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 Post subject: Adding variety to slow cooker meals?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:13 pm 
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Because Bob Barker Told Me To

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I am looking for your ideas for slow cooker recipes that don't taste like generic "slow cooker food."

Last night I made an Italian vegetable stew from Fresh From the Vegan Slow Cooker, and, although it turned out well, I was reminded of how many slow cooker recipes can start to taste the same -- particularly simple stews made of veggies, beans, herbs and spices. I really like simple recipes that don't require a lot of additional steps, especially when I've gone to the trouble of putting together a slow cooker recipe the night before and am getting home from work late and exhausted, etc. But I also don't want to feel like I'm eating standard issue vegan gruel every night.

Can any of you relate to this? Any tips for crockpot food that tastes exciting and different, while still being easy to put together? I'm totally down with doing a little sautéing ahead of time and such. Steps that need to be done just before serving, such as puréeing a soup, are a little harder for me to manage, but still likely doable once in a while.

I'm thinking adding some Indian, Mexican or other international foods to my repertoire would be effective, but I'm open to any suggestions.


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 Post subject: Re: Adding variety to slow cooker meals?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:27 pm 
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Saggy Butt

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I love this pumpkin lasagna recipe from Kathy Hester: http://healthyslowcooking.com/2010/01/1 ... n-lasagna/

It sounds like that's more complicated than what you are looking for though. I cook for just myself and get a lot of meals out of it so I find it worth it.

I used to have Fresh from the vegan slow cooker. I made whatever the sweet potato and tempeh with jerk sauce one is. I used bottled jerk sauce and it was pretty easy--just kind of a lot of chopping. I learned that I don't like jerk sauce, but I want to try it again with some other kind of sauce. That might be one to try if you haven't yet as something a little different from the stews and soups. (I don't think it said to cook the onions first, but I don't really understand why not. There were a lot of them so it might have been worth microwaving them.)


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 Post subject: Re: Adding variety to slow cooker meals?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:47 pm 
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Because Bob Barker Told Me To

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Thanks for the recipe -- it's not too complicated. It looks like all or most of the prep could be done the night before, so that's nice. And especially worth it if the recipe makes a fair amount of leftovers - I love leftovers. I have one of Kathy Hester's slow cooker cookbooks, but haven't made much from it.

I might try that jerk tempeh recipe you mentioned too - I think I like jerk seasoning. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Adding variety to slow cooker meals?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:42 pm 
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I've had more success slow-cooker-converting soups and stews than cooking from a crockpot recipe. Crockpot recipes all seem to be similar, I agree. But many of your favorite soups and strews should easily convert to slow cooking. My favorite thing to make in the slow cooker is the blog's meaty beany chili - I'd highly recommend it to get out of a rut!

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 Post subject: Re: Adding variety to slow cooker meals?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:22 pm 
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I have really liked Vegan Slowcooking for Two or Just For You. Here is a thread with some feedback: viewtopic.php?f=32&t=28259

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 Post subject: Re: Adding variety to slow cooker meals?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:34 am 
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oddspongeout wrote:
I've had more success slow-cooker-converting soups and stews than cooking from a crockpot recipe. Crockpot recipes all seem to be similar, I agree. But many of your favorite soups and strews should easily convert to slow cooking.

Pretty much what I was going to say. This, and, as you where thinking, making meals from different parts of the world will help to add variety and distinction.

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 Post subject: Re: Adding variety to slow cooker meals?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:01 am 
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Because Bob Barker Told Me To

Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:40 pm
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Good ideas - I have slow cooker-ized some recipes in the past but I just haven't been cooking as much in general lately, crockpot or otherwise. I might give the meaty beany chili a try.

Tofulish wrote:
I have really liked Vegan Slowcooking for Two or Just For You. Here is a thread with some feedback: viewtopic.php?f=32&t=28259

I thought about this cookbook, but the smallest slow cooker I have is 4 quarts and I really love to have leftovers (at least two meals for me and my partner). I could double every recipe, but I think I'll just try some things from Kathy Hester's earlier slow cooker cookbook that I already have, unless the new one is really amazing.

Thanks all!


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 Post subject: Re: Adding variety to slow cooker meals?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:56 am 
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I really like the cornbread topped tamale pie recipe from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. It's chili underneath but having the crust makes it more of a fun casserole than a stew. Plus the batter is super easy to mix up.

I also recently started doing Thai curries in the crockpot, just adding some baked tofu at the end. It works really well. The last one was a red curry with potatoes, yams, onions, green beans, carrots and tofu.


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