Slow cooked: Energy efficient recipes to warm the soul


Over the past few years, the slow cooker (a.k.a crock pot) has made a comeback as the kitchen appliance of choice for time, energy and health conscious folk, and for good reason. Almost anything can be cooked in a slow cooker, with the advantage that you can walk out the door knowing your meal will be ready when you get back. 

Add to this the health benefits, with slow cookers requiring very little – if any - oil, and the time saved, and you couldn’t ask for a better addition to your kitchen. 

To help you get the most out of your slow cooker, we’ve scoured the web for the tastiest and easiest seasonal recipes. If you’re yet to discover the joys of the slow cooker and we’ve whetted your appetite, we’ve included links to a few slow cooker comparison sites at the end.

So, get slow cooking!

Groundhouse 'Hercules' Porridge 
From the book Groundhouse Build + Cook comes this super easy overnight porridge recipe. Imagine waking up to a steaming, fruity bowl of porridge without having to think about it! (Instructions for a stove top version are also included.)

Serves: 4
Prep time: 5 mins
Slow cooker: overnight
Stove top: 20 mins
250g oats
900ml boiling water
Pinch salt
Handful of dried fruit
½ apple grated
¼ block coconut (optional)
1tsp cinnamon

If using a slow cooker place all ingredients in it when you go to bed. Set a timer so the power only goes on at about 3am. The porridge will be ready by 7am. Serve with homemade fruit compote or fresh/frozen berries, toasted seeds, honey or yoghurt.  Alternatively, add boiling water and cook on the stove top by simmering for around 20 minutes.
Thai Chicken Soup
FoodieCrush gives us this mouth-watering version of a perennial favourite, all cooked in just one pot while you’re out and about. (We’ve converted some of the measurements for you!)

2 tablespoons red curry paste
3 cups of coconut milk
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons peanut butter
700g chicken breasts, cut into 3cm pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 1cm slices
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 heaping tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 tablespoon lime juice
Fresh coriander for garnish
Cooked white rice

Mix the curry paste, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, brown sugar and peanut butter in a 4 - 6 litre slow-cooker bowl. Place the chicken breast, red bell pepper, onion and ginger in the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Add in the peas and cook for ½ hour longer. Stir in lime juice and serve with coriander and white rice.

Vegetarian Chilli with Sweet Potatoes 
One of the best things about slow cookers is how ideal they are for making vegetarian meals. To get you started, we’ve found this delicious vegetarian chilli recipe on Real Simple

1 medium red onion, chopped 
1 green bell pepper, chopped 
4 garlic cloves, chopped 
1 tablespoon chilli powder 
1 tablespoon ground cumin 
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder 
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
Salt and black pepper 
2 x 400g can diced tomatoes 
1 x 400g can black beans, rinsed 
1 x 400g can kidney beans, rinsed 
1 medium sweet potato peeled and cut into 2cm pieces 
Sour cream, sliced spring onions, sliced radishes, and tortilla chips, for serving 

In medium to large slow cooker, combine the onion, bell pepper, garlic, chilli powder, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Add the tomatoes (and their liquid), beans, sweet potato, and 1 cup water. Cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chilli has thickened, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours (this will shorten total recipe time). Serve the chilli with the sour cream, scallions, radishes, and tortilla chips.

Slow cookers put to the test


Date: 31 May 2016
Category: Energy Facts | Living Sustainably

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