Rustic Chickpea Stew with Apricots & Turnip {slow-cooker recipe}

It’s not in my nature to switch tracks on the eve of a new year, jumping from the long, sugar-coated holiday cookie train over to the one piled with beans and greens like so many do. I’m not a maker of quickly-broken resolutions, choosing instead to jot down my intentional food-related goals for the year and work them in as part of our lifestyle.

My transition from sweets to stew for this post was not for health reasons (although I am not oblivious to the wisdom of this change in diet) but more of a practical step. We first took a look at the monthly budget, then I stood in front of my well-stocked pantry, eying up the jars of staples.

Couscous, chickpeas, canned tomatoes, dried fruit, spices, a carton of apple juice. Dinner, however disguised, was almost fully contained here; it just needed a little coaxing, a hit of garlic, and six or so hours in the slow cooker.

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One-Pot Lemon Chicken and Zucchini with Rice

Written by Megan of Stetted.

My son just turned five the other day, and while that means we have yet to dive into the busy world of elementary school, I’m already having horrifying visions of homework and sports and fundraisers and PTA meetings.

OK, it’s probably not as bad as many of the parents I know make it seem (please don’t tell me if it really is that bad) but I am still trying to get a head start on planning for the future by building up a repertoire of dinners that are easy to make, don’t use a sinkful of dishes, and are family approved. One-pot meals to the rescue!

We’ve talked about one-pot meals on Simple Bites before – they can range from classics in the slow-cooker to quick stovetop dishes. But my favorite way to make a one-pot dish is to use my dutch oven.

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Slow-Cooker Coconut Ginger Chicken & Vegetables

Given as a wedding present nearly ten years ago, my slow-cooker hasn’t seen nearly enough use. I tend to reach for my cherry red Le Creuset French oven for braising and stewing. However, as our family is growing and appetites are expanding, I can see the practical side of having a large crock pot and keeping it busy.

Still, I could use some help. I’m no seasoned slow-cooker chef, and can count my fails up there with my winning dishes. That is one reason why I was happy to have Kelsey contact me to participate in her week-long Slow-Cooker Challenge.

January is the perfect month to give that slow-cooker a permanent place on the counter top and our challenge is sure to fuel you with plenty of inspiration. Don’t own a crock pot yet? Both The Naptime Chef and my friends at Big Girls, Small Kitchen are giving one away this week! So hurry over and enter.

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Eat Well, Spend Less: One Turkey, Four Meals

Perhaps you head to your parents’ or the in-laws’ for Thanksgiving and other holiday meals, where someone else cooks and carves the turkey. Maybe you’d also like to cook a whole turkey at home (and have a few leftovers to play with), but it’s way too much meat for your little family.

Here’s my proposed solution: go ahead and purchase a fresh turkey and then make four or five recipes with it.  When properly sourced from a reliable butcher (and not shot up with strange chemicals and salty brine) turkey is a delicious, lean meat, and should definitely be taken advantage of in its season.

We’re talking turkey and holiday meals for our Eat Well, Spend Less series this month and my method for serving one turkey for four (or more) meals is one way to get the most bang for your buck. Fresh turkey isn’t cheap, but by following two key rules to savvy shopping: buying in season and buying bulk (in this case, a whole bird), as well as using every scrap of your purchase, you’ve got yourself a frugal way to eat this holiday season.

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Classic Comfort Food: Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables

Written by Elizabeth Nyland of Guilty Kitchen

If there’s one thing that must be eaten at least weekly in our house it is this simple, rustic dish of roasted chicken and root vegetables. Why? You ask. Well for one, it usually leaves substantial enough leftovers for lunches to be made for whomever desires them. Another reason is because, contrary to its appearance, it’s amazingly simple and quick to make.

Getting home from work at a somewhat late afternoon time doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have time to make a wonderfully satisfying dinner that will suit just about anybody’s needs. Roasted chicken, as per this recipe, can be done in no time at all and come out unfailingly moist and succulent on the inside while creating that crackly, perfectly crisp skin on the outside.

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