With the cooler weather settling in, we naturally crave warmer meals. I’m big on one pot meals, so I brought out and have been digging through my casserole books. Although we have our favorites, it’s easy to get bored with the same old meals. Variety is good for the soul, so I’m anxious to try some new recipes, or a new technique. I recently received two new slow cooker recipe books, 175 Essential Slow Cooker Classics, and The Vegetarian Slow Cooker. They’ve inspired me enormously!
My mom used a pressure cooker a lot when I was growing up, and she basically cooked meat and veggies together. Although I have a pressure cooker hidden in the back of my cupboard, I’ve always thought it too old school to make tasty meals. I was totally wrong after perusing through both new recipes books. I’m now enlightened to the fact that just about any meal can be made in a slow cooker, even desserts.
*Appetizers, Fondues & Savories
*Beef & Veal
*Pork & Lamb
*Fish & Seafood
*Grains & Sides
In our hectic lives, time management is crucial, which is why a slow cooker comes in handy. That being said, there are a few steps you may want to take before you toss all the ingredients in the slow cooker. The onset of the book has a plethora of Slow Cooker Tips that will assist you in making all your meals turn out successful. It’s recommended that you brown your meats and pre-soften your veggies before creating your recipe.
I knew of course about cooking meat and veggies in a slow cooker, but I was quite surprised that you can also make appetizers, fondues, and savories. These ideas would have never crossed my mind, so I was happy to glean these suggestions. The author of both books has really amped up the taste volume in her recipes. Our families want delicious meals and won’t settle for humdrum dishes. How about classic meals like your Classic Chicken Stew or Turkey Sloppy Joes? Yep, these can be made in the slow cooker too. There’s a variety of meat dishes as well as a vegetarian section. I loved the different soup recipes; they look so cozy and nourishing. Each of the recipes promises to be rich in color and flavor.
Bread & Breakfast
Starters & Snacks
Fondues & Savories
Pasta & Grains
Beans, Lentils, Tempeh & Tofu
I absolutely love The Vegetarian Slower Cooker recipe book. It’s filled with over 200 vegetarian delectable and hearty recipes with 130 vegan options. The introduction to this book is basically the same as the other slow cooker book, with a few differences. Not all the recipes in this book are made in a slow cooker; there’s a variety of baking and cooking options.
I had already prepared a recipe list of foods that I will be serving during the holidays, but this book has made me reflect and add a few more scrumptious meals. I love the ideas in the Starters and Snacks section. The Caramelized Onion Dip and Chilly Dilly Eggplant Dip are perfect for dipping veggies and crackers. There’s something festive about fondues, they bring out the holiday spirit. There’s a variety of basic to flavor infused fondue recipes that will make your party a hit.
There’s an abundance of different soup recipes, thirty-seven in fact. The Vegetable Gumbo is easy to make and you can literally use any vegetable. It calls for okra, but I used green beans instead. I also tossed in a few carrots and a potato; it made the soup a little thicker which we really like. So, let’s not forget the desserts. There are so many mouth watering recipes that you’ll want to make them all; well at least I do. The Coconut-Laced Black Sticky Rice Pudding, Plum Pudding, and Blackberry Peach Cobbler all look so yummy.
Both books are perforated with lots of vibrant images that beckon you to look up the recipes and get baking. There are a few duplicate recipes that you’ll find in each book, but I think having both books will enhance your meals and offer a delicious variety to your family. I’m tickled to have these books as part of my culinary collection! They’d make great holiday gifts too!