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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Our Favorite Crockpot Meal: Red Beans with Smoked Turkey


We didn't have a good morning. It's day four of the Chicago teachers' strike, so the routine we were so happy to return to last week is shot. Additionally, Michael is oversees on a business trip, Dylan insisted that she had no pants available to wear, Max wouldn't eat breakfast, no one could tell me what they wanted for lunch, and I'm having one of those weeks where I'm just super stressed about having a start-up and all of the uncertainties that entails.

By 8:30am, all three of us were crying hysterically. Not my proudest moment.

I finally got the kids out to their "strike camp" and headed off to my annual dermatology appointment. Now, I pride myself on having crazy low blood pressure. It's so low that when I went in to get Lasik surgery eight years ago, I wasn't allowed to take a valium as it would have made me too loopy. So, anyway, there I am at the doctor, and they pulled out the blood pressure cuff. I was soon informed that my blood pressure was a bit high.

Yeah. A morning like we had can do that to a person.

Once I got back home, I decided I needed to so something to calm myself down a bit prior to jumping into my work day. I needed to do some chopping. That's when I pulled out the crockpot and the smoked turkey legs. I love this dish because it is hearty, and delicious and easy and makes the house smell fabulous. I also love that it uses (cheap) dried beans but doesn't require overnight soaking. I made things a bit more complicated this morning because I added vegetables. As I said, I needed some time with my chefs knife. The food is now happily cooking away and I'm quite sure my blood pressure is back to its freakishly low self.

Red Beans with Smoked Turkey Legs

One large or two smallish smoked turkey legs (the ones I used today were purchased at Whole Foods, but they often have these at our grocery store as well)
One bag red kidney beans, rinsed and picked through
Veggies, chopped (optional) - today I used one onion, three stalks of celery and a few peppers including one jalapeno

Put the turkey legs into your crockpot. Top with the beans and veggies. Cover everything with water and cook on low for 6-8 hours. About an hour before it's done, pull out the turkey legs, remove the meat from them and put them back into the crockpot. (Be careful with the bones -the legs have these really weird spindly needle bones throughout.)

Serve with rice.

Note: we also like to top ours with a healthy sprinkling of Tony Chachere's creole seasoning



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