Jan
21

All About Vegan Slow Cooking With 2 Simple Recipes

imagesNever underestimate the value of a “Crockpot” or slow cooker! Since I’ve been craving hearty soups and stews all winter, I finally decided to start using the slow cooker I purchased at Costco a few months ago. I had never used one before, but now it’s a major staple in my kitchen despite the fact that it’s yet another appliance sitting on my kitchen counter. Although people often associate a slow cooker or “Crockpot” with meat soups and stews, it’s actually a fabulous option for vegan cooking too. It’s great for cooking dry beans from scratch, and you can even use it in place of a rice cooker. Contrary to popular belief, a slow cooker is quite useful year round, not just during the winter months. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of using a slow cooker for vegan meals.

BENEFITS OF USING A SLOW COOKER FOR VEGAN COOKING:

-Nutritious natural juices from fresh vegetables are retained as a result of cooking the vegetables at a low temperature for a long period of time.

-Minimal work is needed to prepare a slow-cooked meal. A small amount of initial preparation may be required, including chopping vegetables and sauteeing onions; however, these steps are not always necessary for slow-cooked meals. I often buy pre-chopped vegetables such as Trader Joe’s Mirepoix to make the process that much easier.

-Vegan no-oil dishes such as soups and bean stews can be made in a slow cooker.

-Preparing food in a slow-cooker or “Crockpot” gives you more room to prepare other dishes on your stovetop.

-In the summer, preparing food in the slow cooker eliminates heating up the house unnecessarily by cooking in an oven.

-Slow cookers use less energy than a conventional electric oven.

-Using a slow cooker results in an easy clean-up of one pot (except perhaps kitchen items which may be used in the initial preparation such as a pan, knife and cutting board).

-Using a slow cooker gives you the freedom to do other things such as go to the gym or work, clean the house, etc. while the meal is cooking. You are then able to return to your kitchen at a later time to enjoy a delicious one-pot meal.

-You can easily transport a slow cooked meal. Just put the lid on the pot and bring your favorite vegan chili, soup or stew to your next Superbowl Party.

I have been loving the recipes from my new favorite cookbook The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester. Although there are many other great vegan slow cooker cookbooks to choose from, I chose Ms. Hester’s book because its 150 recipes look delicious, don’t require too much preparation, and don’t have an overwhelming amount of ingredients. The “fuss-free” recipes range from soups (eg. Thai Coconut Pumpkin Soup) to hearty stews (ie. Not-My- Grandmother’s Beefy Stew) to casseroles (ie. Chorizo and Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole) and much more!

The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester

The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester

This past week, I decided to make two recipes from The Vegan Slow Cooker since I had the ingredients on hand. They were both great and super simple to make, so I decided to share them here with you. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal from The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal from The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester

PUMPKIN PIE OATMEAL

From The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester

Note: This recipe uses a 1 1/2- to 2-quart (1.4 to 1.9 L) slow cooker. You can double or triple the recipe and use a larger slow cooker if you like.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup steel-cut oats (*use gluten-free)

2 cups unsweetened vanilla-flavored almond milk

1/2 cup pumpkin purée, store-bought or homemade

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice

Pinch of ground cloves

Brown sugar, for serving

Chopped pecans, for serving

Directions:

The Night Before:

Oil the crock of your slow cooker. Combine the oats, milk, pumpkin, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

In The Morning:

Stir the oatmeal to get a consistent texture. Serve in bowls topped with brown sugar and pecans.

Yield: 2 large servings

Total Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Cooking Time: 6 to 8 hours

 

Split Pea And Lentil Soup from The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester

Split Pea And Lentil Soup from The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester

SPLIT PEA AND LENTIL SOUP

From The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup lentils

1 cup split peas

6 cups water

2 tablespoons vegan chicken-flavored bouillon or 4 tablespoons Chickeny Bouillon

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried tarragon

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

1/4 teaspoon ground rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried leaves

Salt and pepper, to taste

6 ounces fresh baby spinach, washed

Directions:

The Night Before:

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute longer. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

In The Morning:

Combine the sautéed onion, lentils, peas, water, bouillon, bay leaves, tarragon, marjoram, rosemary, and salt and pepper in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

About 30 minutes before serving, add the spinach. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Remove and discard the bay leaves before serving.

Yield: 8 servings

Total Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Cooking Time: 6 to 8 hours

I sincerely hope I inspired you to consider using a slow cooker or “Crockpot” for your vegan dishes. I’m sure glad I decided to remove mine from its hiding place in my kitchen cabinet.

Happy Vegan Cooking!

Debby

xoxoxo

debsun2-150x150

 

Comments

  1. Wesley G Hughes says:

    How much garlic? You mention garlic in preparations for the soup but not in the ingredients.

Speak Your Mind

*

*

Recipes Archive