Slow Cooker Shredded Beef for Tacos

Shredded Beef

As I mentioned in my last post, things have been crazy around here the last several months.  And of course once things started calming down toward the end of summer and we got used to the slower pace of life, my oldest started school and a week later started swim classes that run four nights week.  Oh, and the husband started traveling every single week, which is outside the norm for his job.  The first few weeks of our new schedule, it was all I could do to get ANY food on the table for my boys, and what I could get on the table wasn’t all that great.

I finally sat down one Sunday evening and started meal planning again.  I’ve found that taking that bit of time to figure out what to feed my zoo crew each night made my weeks run much more smoothly.  I take the very little free time I have during the day to prep as much as possible to make getting dinner on the table relatively easy.  One of the tools I’ve utilized the most recently is my slow cooker.  There is nothing better than throwing a bunch of food in that sucker first thing in the morning, and have a great dinner on the table by 5:00.

It’s no secret that we love Mexican food.  I could seriously eat some form of it every night and never tire of it.  Combining my new favorite kitchen tool with my family’s favorite food?  Now that makes for a great weeknight!  This shredded beef tastes great in tacos, burrito bowls (see above), quesadillas, and heck, even on it’s own!  With just a few minutes of prep work in the morning, you can have this delicious meal on the table by dinner time.  I’ve already made this several times, and it’s on my meal plan again this week.  It’s that good.

1 (2 lb.) boneless beef roast
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste
3/4 cup beef broth
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
2 tsp. chili powder
1.5 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Heat a large, heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat, and add the oil. Sprinkle the beef roast liberally with salt and pepper. Once the oil is hot, add the roast to the pan and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Place in the crock pot.

To the pan, add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes before stirring in garlic and tomato paste. After another minute, stir in the beef broth and spices. Scrape up any browned bits, and then pour the seasoned broth and onions over the top of the roast.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Shred with two forks and allow to cook for a few minutes longer. (To soak up any extra liquid, you can turn the crock pot to high for a little bit after shredding the beef.)

Source:  Elly Says Opa

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Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro Lime Rice

Guess who’s back?  Back again?  Rookie’s back…tell a friend!  Guess who’s back, guess who’s back, guess who’s back…

Ok, that was a total college flashback, but, I’M BACK!!  Wow, life has been CRAZY in The Rookie Baker household, most of which has been the good kind of crazy, but crazy nonetheless.  Shortly after I wrote my last post (8 months ago…), we made the crazy decision to sell our house and buy my in-law’s house in a town 20 minutes away.  What we didn’t expect was for that house to sell in less than 3 weeks, during the husband’s busy travel season.  We survived it, and in early June we finally moved to our new home!  It is much smaller and the kitchen leaves much to be desired (sooooo hoping to do a kitchen renovation in the semi-near future), but we love it here!  My in-laws live 5 minutes away (a good thing for sure!) and our boys have already made friends in our new town.

Speaking of those boys, both of them have had birthdays since my last post!  I am the proud mom of a 5 year old and a 2 year old.  Crazy.  Our oldest started kindergarten in September and is enjoying a swim class four nights a week.  That alone keeps me busy, but then add in the tiny one’s therapy sessions, doctor’s appointments, library story hours, weekly mommy and me swim class, volunteering for the PTA, and the husband’s hectic travel schedule, and I swear all I do is run around like a crazy person!  Cooking has certainly taken a back burner over the last, well, 8 months, but I’m slowly getting back in the kitchen!  Because our schedule is chaotic most weeks, I’ll likely be posting a good number of weeknight friendly recipes that are kid (and adult) tested and approved.

Enough about me, let’s talk about this recipe for Cilantro Lime Rice.  We are HUGE Chipotle fans, and were thrilled when one opened in our old town just five minutes from our house.  Let’s just say we may have singlehandedly kept them in business as we navigated the chaos of selling our house.  I love their burrito bowls and was on the hunt for a recipe I could make at home so I could recreate this family favorite.  Skinny Taste to the rescue!  This rice tastes exactly like the rice at Chipotle, and dare I say it, perhaps even better.  I make this at least once a week as the base for burrito bowls.  Stay tuned for a few great slow cooker recipes that pair perfectly with this rice!  On its own or as the base of a burrito bowl, this rice is truly a family favorite!

Cilantro Lime Rice

1 cup extra long grain rice or basmati rice
1/2 lime, juiced
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
3 tsp vegetable oil

In a small heavy pot, add rice, water, 1 tsp oil and salt. Boil on high until most of the water evaporates. When the water just skims the top of the rice, reduce to low and cover about 15 minutes. Shut off flame and keep covered an additional 5 minute.

In a medium bowl, combine chopped cilantro, lime juice, rice and remaining oil and toss until completely mixed.

Source:  Skinny Taste