Slow Cooker Savvy: Moroccan Lentil Soup

Moroccan Lentil Soup 2This soup is thick, delicious and nutritious, and it’s spices are especially warming on a cold winter day. Put it on in the morning and revel in its warmth and fragrance after a  day of snowshoeing, skiing or sledding. Vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free, it’s also suitable for any cleanse or new eating habits (I hate the word “diet!”) you may be testing in the new year. Continue reading

Slow Cooker Savvy: Apple Chutney

Apple sauce, apple butter, and now apple chutney!  My autumnal affair with apples has nearly come to an end, culminating in this sweet and spicy chutney perfect for complementing Indian dishes all winter long.

You can make this foolproof recipe on the stove top, but I found it cooked well in a slow cooker, allowing me to run errands while it simmered. It makes a large batch, enough to preserve 3+ pints. If you are seeking a smaller amount, simply halve the recipe. It keeps well in the refrigerator when stored in a sterile jar, and a little goes a long way. Continue reading

Slow Cooker Savvy: Pumpkin Spice Granola

Mmmm… Granola. When it comes to the homemade kind, I can’t eat enough of it! I’ve already posted one very versatile granola recipe for the slow cooker. This one is special though, filled with the flavors and aromas of autumn. I can’t think of a better fall snack, cereal or yogurt topper than this. Filled with pumpkin, apple sauce, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice, it’s an autumnal pantry must-have. Continue reading

Slow Cooker Savvy: Apple Butter

With all the apples I picked from my neighbor’s yard last week, I tossed a large batch in the slow cooker to make apple sauce and … ended up with apple butter! Turns out that the long, slow cooking time required of apples for apple butter makes your crock pot a rock start (again!). And with minimum ingredients, the recipe itself couldn’t be easier.

Use whatever size slow cooker you have, filling it to the brim with apples and adjusting the ingredients accordingly; I used a 6 quart cooker. The large resulting quantity is ideal for preserving and the fragrant butter makes a well-appreciated gift, right at home spread on toast or paired with nut butter. Continue reading

Slow Cooker Savvy: Homemade Granola

Can I share my new obsession with you? Granola. No, not the store-bought stuff – good as yours is, Udi – but the homemade stuff. The slow cooker kind. Softer than the hard, oven-cooked granola you might be familiar with, it is completely addictive (not to mention easy on your mouth).

It’s also a heck of a lot cheaper to make your own than to buy it, and incredibly versatile too, so use whatever you have on-hand in your pantry. Swap pure maple syrup for raw honey, walnuts for almonds, dried cranberries for raisins. Creativity is the name of the game, and the result is perfect for submerging in milk, sprinkling on yogurt or snacking on straight from the bag. Hint: we devoured an entire batch on our recent road trip! Continue reading

Slow Cooker Savvy: Hearty Vegetable Pot Pie

This dish got a thumbs up from Soul Daddy for flavor, K-Bear for easy eating, and me for ease of preparation (and flavor of course!). You do have to pay attention to the time though: 4 hours on low, followed by 1 hour on high after you add the crust. Feel free to substitute any vegetables you have on-hand. Use organic ingredients whenever possible. Continue reading

Slow Cooker Savvy: Sloppy Lentils

Remember the sloppy joes served in your school cafeteria? Or perhaps the canned version that your mom added to ground beef as a kid? I promise these lentils are like that, but totally not (thank goodness)! They are sloppy, yes, and tasty, yes, but far, far healthier and, with the slow cooker, a breeze to make. They are also super kid-friendly!

I adapted this recipe from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker and it has long made a regular appearance at our dinner table. Because I was prepping for post-surgical meals, I doubled the recipe and had enough left over from dinner to freeze two more meals; lentils freeze very well.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbls. olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow organic onion
  • 1/2 red and 1/2 green pepper
  • 14 oz. can fire roasted organic tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 c. dried brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 3 c. water
  • 1 tbls. chili powder
  • 2 tbls. tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tbls. yellow mustard
  • 1 tbls. organic sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Directions

Assemble all ingredients in a six quart slow cooker and cook on low for eight hours. Serve on your favorite crusty rolls topped with fresh cole slaw. Yum!

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I shared this recipe on the blog hops Mangia Mondays, Meatless Mondays, and This Chick Cooks.

Slow Cooker Savvy: Winter Corn Chowder

Enjoy the warmth on an otherwise cold day.

 

I recently scored at Costco with huge bags of organic frozen vegetables, including corn. I couldn’t think of anything better to do with 5 lbs. of corn kernels than make chowder, a winter favorite of mine. Adapted from “Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker,” this recipe uses no milk or cream; it’s thickness comes from pureeing a portion of the soup. Continue reading

Slow Cooker Savvy: Lentil Soup

Full of protein, vitamins and minerals, lentil soup is easy enough to prepare and devour just about anywhere, but is especially tasty on a snow day. It also freezes extremely well. Don’t be afraid to utilize a large stock pot on the stove top to double this recipe and freeze half. Bonus: It’s kid-friendly for even the smallest of babes! Continue reading