Recipes from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker

Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Dried Cranberries

The sweet-tart addition of cranberries adds a burst of color and flavor to sweet potatoes, making this dish a new family favorite. This slow cooker recipe is especially practical for holiday dinners when you never seem to have enough burners on the stove or room in the oven.

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries

1. Place the sweet potatoes slices in a lightly oiled 4-quart slow cooker. In a small bowl combine the apple juice and sugar and pour over potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until the potatoes are tender.

2. Just before serving, smash the potatoes with a potato masher and fold in the cranberries.

Serves 4

Bell Peppers Stuffed with Salsa Rice and Beans

Use red, green, or yellow bell peppers and hot or mild salsa, according to your preference.

  • 4 large bell peppers
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked white or brown rice
  • 1/2 cups cooked or one 15 1/2-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup tomato salsa
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • One 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

1. Cut the tops off the bell peppers and remove and discard the stems, seeds, and membranes. Arrange the peppers upright in a 5 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the rice, beans, salsa, scallions, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Fill the pepper cavities evenly with the rice mixture, packing lightly. Replace the pepper tops.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes with the cumin, oregano, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over and around the peppers in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours, or until the peppers are tender but still hold their shape.

Serves 4

Lentil Soup with Ribbons of Kale

Collards, chard, or other dark greens may be substituted for the kale. I prefer to cook the greens in advance and add them when the soup is ready to eat because cooking the raw greens right in the soup can impart a bitter flavor.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/4 cups dried brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
  • 6 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 or 5 large kale leaves, tough stems removed

1. Heat the oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Cover and cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a 4-quart slow cooker and add the lentils, stock, and tamari. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Tightly roll the kale leaves like a cigar and cut them crosswise into thin ribbons. Cook the kale in a pot of boiling salted water until tender and add to the soup when ready to serve.

Serves 6

Spicy Black Bean Chili

This dark, rich chili is so easy to make and full of flavor thanks to its long slow cooking. For dramatic accompaniments, serve over noodles or rice cooked with a pinch of turmeric and top with some diced avocado.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder or to taste
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • Two 15.5-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • One 4-ounce can diced green chiles
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cover and cook until just softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder and cook about 30 seconds longer. Transfer the mixture to a 4-quart slow cooker.

2. Add the tomatoes, beans, water, chiles, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and slow-cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until the vegetables are tender and the chili is thick.

Serves 4

Lemon-Lime Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

The light crisp taste of citrus blended into the creamy filling makes this an ideal finale after a spicy meal. If you don’t have a rack or trivet that fits inside the cooker, invert a small bowl to keep the cheesecake pan off the bottom of the cooker.

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cup gingersnap crumbs
  • 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine, melted

Filling:

  • 12 ounces silken tofu
  • 8 ounces tofu cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Juice and chopped zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice and chopped zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds

1. Combine the crumbs and margarine in a bowl, stirring with a fork to moisten. Pat the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a lightly oiled 7-inch spring form pan.

2. Using a blender, food processor, or hand mixer, blend the tofu, cream cheese, and sugar until smooth and creamy. Blend in the lemon and lime juice and zest, the vanilla, and the cornstarch until well combined. Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared crust. Cover with aluminum foil, making several holes in foil for steam to escape.

4. Place a trivet or small heatproof bowl in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker. Pour about a half inch of boiling water into the bottom of the cooker. Place the foil-covered spring form pan on top of the trivet. Cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Take the pan out of the cooker, remove the foil, and let it stand until cool. Once cool, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Chill completely before removing from pan.

5. To serve, remove the sides of the pan, using a knife to loosen it if necessary. Spread the top of the cheesecake with the toasted almonds.

Serves 8

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Leave a Comment

*