■ Metro Service / Contributed
Warm, hearty meals, including stews, casseroles, soups, and chilis, make for great comfort foods when temperatures drop. Another advantage to these types of meals is they can easily be expanded to serve extended family. Also, when prepared using a slow cooker, these meals can be easily transported to a friends’ potluck or relative’s home.
Beloved for their turn-it-on-and-forget-it convenience, slow cookers allow cooks to start meals in the morning and then return home at night and have dinner ready and waiting. Busy working families may find that the convenience of slow cookers is unparalleled.
This recipe for “Creamy Ham & Broccoli” from “Taste of Home Casseroles, Slow Cooker & Soups” (Taste of Home Books) is ideal for a cool fall or winter evening. It’s a delicious meal to come home to after a busy day and also a great way to make use of leftover ham from a previous meal, such as a family gathering during the holiday season.
Creamy Ham & Broccoli
Serves 6 to 8
3 cups cubed fully cooked ham
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1 can (103⁄4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 jar (8 ounces) cheese sauce
1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained
11⁄4 cups uncooked instant rice
1 cup milk
1 celery rib, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1⁄8 to 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
In a 3-quart slow cooker, combine all of the ingredients except the paprika. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours, or until the rice is tender. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with paprika.