Crock Pot

Slow Cooker Red Lentil Vegetable Soup

Red lentils make such a delicious, flavorful soup, while also being a fantastic source of vegetarian protein! This is an amazing soup to make early in the day so you can come home to a beautiful hot meal simmering away!

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INGREDIENTS:

1½ cups red lentils
4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
½ a bunch of kale (about 4 leaves) stems removed and chopped
2 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped (optional)
2 garlic cloves, pressed
½ an onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon parsley
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
6½ cups vegetable stock

See the entire recipe and directions at Sweet Phi.

 

Springtime Crockpot Minestrone

Yes, I know spring is a far way off. Still, I cannot wait to see those buds popping out of the ground! The weather might not seem very springy, but this beautiful soup recipe has a freshness that just sings "spring"!

Ingredients:

1 sweet onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 (28 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
2 (15 ounce) cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
3 cups water
8 ounces of uncooked ditalini pasta
12 thin asparagus spears, stems removed and cut into thirds
1 cup of frozen sweet peas
1 (6 ounce) bag of fresh spinach
1/3 cup freshly grated romano cheese + more for topping
salt and pepper to taste

See the entire recipe and directions at How Sweet It Is.

Homemade Yogurt in a Crock Pot (Don't Be Afraid- You Can Do This!)

A friend of mine turned me on to this awesome recipe and I had to share it. Most people think making yogurt is too difficult to be attempted, or that you need a special machine to do it (I actually had a yogurt maker once upon a time, but it was literally twenty different parts to clean and keep track of- nobody has time for that).

This recipe uses a crock pot and makes a huge amount of yogurt (or Greek yogurt) for only the cost of a gallon of milk. I also love this recipe because you know everything that is going into it- no carrageenan, no artificial chemicals or preservatives, just milk- I’d recommend using organic.

The recipe below makes a gallon of yogurt, which will stay good for several weeks. Both my friend and her mom always have this in their fridge and have never had it go bad. I was worried at first since it seemed like a gallon of yogurt was such a large amount, but she says it’s actually a wonderful thing since it can be eaten with abandon for breakfast or even as an addition to recipes.

When she first told me about how she’s been doing this, I said it seemed like a lot of steps, but she said not to be scared off by that, that it’s mostly time that the yogurt just needs to sit unattended, and that the actual work is very little (and is worth it when you think how a tiny container of Greek yogurt costs $1 or more).

The things you’ll need:

1 gallon of milk (I’d recommend using organic whole milk)
½ cup of plain yogurt to use as your starter
Crock pot
A kitchen thermometer

Read the entire recipe and directions at The Tasty Cheapskate.
 

The only tip we have to add to the recipe is that after you cool the milk and before adding the starter yogurt would be to skim off the layer of film that forms on top of the milk. It’s not necessary, but my friend said it’s better to skim off the film than mix it in to keep the yogurt uniformly smooth.

Crockpot Mushroom Barley Lentil Stew

I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious.  Warm, comforting, and healthy.  Barley and lentils are full of fiber, which helps you to feel satisfied.  This is also a very easy dish to put together.


Ingredients:

1 onion, chopped
6 cups water
1-2 tbs. Better Than Bullion Vegetable Base
1 16 oz. package sliced fresh mushrooms (or more for extra deliciousness)
3/4 cup uncooked pearled barley
3/4 cup dried brown lentils
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. sage
3 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. pepper
Olive oil
Salt to taste


Directions:


Saute onion in olive oil until translucent.  This step is optional, but gives the stew a more complex, mellow flavor.

Throw all the ingredients in your crockpot and stir.  Add olive oil to taste (I add several tablespoons of olive oil to every soup or stew I make, which gives it a wonderful flavor).

Cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.  It can also be made on the stovetop.

Add salt to taste if needed after cooking.




Slow Cooker Fudge

This recipe was super easy and turned out great. Warning: it's very rich.  This isn't particularly healthy, but it's a nice alternative dessert for people with allergies.

A nice basic fudge recipe.  Cooking it in the slow cooker ensures it doesn't burn.  For a dairy free recipe, choose dairy free chocolate chips.

fudge

2-1/2 cups Chocolate Chips

1/2 cup full fat coconut milk

1/4 cup raw mild honey

Dash of sea salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Read the complete recipe and directions at piarecipes.com

Ratatouille in the Crock Pot

This is my favorite crock pot recipe.  It's very good, and easy. It's a great accompaniment to pasta and also makes a wonderful sandwich on garlic bread.

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2 large onions, cut in half and sliced

1 large eggplant, sliced, cut in 2 inch pieces

4 small zucchini, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 large green bell peppers, de-seeded and cut into thin strips

2 large Tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch wedges

1 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped


Read the complete recipe and directions at food.com