One of the easiest ways to prepare hot meals is to set up a slow cooker to do all the hard work for you. With a variety of sizes and models available, they all offer the convenience of being able to set it up and simply forget about it until it’s done. The set up usually involves cutting vegetables, measuring out sauces and spices, and occasionally a bit of precooking. Some slow cookers have a timer, but others will just need to be watched and measured. If you select the right recipe, you can set it up in the morning and come home to a fully cooked meal. They’re perfectly suited for vegetable-based recipes, as they make everything very soft and infuse the flavours throughout.
Chard, Lentil & Potato Soup. Soups fit slow cookers perfectly, allowing plenty of time for the flavours to mix together and for all the ingredients to soften in the broth. Lentils and potatoes are a good way to bulk it up, and can be combined with many other vegetables and spices to create a diverse range of flavours.
Quinoa White Chili. A comfort food that’s healthy too – Quinoa is a natural superfood that contains lots of fibre and protein, and is easy to throw into salads and chilis such as this one. It takes on whatever flavours you add to it and is great for bulking up a dish. The recipe also uses Cannellini beans and poblano peppers that add an extra kick.
Vegetarian Gumbo. This Cajun dish traditionally takes a long time to simmer and cook, making it perfectly fitted for a slowcooker. The Cajun seasoning can be found at most grocery stores, though if you want to be extra authentic you can hunt the different spices down yourself. You can add your favourite kind of faux-meat as well if you’re partial to them, though it works just fine with only the vegetables.
Crock Pot Minestrone. This low-fat recipe is perfect for freezing and storing for whenever you need a quick meal on the go that will be healthy as well. The secret to the perfect pasta is to cook it separately and then add it afterwards, rather than allowing it to sit in the broth while it boils. Slow cookers are perfect for vegetarians who are feeling a bit busy or just lazy. The “set and forget” is easy, but remember to set them up early if you want to make sure you get your dinner on time.
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