by teaspoon into slow cooker on top of chicken or broth.  Cook for about 30 min and then turn them over.  Cook another 30 minutes or until done.



1 package fast-rising yeast

1 1/3 cup warm milk

1 TBSP sugar

3 ¼ – 3 ½ cups AP flour

3 TBSP olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 TBSP butter, melted with garlic powder and parsley added


In mixer bowl with paddle blade attached, mix yeast, sugar, and warm milk on low speed for about two minutes.

Add about half the flour, oil, and salt, mixing until smooth.  Add remaining flour and mix until soft dough forms.  Cover and let rise for about 45 minutes or until doubled.

Preheat oven to 400° F     Spray a 12 cup muffin pan

Punch dough down and knead on floured counter for one minute.  Divide into 36  balls.  Do this quickly, they do not have to be perfect and they will begin rising again if you work too slowly.  Put 3 balls in each cup.  (Two on the bottom and one on top works well).  Sometimes I’ll use jumbo muffin cups and put 4 balls in each one.  You’ll have to allow approximately 5 more minutes to baking time.

Let rise for 15-20 minutes.  Baste with butter, garlic powder, and parsley mixture.  Bake for 13-15 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Remove from pans and serve!


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Chicken and Biscuits, slow cooker

Chicken and biscuits, slow cooker (2)

Chicken and biscuits, slow cooker (3)

Chicken and Biscuits, slow cooker (4)

Dinner Rolls, jumbo

Chicken and Biscuits



This spectacular recipe for Elk Roast was contributed by Laura Knowlton.  Laura and her husband recently moved to Colorado and purchased their dream home in the mountains.  They try to live as simply as possible, keeping with a minimalist lifestyle and reducing the load on the environment they love so dearly.  Laura has been experimenting with Elk since the meat is in such abundance where they live.  She and her husband will most likely be hunting this fall, providing food for their freezer for year round.

The recipe yielded a dish more flavorful and tender than any beef roast Laura has ever made.  The gravy was very flavorful as well.  The Elk’s lack of fat makes this a lean feel-good meal that you can enjoy without any guilt.


ELK ROAST IN SLOW COOKER, yield 4 -6 servings



1 Elk roast or loin (1-2lbs)

All-purpose flour (for dredging)

Salt and Pepper

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp butter

1 large yellow onion, sliced

3 cans low sodium beef broth

2 tsp dried sage

2 bay leaves

2-3 lbs yellow potatoes

1 bag baby carrots



Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over med-high heat. Sauté the onion just until it has some color, then add to a large crock pot.


Salt and pepper the outside of the elk roast. Coat the roast in flour on all sides. Place the roast in the same skillet and sear on all sides until there is no more raw flour visible.

Place the roast in the large crock pot on top of the onions. Add beef broth, sage, bay leaves, and enough water to cover the top of the roast. Set crock pot on low and cook overnight or 9 hours.


Add potatoes and carrots to the crock pot and cook an additional 2 hours.



3 cups broth from crock pot, divided

2 Tbsp flour

Salt and Pepper to taste 


Add 1 cup broth to the flour in a blender and mix until smooth, or whisk by hand.

Heat remaining broth in a skillet over high heat. When broth is to the boiling stage, add blended slurry to the skillet slowly, whisking as you pour. Cook on med-high heat for 10 minutes, whisking often. Turn heat to low and whisk as the gravy thickens. If you like your gravy thicker, add more flour slurry.

Serve with crusty bread.

Recipe by Laura Knowlton.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016



Venison soup


This delicious recipe was contributed by my long-time friend Sue Sines. She is married to an avid hunter and has been cooking with venison for many years. Sue and I hope you enjoy this easy slow cooker recipe.

1 lb of venison cubed meat (I put it right the bottom of the crockpot frozen)
3 medium sized potatoes peeled and cubed
3 large carrots peeled and sliced
1 large onion peeled and large chopped
2 stalks of celery chopped
1 medium bag of frozen mixed vegetables
I package of onion soup mix
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients at the same time, cook on hi for 8 hrs

If you have a great original recipe and would like us to Share it, send an e-mail to with your original recipe and photos.  Bloggers welcome 🙂

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016





HAM AND CABBAGE, New England Boiled Dinner

Ham and Cabbage

If you grew up in New England, chances are you ate this comfort food regularly.  It can be prepared in a slow cooker or on top of the stove.  Here is how I make mine. 


1 small ham or 2 ham hocks

4 large carrots

5 potatoes

½ head cabbage, cut into chunks

1 rib celery

12 pearl onions or 1 large onion, quartered

1 can chicken broth

1 whole clove

1 tsp thyme

½ tsp pepper



Cook in a slow cooker for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.  If preparing on a stove top, put the meat in a Dutch oven and simmer the meat for about 90 minutes, covered.  Add the veggies and cook until they’re tender.

NOTE:  I don’t use any salt because the ham and chicken broth have enough.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

Ham and cabbage (3)Ham and Cabbage (2)


Crock Pot lasagna (3)


     Lasagna in a crock pot is nothing new, I know, but it was new to me.  I’ve never made it before.  I kept asking myself, “How good can it be?”  I was just as sure as I could be that it would be crappy.  I was SO wrong.  It was knock your socks off good! 

      As a recipe creator, it is impossible for me to follow someone else’s recipe.  I just can’t do it.  If you ever met anyone who has to completely redo a simple four ingredient recipe that would be me.  I’m not sure if it’s a blessing or a curse. 

 All that being said, here is how I made my crock pot, slow cooker lasagna my way. 

  1. I used my homemade sauce.  Click the link for the recipe.
  2. I made four layers instead of three because I like it thick.
  3. I used Ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese
  4. I started out assembling while my sauce was still quite hot and it took less than 4 hours.



I used a little over a quart of sauce

One package of lasagna noodles, uncooked (you won’t use them all)

One 15 oz container Ricotta cheese

One cup water

One egg

Romano, Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses

Garlic powder




Put the Ricotta in a small bowl.  Add one egg, about ½ tsp garlic powder, and mix it well with a spoon.  Set aside.

Give your crock pot a quick spray. I mixed the water with the sauce before I did anything else. Then, ladle enough sauce in the crock to cover the bottom. Lay a single layer of noodles on next. You’ll have to break the noodles to get them to fit.  Put some freshly grated Romano, Parmesan and grated Mozzarella between each layer.  Then dot the Ricotta next.  On top of that, a few ladles of sauce.  Continue until you have three or four layers.  Four was perfect for us.  It was nice and thick.

Once the noodles are soft, this is done.  Mine took less than four hours.  About five minutes before serving, put more Mozzarella on the top and sprinkle with some Parsley for color.  Put the lid back on and set the table.  It’s time for dinner.

One of the greatest things about this was that when I cut the first hunk out and plated it, it stood straight and tall.  It didn’t fall over.  Nice!  There’s nothing worse than wimpy  limpy lasagna.

Crock pot Lasagna

Crock pot lasagna (2)

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2015


Dick's cheese tortellini

This wonderful recipe was contributed by my dear friend of many years, Richard Shear. School days, school days, we broke all the rules days. Ha Ha I’ll stop.

     His creation looks delicious, I must say. Give it a try! Thank you for sharing your recipe, Richard!


1 ( 19 oz ) Bag of frozen Cheese Tortellini

1 large bag of fresh Spinach

2 ( 14.5 oz ) cans of Italian Style Diced Tomato ( drained )

1 block ( 8 oz ) Cream Cheese ( softened )

1 lb Ground Sausage ( link sausage chunk small is my preference )

3 or 4 Cups Chicken Broth ( start with 3 , add 1 more if needed )

I use a Slow Cooker Bag in the Crock-pot so cleanup is fast and easy.

Brown the Sausage and chunk up Cream Cheese and put all ingredients in Crock-pot.

Stir after Spinach has reduced .

Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.

Serves 4 – 6

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2015