In the Slow Cooker: Cookbooks & November’s Plan

Screen shot 2011 11 04 at 10.54.08 AM 257x300 In the Slow Cooker: Cookbooks & Novembers Plan

A few weeks ago, I asked on Facebook if you would be interested in a weekly feature called “In the Crockpot”. The response was pretty overwhelming – and an obsession was born.

My obsession, that is. With crockpot cookbooks.

Based on some of your suggestions, and my husband’s library sleuthing skills, I’ve been reading crockpot cookbooks all week long.

The four that I have gone through so far (with some of the recipes that caught my attention) are:

The Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker

Minted Potato & Chickpea Curry – p. 25

Stacked Cauliflower Enchilada with Green Chile Sauce – p. 40

Potatoes & Peas in Red Curry Sauce – p. 48

Risotto with Lentils – p. 60

Chickpea Harira – p. 112

The Jewish Slow Cooker

Chickpea and Lentil Soup – p. 35

Olive Oil Poached Halibut – p. 125

The Healthy Slow Cooker

Apple Cranberry Bread (I plan to make this after Thanksgiving, when fresh cranberries are uber-cheap) – p. 14

Chicken with Leeks in Walnut Sauce – p. 96

Mediterranean Beef Ragout – p. 168

Squash with Quinoa and Apricots – p. 208

Mixed Vegetables in Spicy Peanut Sauce – p. 216

Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker

Black Bean Soup – p. 36

Curried Cauliflower Soup with Chutney and Cashews – p. 47

Pesto Potato Soup with Toasted Pine Nuts – p. 51

Moroccan-Inspired Vegetable and Chickpea Stew – p. 76

Sloppy Lentils (like Sloppy Joe’s, but vegetarian) – p. 104

Slow Cook Tomato Sauce – p. 133

Fudgy Chocolate Pudding Cake – p. 230 (O.M.G!!)

(These are the Amazon links, but as I said, we found all of these at our local library.)

So, here’s my plan of action for moving from reading cookbooks to eating dinner!

Change my terminology

Based on the fact that every single cookbook I have found calls it a “slow cooker”, I’m guessing that’s the official term! So, I’m going to start calling it a “slow cooker” and (try to) stop saying “crockpot”.

Cook on Sundays

As per my November menu planning themes, Sunday will be crockpot day. My husband works on Sundays, and I usually try to do something fun with the kids, interspersed with posting on KOAB as much as possible. So, a quick-and-easy meal is definitely in order.

I’ll do my best to share the recipe and review of my Sunday recipe on Mondays or Tuesdays, so you can look forward to that as well.

And if you want to slow-cooker along with me on Sundays, I’d be delighted to have the company!

Test out a mix of dairy, meat and pareve recipes

So, yes, we have three crockpots slow cookers! This one is our  meat slow cooker (which technically is three-in-one, so does that mean we have 6 slow cookers?! Yikes!).

Screen shot 2011 11 04 at 10.43.33 AM 300x212 In the Slow Cooker: Cookbooks & Novembers PlanI got the meat one first – for cholent, of course! Next was pareve, since I wanted to be able to make up beans and sauces, which I could freeze and use with either meat or dairy meals. And finally, I got the dairy slow cooker. The frequency of their use corresponds to the order in which we purchased them.

Although I will try to make at least one meat recipe per month, I suspect that I will end up favoring the dairy and pareve ones, since good (and easy) meat crockpot recipes are pretty ubiquitous anyway … and because I tend to prefer non-meat meals, especially during the week

Select recipes that are low on the fussy scale

I originally sticky-noted a TON of recipes out of these four cookbooks, but when I made the second-pass, I eliminated most of those that required extensive stove-top prep.

The whole point of my wanting to make more slow cooker recipes is because I can start it (quickly) in the morning and then forget about it. Ten stove-top steps, plus pureeing and stirring every 2 hours doesn’t fit that bill!

I’m sure these fussier recipes are delightful, but if I’m already doing that much work, I’ll just finish it in the oven or on the stove – I don’t need the slow cooker at the point.

November’s Slow Cooker Menu Plan

Finally!

Here’s my plan for the four Sundays in November:

Stacked Cauliflower Enchilada with Green Chile Sauce (Vegetarian Slow Cooker) – dairy

N’Orelans Red Beans & Rice (submitted to me by KOAB reader Brooke) – meat, athough I might use veggie sausage instead of meat sausage, in which case, this will be pareve

Chicken with Leeks in Walnut Sauce (The Healthy Slow Cooker) – meat

Moroccan-Inspired Vegetable and Chickpea Stew (Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker) – pareve

So, what do you think? Are you excited to learn some new slow cooker recipes? Do you have a favorite you’d like me to share? Anyone up for making Sunday Slow Cooker Day?

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. I need to make more use of my slow cooker (and yes, since we’re vegetarian, we only have one, and yes, it’s dairy). Between my schedule and the kids’ schedules, there are nights when the only people here are three hungry teenage boys – my son and his two friends! So a big pot of something hot and filling would be perfect. Will you post reviews of the recipes? The Gourmet Vegetarian book sounds really interesting.

  2. So excited to slow-cooker along with you! Here are 2 “crock pot” recipes to add to your list of Sunday menu plan! Both are so simple and delicious and you would never think to make them in slow cooker. Crock Pot Falafel http://kitchen-tested.com/2011/08/10/crock-pot-falafel/ and Brown Sugar Candy Chicken http://kitchen-tested.com/2011/07/28/brown-sugar-candy-chicken/.

  3. Mara, also try the Moroccan-style Lentil and Chickpea soup (from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker). I’ve found that this soup is one of those few that is actually better after sitting in a crockpot for 24+ hours, which makes it nice for a Shabbat afternoon.

    Rachel

    • Thanks, Rachel! I will add that to my list! It looked really good and I’m excited to know that I can serve it on Shabbat. (Do you move it to warm at a certain point before Shabbat, or keep on low the entire time?)

  4. Jessi Levy says:

    So I’m going to go to Target this week and buy myself a $16 “slow cooker” so I can have a dairy one! I think I can live w/o a parve one (for now). I like some of the middle eastern sounding ones, as I’m sure my husband will too. Slow cooker lasagna?
    http://www.doitdelicious.com/recipes/make_it/slow_cooker_lasagna

  5. My Parve crockpot is old and only has low/high, so I do leave it on low the whole time.

  6. So funny -I just saw the deal at Target on slow cookers and thought, “Nice, but do I really need another one??” After reading this post, I’m definitely going to get one for dairy! (Btw, I am pretty sure that “slow cooker” is the generic term and “crockpot” is a name brand.)

  7. I have Wednesday as my weekly crockpot night in the cool months.

    Have you seen this blog: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/ ? Lots and lots of recipes, most of which can be made kosher.

    Looking forward to your recipes!

  8. Karen Margolis says:

    Would you please send me the four recipes for “Sundays in November”?
    I’d like to give them a try. But probably not on Sundays.
    Being that the internet and I sometimes are not in sync, I’ll report back to you as I can.
    Thank you so much for your wonderful effort and expertise.
    You are fantastic!

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