Veggie slow cooking
July 15, 2010 8:35 AM   Subscribe

Slow cooker for vegetarians. Ideas?

I have a new 2.5 quart slow cooker for our fam (2 adults, 1 toddler.) Most of us are vegetarians.

I see this as a solution to our problems of too little evening time (toddler and dad arrive home around 6pm, toddler bedtime process begins 7:30pm) and wanting good food that we can TRY to all eat at the same time. (Currently, toddler is fed at 6:15pm and parents eat at 9:30!)

So please give me some ideas for Crock Potting/slow cooking. I have a lot of flexibility within my day, so I envision prepping the cooker in the early AM.

We live in California, so access to fresh produce isn't a problem.
posted by k8t to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
I highly recommend this cookbook.
posted by leesh at 8:38 AM on July 15, 2010 [4 favorites]

I don't slow-cook myself, but I came here to recommend the same book as leesh, as my boyfriend swears by it. He's especially enamored with the "Slow and easy mushroom and green bean Stroganoff."
posted by wreckingball at 8:49 AM on July 15, 2010

You may want to take a look at these cookbooks. I really like Finlayson's cookbooks myself, and the others just look up your alley.

I was also intrigued by this cookbook of slow cooked African soups and stews, which seems to have a vegetarian focus.
posted by bearwife at 8:50 AM on July 15, 2010

One of my favorite Mexican comfort foods is Pozole. It would be terrific if done using a slow cooker.
posted by special-k at 8:51 AM on July 15, 2010

I did some burrito filling in the crock-pot last week as an experiment. It was a delicious experiment. I sliced up a few different bell peppers, a poblano, an onion, a tomato (I had one I needed to use it up, next time I'll add more than one) added some frozen corn, and brown rice (You could probably put beans in there, too. I'm not a huge bean fan, so I make them separately for my husband.) Added some BBQ sauce and cumin and a some water for the rice to soak up. Served it in some tortillas with plenty of cheddar cheese on top. Like I said, it was very much experimental so I don't remember what proportions I used. But it's an idea!
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 9:08 AM on July 15, 2010

Ratatouille goes well in a crock pot.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:17 AM on July 15, 2010

We make all of our beans in the slow cooker. Get GREAT heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo, and they practically need nothing but salt and a tortilla to make them delicious.
posted by juliapangolin at 9:18 AM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

I don't have any recipe suggestions (maybe later!) but I just wanted to warn about the potential danger of cooking dried kidney beans in the slow cooker. They need to be brought to a full boil for at least 10 minutes to destroy a toxin that is released through cooking at lower temperatures where the beans don't boil. Just learned this recently, and I thought I'd pass it on!
posted by sararah at 9:50 AM on July 15, 2010

posted by Gilbert at 9:58 AM on July 15, 2010


Um no. Daal cooks very quickly. You can cook it on the stove top in under 20 minutes. If you stick that in a slow cooker, you'll end up with mushy glue by the end of the day.
posted by special-k at 10:01 AM on July 15, 2010

Basically, virtually any water-y recipe can be adapted to a slow-cooker. Any soup or stew. The only caveat is that you have to think about how strong you want flavours to be. If you want a big garlic taste, you'd add a bit of garlic at the end of the cooking time (maybe 20 minutes before serving). If you want to keep it subtle, add all garlic at the beginning.

I also use my slow-cooker to pre-cook legumes, especially chickpeas and black beans instead of getting the overly salted, and more expensive canned variety.
posted by Kurichina at 10:04 AM on July 15, 2010

Daal cooks very quickly.

Traditionally this dal is cooked on low flame, for hours... -- and I have used my crock pot for dal makhani, to great success. Googling "dal makhani slow cooker" will turn up a bunch of recipes (I use a boxed masala, no idea which might be best -- but the box stuff does turn out a decent dish).

Spaghetti sauce, if that's not too obvious.
posted by kmennie at 10:09 AM on July 15, 2010

Any regular crockpot recipe with ground beef (and there are a lot of them) can be used substituting soy crumbles. Crockpot vegetarian chili is awesome. The long, slow cooking really lets the soy and beans soak up the flavor.
posted by JoanArkham at 11:30 AM on July 15, 2010

kmennie: You fail to mention that dal makhani typically includes 2-3 types of beans and not just lentils. So that would require a much longer time on the stove and would be fine in a crockpot.
posted by special-k at 11:41 AM on July 15, 2010

You will have good luck just googling around for recipes, that is what I do. Some of the best ones I've enjoyed:

Pineapple Baked Beans
Hot and Sour Soup <> BBQ Tofu

Tuscan White Beans & Olive Oil With Garlic Crostini

Boiled Peanuts

Not at all vegetarian but this is the best slow cooker recipe ever so I have to share:

Goons With Spoons Pulled Pork
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:06 PM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

^ Formatting got messed up, remember to substitute out the chicken broth for veggie broth in that Hot and Sour soup.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:07 PM on July 15, 2010

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