Category Archives: Slow Cooker

Lost and Alone

Vegetable Chili

chili

Another one of my awesome freezer meals – this time one that also doubles as a great way to clean out the fridge/freezer!  Once we had finished prepping my list of meals, I checked what I had left and decided I could squeeze out at least one more meal.  This hodge podge of ingredients was fantastic last weekend when Mother Nature decided we needed another round of cold weather, to include snow!

Lost and Alone

Serves: Serves 5-6

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 zucchini, diced

2 carrots, round sliced then quartered

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

4 cups black beans, presoaked

1 can (28 ounces), crushed tomatoes

2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Toss all the ingredients into the slow cooker and set for low. Cook for 7hrs - or cook on high for 3hrs.
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper, or more chili powder!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/03/lost-and-alone.html

We topped this with cheese but chives, sour cream, guacamole or nothing would also work.  As for the vegetables, whatever you have on hand will work.

Nearly Forgot

Spinach and Mushroom Stroganoff
stroganoff

In the weeks leading up to little one’s arrival, I tried to prep as much as possible in regards to food so that even if I was functioning on two hours there would still be something edible.  With that, about a month before D-day my mom and sister came up from VA for a day of (in my opinion) fun prepping two dozen freezer meals.  While a few of them were some old favorites (stuffed shells, enchiladas, and lasagna) that would just need to be popped in the oven, the rest were variations of recipes I had been collecting and tweaking in order to make them freezer AND slow cooker ready.  I read soooo many articles about freezer meals, taking notes on what freezes super well (presoaked bagged beans, tomatoes, peppers, etc) and what does not (coconut milk, sour cream, cream cheese) and special items where the other ingredients determined if it would freeze well (tofu is awesome solo or just with veggies but no sauces).  Once I had identified what meals I wanted to try I then set out to make the ultimate shopping list while keeping to a very tight under $10 per meal with each meal making 4-6 servings.

Some of these meals, everything is in the bag and it just goes straight in.  With others there are things to add day of (extra stock, coconut milk, etc) or a side dish that needs to be prepped.  Like today’s dish, Spinach and Mushroom Stroganoff.  This was one of the first dishes on my list and is a variation of my standard stroganoff just with more “green stuff”.

Nearly Forgot

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

10oz baby portobello mushrooms; quartered

12oz white mushrooms; quartered

1 small yellow onion; diced

2 cloves of garlic; minced

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1.5 teaspoons paprika

4 cups frozen spinach

8oz plain creek yogurt (dairy or almond)

8oz cream cheese (dairy, almond, or tofu)

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in gallon sized freezer bag except for the sour cream and cream cheese. Freeze for up to 3 months (standard freezer) or up to 5 months (deep freezer).
  2. Turn slow cooker to low and add all ingredients in the bag. Cook for 6 hrs then add sour cream and cream cheese turn to high and cook for a final hour. Optional: cook on high for 2.5hrs then add sour cream and cream and cook on high for a final 30 minutes.
  3. Serve over egg noodles or yellow rice and Enjoy!

Notes

For this dish I do not recommend using coconut milk based dairy alternatives as they add a bit too much sweet to the dish. I have not tried cashew based alternatives so not sure how they would fare.

http://dancingveggies.com/2016/02/nearly-forgot.html

One of the biggest tips I can give is if you are having people helping you make sure the ingredients are set up in a way that flows.  This is something I did not do and it resulted in lots of extra work until I put my Lean Sigma hat on (yes, I’m a dork) and figured out how to eliminate a good chunk of the transportation/motion waste that was happening.    To get the meals out of the freezer bag, place in bag in hot water for 5 minutes then use a knife to cut a slit along the side of the bag, then open the top and peel back from the corner (if using a zipper bag cut the side the zipper is one when closed).

Are You Ready

Tailgate Round-Up

One more sign of fall – Football season is here!  I’m not a huge fan of football, more of a hockey girl, but now that we are living in a football town I feel like I have to at least show some team spirit.  So with that in mind, below are some awesome dishes perfect for tailgating.

Corn Salsa

Corn Salsa

Sweet Potato Chili

Sweet Potato Chili

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

 Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin Chili

Garlic Feta Dip

Garlic Feta Dip

 Hot Artichoke Dip

Hot Artichoke Dip

These are also the same dips that I rotate in and out for gaming days – with the Garlic Feta Dip being everyone’s favorite.  It also makes a great burger topping, be it meat or otherwise.   Chili is also the perfect group dish since it can easily be doubled and switched to a stock pan if it becomes too much for the slow cooker.

We Had Everything

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Lentil Soup

Sweet Potato Lentil Soup

I’ve gotten lucky again with being able to adopt an almost orphan blog from Group B of the SRC.  In going through Corey’s Learning Patience – Hinz Adventures I was blown away by all the options.  However I was greatly limited in time, between getting the blog on Thursday and then having a medical procedure bumped up a few days (plus bed rest) – but then I saw THE recipe.  Not only did it call for ingredients already in my pantry but it allowed me to use my slow cooker, the kitchen tool that has saved me on many a day.  So I got out my trusty friend and got to work on her incredible Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Lentil Soup, which tastes (and smells!) as good as it sounds!  I did make a slight adjustment as I am not a fan of cooked celery, so I increased the other veggies and replaced some of the regular salt with celery salt.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Soup

Serves: Serves 5-6

Ingredients

5 large carrots, diced

2 sweet potatoes, diced

2 cups lentils

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 bay leaf

1 tsp dried oregano

8 cups vegetable stock

2 garlic cloves

1 15 oz can Italian style diced tomatoes

1 tsp celery salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker, and set to high. Cook on high for 2 hours and then switch to low and cook for a final 6 hours. (option 1)
  2. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker, and set to low. Cook on low for 11 hours. (option 2)
  3. Serve and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2014/02/we-had-everything.html

I served this with some crusty whole wheat sourdough bread and a bit of leftover salad, have to sneak the greens in somehow!  This soup was perfection, and it allowed me to follow doctor’s orders while making sure we had a delicious dinner.  I can’t wait to try out more of Corey’s recipes, especially her most amazing cookies ever because Nutella is AMAZING!


As Fast as You Can

Aloo Baingan (or Spicy Potatoes with Eggplant)

Aloo Baingan

Over the past week I’ve been reminded of the deep and undying love I have for my slow cooker.  While it’s getting on in age, it’s dependable and loyal – constantly serving up delicious dishes with very little effort.  This past year I received a new book just for this technological wonder “The Indian Slow Cooker“, and boy was I ever thrilled.   I’ve made a few recipes directly from the book in the short time I’ve had it, and have already started adjusting dishes in order to better fit my family.  Today’s recipe falls in to that second category, as the original dish required adjusting flavors halfway thru the cooking time – which (for me) negates the purpose of a slow cooker.  When I use a slow cooker, I want to toss things in and forget about them until it’s time to eat.  Maybe some slight adjustments at the end, adding cheese or breadcrumbs or similar topping, but mostly just want to be done with it as fast as possible.

Aloo Baingan

Serves: Serves 4-5

Ingredients

3 shallots, diced

3 garlic cloves, diced

1 tbsp garam masala

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp tumeric powder

1/2 inch fresh ginger, minced

2 tbsp salt

3 thai chilies, minced

3 tbsp vegetable stock

1 large American Eggplant (or 2 medium Ichiban eggplant), roll cut and then halved

1 lb butter potatoes, quartered (around 3 medium sized potatoes)

1 red onion, chopped

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in slow cooker on low for 6 1/2 hours.
  2. Turn heat to high and cook for a final 30 minutes to insure potatoes are cooked all the way thru.
  3. Serve over brown rice and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2014/01/as-fast-as-you-can.html

This dish has a bit of a kick to it, but can be cooled down by dropping out the chilies or adding some plain yogurt to take the edge off.  We both enjoyed ours as is, serving over top of some brown rice.  One of these days I’m going to figure out how to make naan and then I’ll be all ready for a real Indian dinner.