By the time I was diagnosed with celiac disease, I was very thin and extremely weak. One friend said I walked like an old woman. I couldn’t stay on my feet for long and kept a bar stool in the kitchen to sit on while I was cooking.
I had three young boys to care for, and cooking at all was challenging because of fatigue. Now I had to figure out how to cook gluten-free. One of the first things I learned was that I could prepare basic meat, vegetables, and potatoes or rice.
That’s how “Sunday Night Dinner” was born. It was one meal that was safe and easy for me to fix. So we had it every Sunday for months—until I was feeling better. Sunday Night Dinner consisted of a whole chicken cooked in the crock pot with carrots, celery, and onion, and instant mashed potatoes to go with it.
Trust me, we are not instant potatoes kind of people. My husband grew up in Idaho. Not the potato growing region, but still. We were both raised on lots of potatoes and they were never instant. However, I found a brand that was gluten free and we ate instant potatoes because it was all I could do. No one complained.
In case you’re wondering, my husband can’t cook. Really can’t cook. He was great about doing shopping and clean-up though. He’s also a terrific handy man and has saved us so much money by doing home improvements and house and car repairs himself.
Years later, Sunday Night Dinner is still a great meal to prepare. I use real potatoes now, and might cook some green beans to go with it, but it’s a basic meal that is easy and everyone enjoys it.
Slow cooker meals are great for fall evenings, especially if you are spending time as sports practices with the kids. We always enjoyed coming home from soccer practice to a hot crock pot meal.
- 1 whole chicken (3 – 5 pounds) or chicken pieces
- carrots, peeled and sliced
- celery, sliced
- onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup liquid (broth, wine, water, or a combination)
- herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary)
- Place the carrots, celery, and onion in the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Place the chicken on top of the vegetables.
- Pour the liquid over the chicken.
- Sprinkle the chicken with salt, whatever herbs you desire, and the garlic. You can put some into the cavity and under the skin of the chicken breast.
- Cover and cook on low approximately 6 hours or high 3 – 4 hours. Cooking time will depend on your slow cooker and the size of the chicken.