If you have read my previous foodie posts, you know that I am a big fan of the crock pot. Not only is a crock pot easy to use, but you can devote quality time to your kids instead of slaving away in the kitchen. I previously wrote about how your crock pot can be used for recipes for Friday nights. But can a crock pot be used for other than main meaty dishes? Well, yes! Surprisingly, the crock pot is very versatile and here are some recipes to prove it.
Chicken broth or stock is a great versatile staple in the house. It can be used as a cooking liquid for grains like rice and quinoa, as a braising liquid for chicken or vegetables, or for making sauces and is often added to make soups, and adds flavor to tomato sauces and chickens.
- 2 pounds of chicken wings, necks etc
- 4 smallish carrots, rinsed and roughly chopped
- 1 celery, rinsed and roughly chopped
- 1 leek, rinsed and roughly chopped
- 1 smallish onion, peeped roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorn
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- cold water
Place all ingredients in crock pot, and add enough water to cover and cook on low for at least 12 hours or overnight. You may need to skim the surface towards the beginning of cooking. Strain and let cool.
Forget about store bought hummus. Home made hummus is healthier, tastier, and really easy to make.
- One 15-ounce can (425 grams) chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans
- 1/4 cup (59 ml) fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
- 1/4 cup (59 ml) tahini
- 1/2 of a large garlic clove, minced
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt, depending on taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 to 3 tablespoons water
- Dash of ground paprika for serving
Put dry humus beans in the crock pot and cover with water. Put on the highest setting for 4-6 hours. Add water occasionally to make sure the hummus is covered with water. Turn off the crock pot and put the hummus and all the above ingredients in the food processor. Most likely the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpeas. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until the consistency is perfect.
This meaty lasagna recipe starts of on the stove, and then gets its flavors from hours in the slow cooker.
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 1 pound of ground turkey
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 can of tomato paste
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes in purée
- 9 lasagna noodles
Cook turkey and beef over medium-high, breaking up meat with a spoon, until no longer pink, 4 to 6 minutes. Add onion, carrots, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, then tomatoes; bring to a boil, and remove from heat. Spoon 2 cups meat mixture into bottom of a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Layer 3 noodles (breaking them as needed to fit), 2 cups meat mixture and repeat with 2 more layers. Cover slow cooker and cook for 4-6 hours.
Parve Chocolate Fondu
Using a crock pot for chocolate fondu is ideal, since you don’t have to worry about burning your dip or making a mess in the kitchen.
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup of coconut cream
- ½ cup of soy milk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoon bourbon or orange/ coffee or hazelnut liqueurs
Put semisweet, bittersweet chocolates, cream, soy milk, vanilla and salt in a heat-proof glass bowl, that will fit in a 3-4 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook for 45 minutes on low setting. Uncover and stir the chocolate and add the bourbon or liqueur. Cover and cook for an extra 15-30 minutes, until chocolate has completely melted. Whisk mixture until completely smooth and switch to the medium setting to keep it warm while serving.
Pear & Ginger Applesauce
A different type of dessert your family will surely love.
- 5 medium gala apples, peeled, cored, quartered and sliced
- 5 medium Barlett pears, peeled, cored, quartered and sliced
- 3 Tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
- ¼ cup water or apple juice
In a large bowl place: apple and pear pieces, stir in sugar, ground cinnamon and grated ginger. Pour water or apple juice into the bottom of crock pot and add apple mixture cover, turn setting to low and cook for 8 hours (or high for 5 hours), stirring occasionally and breaking the slices with wooden spoon. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Which crock pot recipe will you try? Have you got any interesting recipes for a crock pot?