Thursday, January 27, 2011

Your slow cooker does more than pot roast

It is cold and it is damp. And those of us in the lower mainland of British Columbia have, oh, conservatively 5 more months of this weather! OK - I exaggerate...a little.

I don't know about you but at this time of year I love my slow cooker. I can pop in a chicken or a roast, dump in some wine or stock, add some vegetables and in six to eight hours I have supper. (Now, it truly sucks that it starts to smell like supper in about 2 hours and then you have to fight the urge to start cutting chunks off to nibble on during the day, but that's a small price to pay.)

I am not alone. In recent year, slow cookers have gone through a bit of a resurgence and recipes abound on the Internet.  The kind folks at the food area of Apartment Therapy, the kitchn, have put together an outstanding list of slow cooker recipes. I mean, come on: Overnight Oatmeal with Apricots and Buttermilk, Slow-Cooked Artichokes and  Slow-Cooked Bolognese? Who can't find time to do those?

To their list, let me add:
  1. One outstanding blog - A Year of Slowcooking. Stephanie has an obsession with her slowcooker and we get the benefit of it. Up soon on a non-plant-based day, Pulled Pork with Saurkraut. Sooner, for a plant-based day, Jamaican Pumpkin Soup.
  2. A great list of links from one of our most popular magazines, Canadian Living. First up for me, the last one on the list, Three-Bean Lentil Soup. It calls for curry paste- I'm thinking about using Thai and adding in a little coconut milk.
  3. Up next is Martha Stewart. Her website has a great list of slow cooker recipes, though most involve some sort of meat or poultry. So next time I want to slow cook some chicken, I'll try Tex-Mex Chicken and Beans or Soy-Ginger Chicken.
  4. Last but clearly not least, check out the Fresh Slow Cooking blog for tons of recipes and some great pictures. On my shortlist are: Thick and Creamy Tomato Soup, Butternut Squash and Leek Stew, Leek and Potato Soup, Spicy Cauliflower and Parsnip Soup, and Buffalo Pulled Chicken.
Happy slow cooking. And don't sneak any bits before it's done - especially if it's chicken!


  1. Cyn, Thanks for this resource. I love my slow cooker! It seems even better in the winter time. My favorite thing to make is soup, so I want to check out the fresh slow cooking blog. I agree, that aroma when something really yummy is cooking, it's almost as good as Thanksgiving!

  2. My sister made the butternut squash and leek stew and pronounced it fantastic. She has some adjustments to the recipe; if you're interested, I'll fire them off to you.

  3. Well why don't I do that myself. I used an acorn squash as that is what was left from my garden. I used some white beans too as I only had one can of chick peas. Other than that I generally followed the recipe. I used both veg stock and chicken. The great thing about this is that there is no saute the veg step just fire everything into the pot and let'r rip! I would suggest adding more fruit (it called for 1/3 cup) I used raisins but dried apricots would add a nice sweetness/tartness. This makes a lot so I have frozen some for later. It is a really good stew full of flavour!

  4. I'm thinking this is a good candidate to make and freeze in small portions. Meanwhile, I'm still eating borscht! :-) Jon took some to work today and was actually concerned about portion control - it is so good he thinks it must be bad for him.