Category Archives: Crock Pot

SLOW COOKER SQUASH

Kabocha Squash1

I absolutely love kabocha squash, but hate how it can feel like a lot of work to prepare.  It is such a hard squash and so difficult to cut through.

There is a better way!!!  I did a Pinterest search and discovered that you can cook squash in the slow cooker WHOLE!  How fantastic is that?

Today I used my cleaver and cut the kabocha squash I had in half because it was too tall for my slow cooker.  I then scraped out the seeds since I already had access to them, placed them on a metal grate open-side down, poured 1 cup of broth into the slow cooker and set it on high for 1-2 hours or low for 3-4.  Done!

I have also cooked a smaller kabocha squash whole and it worked great as well.

I am excited to try spaghetti squash next.

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* Make sure you test your squash along the way to make sure it is done to your liking.  Each slow cooker operates differently (some run hot), so this way you can avoid a soggy mess. 

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Filed under Crock Pot, Gluten Free, Recipes, Sides, Vegetables

SLOW COOKER COCONUT CURRY CHICKEN

With chicken thighs in the fridge and a hankering for coconut curry, I set off on a web search for a recipe that I could put together before lunch and have ready for us to eat when we cruise on in after saxophone lessons around 6:30pm.  I came across this recipe on the blog, Sweet Treats and More.

Mondays are our CRAZY BUSY days and the slow cooker is my saving grace.

This recipe was an absolute winner! I served the curry with jasmine rice for those who wanted it and poured my portion of the curry over steamed veggies.  At the end of the meal all the slow cooker was left with was sauce.

The next time I make this recipe I will be doubling the amount of chicken which will leave us with enough food for two meals.  I love making a big pot of something and freezing half for dinner on another day.

I also used 1/2 tsp. chili flakes vs. the 1 tsp the recipe called for since my youngest is not a fan of spice.  I then put more chili flakes on the table for those who wanted more heat.

It would be great to add some sweet potato or Yukon golds to the recipe as well.

Click HERE for the recipe.

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Filed under Crock Pot, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Main Dish, Recipes

ALL-PURPOSE CURRY SAUCE- Slow Cooker

All Purpose Curry Sauce base (18)

Sur La Table recently had a big sale (still going on) on the Cuisinart Multi-Cooker and I couldn’t resist.  With holiday gift cards in hand I marched right in and upgraded my slow cooker.  Man, I am glad I did.  It is SO nice to be able to brown onions in the slow cooker and then just pour in the rest of the ingredients.  This slow cooker is going to get some major use in my household.

I saw some split red lentils at Trader Joe’s the other day and I was inspired to make a red lentil based slow cooker curry sauce.  I love that this “sauce” is packed with protein and fiber.

This recipe makes A LOT of sauce, so get ready to freeze some for later.  I have also enjoyed the sauce as a soup…simply add broth and thin it out.  Good stuff!

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INGREDIENTSmakes an ENTIRE crockpot full…more than enough to freeze for later

1 onion, diced
3 celery ribs, diced
2 carrots, diced (I do a rough chop since I like carrot chunks)
1 bag Trader Joe’s trimmed leeks 
2 Tbs. curry seasoning (I used Spice Hunter)
two 6 inch stalks of lemon grass, cut into four 3 inch pieces and smashed
OR
1-2 Tbs Gourmet Garden lemon grass paste (I used 2 Tbs…LOVE lemongrass!)
2 cloves of garlic, pressed or finely chopped (Dorat makes an incredible ready to use product)
1-2 Tbs. fresh ginger, minced
1/4-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like your food)
2-3 cans (depending on how “saucy” you like it) light coconut milk (approx 14 ounces each)
1 bag Trader Joe’s split red lentils (about 2 1/2 cups)
32 ounce container vegetable broth
2 cups water
cilantro, chopped (as a garnish)
parsley, chopped (as a garnish)
Serve with Sriracha for those who like extra spice (ME!!!)
 
Curry Sauce Process Collage

Water sauté the onions, celery, carrots, and leeks for 5-7 minutes.  Add the curry seasoning, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes.  Stir together to combine the flavors and cook for 1-2 minutes while continuing to stir (If the mixture is getting too dry, add a tiny bit of water).

Add the light coconut milk and stir to combine.  Add the split red lentils, broth and water.

Set your slow cooker on high for 6 hours or low for 8-10.

Serve on top of roasted squash, steamed veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, summer squash) potatoes, brown rice, etc.  Would be fantastic over brown basmati rice.  Have each person salt their own food upon serving…that way the food will taste salted, but will not be LOADED with sodium.

*Remember to remove the lemongrass stalks before serving

All Purpose Curry Sauce base (24)

For a printable version of this recipe click HERE.

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Filed under Beans/Legumes, Crock Pot, Gluten Free, Main Dish, Recipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

BOOK REVIEW – Skinny Bitch Book of Vegan Swaps

Kim Barnouin’s “Skinny Bitch Book of Vegan Swaps” is such a fun read! People are constantly asking me what my favorite brands and products are, which products are good substitutes for non vegan foods, and which products don’t make the cut  (I could and chat for hours [and have] about these very topics).

Reading Kim’s newest book feels like chatting with a girlfriend about those very same subjects. I thoroughly enjoyed reading her product recommendations and how she highlighted the differences between each, i.e. which vegan cream cheese was the tangiest, which is the softest in texture, etc. As for the product recommendations, who knew there was a vegan version of condensed milk (Soymilke Condensed Milk)??? I am really looking forward to researching this product more.

I recommend this book to everyone from omnivores trying to add more plant based foods to their diet, to newbie vegans trying to find subs for their old favorites, to seasoned vegans wanting to know more about new vegan products on the market.

Kim highlights a few of her go to recipes in the book, one of which is now in my permanent lunch rotation. I am hooked on the “Deb’s Chili” recipe that she included in the book. Kim’s friend Cathy got the chili recipe from her mom (some of the best recipes come from moms) and it is an absolute winner along with a snap to make.

The publisher has very kindly agreed to let me share the recipe with you.  I fortunately had the forethought to take some quick pictures of the chili while it was piping hot and before eating it!

DEB’S CHILI - Yields 6 servings

2 Tbs grapeseed oil (I omitted this)
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 (4-ounce) can green chilis, diced
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes, diced
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup salsa
2/3 cup vegan cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup vegan sour cream

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onions until soft, about 5 minutes (I water sautéed mine). Stir in the chilis, taco seasoning, tomatoes, kidney beans, and black beans. Let the mixture simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes (after water sautéing the onions I threw all of the ingredients in the slow cooker around lunchtime and kept it on low until dinner).

Serve with salsa, cheese, and sour cream.

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Filed under Beans/Legumes, Books, Crock Pot, Gluten Free, Main Dish, Product Reviews, Quick, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

SABRINA NELSON’S BERBERE STEW

Last year I attended the Healthy Lifestyle Expo.  Jeff and Sabrina Nelson (of VegSource) founded the Healthy Lifestyle Expo as a means to share the health benefits of a plant-based lifestyle.  Through plant-based eating Sabrina has been able to overcome significant health challenges (click here for her inspirational story).  The Nelson family has done so much to educate others and to further exposure for this way of life.

The last morning of the Healthy Lifestyle Expo began with cooking demonstrations and Sabrina shared her recipe for Berbere Stew.  I was struck by the simplicity of this one pot meal and how tasty it was.  Needless to say I have been eating a lot of Berbere Stew since returning from the conference.  The BBQ sauce makes it taste like baked beans and it is soooo good over brown rice.

I happen to like the Berbere spice, but if you are unsure how your children will react to it, make a batch without it and go from there.

Thanks for such a great recipe Sabrina!

INGREDIENTS

2 ½ cups red lentils
2 jars Muir Glen Portobello Mushroom Sauce (or other fat free, low sodium pasta sauce)
2 empty Muir Glen bottles worth of water
½ cup BBQ sauce of choice
1 Tbs Berbere spice (Sabrina’s favorite Berbere spice is available here.)
2 cloves of garlic, minced

Pour all of the ingredients into a rice cooker.

Press button to cook on “brown rice” setting.

Sabrina uses the Zojirushi rice cooker which takes about 90 minutes to finish cooking, and then it automatically goes into a “warming” setting.

The stew actually improves over time and tastes even better the second day when the flavors have had time to intensify.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.


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Filed under Beans/Legumes, Cooking Demonstration, Crock Pot, Events, Gluten Free, Main Dish, Recipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

CROCK POT VEGETARIAN CHILI – Guest Blog By Catherine of Weelicious

Today we have another guest post from Catherine McCord of Weelicious!  We all loved her first Guest Blog for Veggie Grettie where she made Crock Pot Black Bean Soup and I know you will also love her Crock Pot Vegetarian Chili.  I personally always need to have a good arsenal of quick and easy recipes…life gets busy!  Enjoy.

~

In my quest for new and interesting flavors for Kenya, I focus in on one flavor and obsess about how I can introduce it to him in order for him to love it, but not be overwhelmed by it. At the same time, I’m always trying to create a dish the whole family can eat (plus leftovers for a few days). This week, chili powder was my focus.
It’s hot, smokey, a little spicey and delicious. Most people wouldn’t dream of a 10 month old liking something so intense, but I feel like babies palates are ready for anything as long as it’s not over powering.
There are 2 tablespoons of chili powder in the recipe which sounds like a lot, but the recipe also serves 16 people! When I say I like leftovers, I mean it. When the chili is finished, I put 2 cups in a Cuisinart and whiz it up for Kenya to have over the next few days. It’s packed with all the things he needs in his diet.

Vegetarian Chili (Serves 16)

1 16 Oz Cans Organic Chopped Tomatoes
2 32 oz Boxes Vegetable Broth
6 Cups Raw Mixed Beans (Lentils, Yellow Split Peas, White Beans) (If using large beans, soak the night before)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, minced
5 Cloves Garlic, minced
6 Celery Stalks, chopped
6 Carrots, chopped
1 Bell Pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 1/2 Tbsp Cumin
2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Sweet Paprika
1 Large Bunch Dinosaur Kale, chopped

1. Place the first 3 ingredients in the Crock Pot.
2. Heat olive oil over medium flame and saute onions for 5 minutes. Lower heat if they start to brown. Add garlic and continue to saute another 2 minutes. Pour the onion mixture into the crock pot with the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
3. Cook on high for 12 hours.
4. Serve.

**Allow to cool, place in appropriate container or Ziploc bag, label and freeze up to 4 months. When ready, defrost in fridge for 24 hours or place in pot and heat through under low-medium heat.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

For more Weelicious recipes click here.

Photo courtesy of Weelicious.com

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Filed under Beans/Legumes, Crock Pot, Gluten Free, Guest Blog, Main Dish, Recipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

CHUNKY CROCK POT APPLESAUCE

This recipe is sure to be a big hit with your family.  My kids claim that it tastes just like apple pie.  My favorite thing about this applesauce recipe is its simplicity…2 ingredients!

I use 6 pounds of apples whenever I make this recipe because I figure if I am going to make it I might as well make a bunch, but you can easily make a smaller batch.  When I make this recipe I put some of the applesauce in the refrigerator and I vacuum pack the rest of it with my Foodsaver (that I bought at Costco years ago) and put it in the freezer.

 

INGREDIENTS

6 pounds organic apples
organic cinnamon to taste
 

Peel the apples, quarter them, and remove the core.  Dice the quartered apples into 3-4 pieces each.  I make this whole process even easier by using apple peeler/corer like THIS one and then quartering the peeled and sliced apple.   Place the apple pieces into the crock pot.  Sprinkle desired amount of cinnamon onto the apples (I use about 2 Tbs.).

Cook on high for 4 hours or low for about 6.  Once the apples are tender, mash them until the applesauce reaches the texture you prefer (we like it a bit chunky).

This applesaucee is good on its own either warm or cold.  I personally love to have it for dessert with granola sprinkled on top (click HERE for one of my favorite granola recipes)!!!

For a printable version of this recipe click here

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Filed under Breakfast, Cooked Fruit, Crock Pot, Dessert, Gluten Free, Recipes, Sides, Vegan, Vegetarian

CROCK POT BLACK BEAN SOUP – Guest Blog by Catherine McCord of Weelicious

I am so excited to announce that we have a guest blog today from Catherine McCord of Weelicious!!!

Catherine McCord of Weelicious

Catherine McCord of Weelicious

I have been following Catherine’s blog for quite some time now and am always inspired by her recipe posts (many of which are plant based).  I too am a mom and am always looking for fast, healthy, and economical meals.  This following recipe is a definite winner!  Enjoy Catherine’s post…

CATHERINE MCCORD’S CROCKPOT BLACK BEAN SOUP

Crock Pot Black Bean Soup

Crock Pot Black Bean Soup

 

 
If you follow weelicious with any regularity, you know that I have a very intimate relationship with my crock pot — it’s like my best friend. Coming back after the holiday, with school starting back up, endlessly busy schedules to juggle and so on, my crock pot has been my salvation for getting hearty foods that everyone wants to eat made easily. A vendor at our local farmer’s market offers the most beautiful assortment of beans, and since black beans are one of our family favorites and cook beautifully in the crock pot, I buy them from him all of the time. Packed with protein and dietary fiber, black beans make for a filling, inexpensive and nutritious vegetarian meal that everyone can enjoy.

I really loved making this soup with my kids, because, like me, they love using the crock pot. But the real fun for them started when it was time to puree everything. Kenya, being an incredibly curious, almost 4 year-old boy who loves anything with a motor, was totally game to help me out with the hand-blender. As he gripped it and pressed the power button, he was enthralled as he made the beans transform into a creamy, rich soup. But if it was fun for me to witness the blast Kenya had, watching Chloe drink three helpings straight out of her bowl ensured that this soup will be in our regular mealtime rotation!

Crock Pot Black Bean Soup (Serves 6)

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, diced
3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
2 Cups Dried Black Beans, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
1 32 oz Chicken Broth or Vegetable Stock, low sodium
1/4 Cup Cilantro, chopped
2 Bay Leaves
2 Tsp Kosher Salt
1 Cup Water

Accompaniments: Yogurt, Sour Cream, Crème Fraiche

1. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and sauté onions for 4 minutes.
2. Add chopped garlic and sauté an additional minute.
3. Place the onion garlic mixture into the crock pot along with the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
4. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
5. Using either a hand blender or traditional blender, puree the ingredients to your desired texture (I like to get it so a few pieces of beans are still visible so the soup is thick and still has a bit of texture).
6. Top with a dollop of yogurt, sour cream or crème fraiche.
7. Serve.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

Crock Pot Black Bean Soup

Crock Pot Black Bean Soup

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Filed under Beans/Legumes, Crock Pot, Gluten Free, Guest Blog, Recipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian