Monday, April 23, 2012

a vegetarian crock pot

Acquiring a crock pot has been on my mind for several months now.  I hesitated to bite the bullet as all of the crock pot meals of my youth were meat-based and I wasn't sure what kind of use my crock pot might see in a vegetarian household.  Fortunately crock pot cooking has come a long way from pot roasts, and when a friend who was relocating offered hers for free, I decided to dive in.

I spent a few nights perusing vegetarian crock pot recipes online, then did what I typically do: find a recipe I mostly liked and adapted it to suit me.  This Indian Curry dish was our inaugural crock pot feast, although I subbed the chicken for whatever veggies I had on hand, green beans, peas, carrots, onions, and corn.  This was a winner and will definitely become part of our recipe repertoire.

I also tried to find a Chili Pie recipe, although I basically used our standard veggie chili topped with the cornbread batter.  I used some chili tickler cheddar in the cornbread, and it was deliciously spicy.  Paul and I loved it, and Finn really enjoyed it, despite the "hot" he kept mentioning.

I was a bit nervous about the cornbread topping setting in the middle, but it came through just before serving.

Tonight's broccoli and cheddar over brown rice turned out pretty well too.  I used the amount of water that I normally use for rice, and it was clearly too much so it was a bit soupy.  Maybe the broccoli contributed to the extra water?

Everyone enjoyed it though so I'll definitely try again with a little bit longer time and little bit less water.  I didn't have a recipe for this one either, just threw some brown rice, sauteed onion, minced garlic, salt and a little bit of veggie broth into some water then layered broccoli and cheddar on top.

We've only had one true flop in the crock pot thus far.  I tried a spinach lasagne last week that was a bust. Mushy noodles and crispy cheese, although the boys like that; it definitely needed less time in the crock pot.  I'll try again at some point though and see if I can find a lasagne that works.

Do you have any good vegetarian (or easily adaptable) crock pot favorites? I'd love to find some good recipes to continue my exploration!


  1. Oo, that chili pie looks scrumptious! I very rarely use mine. Like you, I want to use it more but don't really know how to use it to cook vegetarian. Mainly, I cook beans in there.

  2. I too have been adapting crock pot recipies. I have used the fake ground meat in place of groud beef/chicken. And in any mexican style I have used soaked black beans for the meat.

    I have used a creamy muchroom gravy as a base then added a bag of frozen veg. And I put it over biskets, rice or noodles. This is really fast and filling.

    I have converted some other recipies as well.

    With All That I Am
    Carrie "The Handmade Homemaker"

  3. I used this book a bunch when I had the crockpot. It's got great stuff in it. I mostly made beans, chili, and split pea soup but there are lots of other cool ideas.

  4. I'd love to hear more about your successes. We're also vegetarian and I finally bought a crock pot 6 months ago, made a flurry of recipes (about 10?) of which only a couple worked out well enough to try again. I haven't touched it in months. =(

  5. If the electricity connection goes and comes back after a while does the crock pot have 1. restart automatically, 2.start from where it left off... coz for ppl who r not home the whole day this would be ideal if it had these features.


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