It's cold outside, which means it's the perfect time to fire up your crockpot and slow cook some delicious meals using less energy. This method of cooking retains important vitamins, marries flavors, and uses very little electricity. Check out some of our favorite recipes that can cook themselves while you’re at work.
In lieu of the yummy high fat food from your local Indian restaurant, whip up this easy curry for half the fat. Just sauté 1 onion, 2 garlic cloves and 1 inch of ginger in a pot with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. After 5 minutes, dump the mixture along with 2 cans of chickpeas, one can of diced tomatoes and 1 teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt into your crockpot. Add a cinnamon stick if it tickles your fancy. Fill enough water to cover the beans and simmer for six hours for homemade Indian goodness.
Lasagna noodles can be temperamental, easily breaking or burning in the oven. The Crockpot keeps the ingredients all together, and easy to serve. First combine 1 container tofu, ¼ cup coy milk, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, 2 tbsp lemon juice, chopped basil and 1 tsp salt into a food processor. Mix 2 packages of thawed frozen spinach. Now comes the layering part, layer tomato sauce, lasagna noodles and the spinach tofu mixture until you reach the top of your cockpot, ending with a sauce layer. Let it cook for 6 to 8 hours, and enjoy.
Your crockpot can be used for sweets too, and nothing could be easier than rice pudding. Dump 2 quarts vanilla soy milk, 1 cup rice, 1 cup sugar, 3 tbsp margarine, 1 tsp vanilla, ½ tsp cinnamon and a dash of salt into the pot. Add raisins, nuts, or cranberries if you like. Now just let the sweets simmer for six hours, and enjoy a hot sweet treat after dinner.
Root Veggie Stew
We are all a little lazier in the winter time, so it’s important to get in all your veggies. This super stew is perfect, low fat and sticks with you. Chop 3 yellow potatoes, 2 large carrots, 2 turnips, 3 garlic cloves and 3 celery stalks. Add in a package of thawed frozen spinach and ¾ cup lentils. Now go crazy with the spices- fresh basil, chili powder, paprika, turmeric, cayenne pepper, ginger, salt, pepper- whatever your fancy. Fill the pot with water to cover the veggies, and 8 hours later you have a spicy root veggie stew that will take you through the day.
For a different veggie stew, try a Mediterranean flair. Chopped butternut squash, eggplant, zucchini, okra, tomato and onion are added to 1 can tomato sauces, ½ cup vegetable stock and a mixture of garlic, cumin, turmeric, crush red pepper, cinnamon and paprika to taste. One last ingredient-raisins- will give the stew a little sweet kick that is sure to please.
You may want to sip on something to keep your hands warm this winter, and mulled cider does just the trick. Using 2 quarts of cider, add ½ cup brown sugar, 1 tsp whole all spice, 2 cinnamon sticks and one sliced orange. Simmer on low for 5 hours, the mixture will condense and become perfect for sipping. Add a little whiskey to make it an adult drink!