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Far from being old-fashioned, slow cookers are the cool kids on the block when it comes to making healthy, wholesome food, The brilliant thing about these culinary beauties is that you don’t have to slave in the kitchen for hours to make a wonderful meal for all to enjoy.
From soups and stews, to casseroles and curries, we have a feeling that if you make the move to the slow side, there will be no looking back.
The days of splashing tomato sauce everywhere when you make a bolognaise are over, because the slow cooker will keep it all contained. You might want to brown off your mince and onions first, then you can add this mix to your pot, together with two tins of tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, mushrooms, tomato purée and herbs. Put the lid on and let it cook for around six hours and the magic will get to work. When meal time comes around, cook up some pasta, pile onto plates, add some parmesan and enjoy.
With more and more people choosing a plant-based diet, the slow cooker is a ‘must have’ for vegans. Put some diced tofu, a blend of spices, curry paste, some peppers, green beans, and diced onions together with coconut milk and a little water, into the pot and leave to slowly simmer. In just a few hours you will have a healthy, totally tasty meal that you can eat for dinner, and pack for lunch the next day. Just add rice, and you are good to go.
Spicy sweet potato and lentil stew
Lentils are a really great source of healthy protein and are also cost-effective when it comes to cooking. Mix a few tablespoons of red lentils, with diced sweet potatoes, sliced carrots, and celery as well as peeled leeks, a thumb of crushed ginger, and a small teaspoon of curry powder. Place it all in your slow cooker with a cup or so of water, put on a low heat for around six hours and you will have a delicious, nutritious meal waiting for you when hunger strikes.
You might not have thought about the slow cooker for meatballs, but this dish is perfect for exactly that. Either buy pre-made beef or turkey meatballs, or you can make them yourself, and as with bolognaise, brown the meat and onions before adding them to the pot with tinned tomatoes, tomato purée as well as frozen peas and mushrooms. Put the lid on, press go and let the flavour of the ingredients get to work as you get on with your day. This dish is perfect with rice or pasta and a side of broccoli, and the leftovers are great cold in sandwiches the next day!
Mushrooms are jam-packed with B vitamins, potassium, iron and copper, and make a brilliant slow cooker soup. Slice a good-sized pack of mushrooms and put them in your slow cooker together with vegetable stock, browned onions, garlic plus salt and pepper, and cook on high for about three hours. If you want the soup to be thick and full, add some cream, then serve with crusty bread and a cheese board.
You heard it right here, you can totally make a delicious lasagne in a slow cooker. Once the meat and onions have been browned, mix with a couple of cans of tomatoes, tomato purée and a dash of Worcestershire sauce, then layer this with your pasta sheets and cheese sauce. Put the lid on and cook for around six hours on low. Once piping hot, serve with a green salad and garlic bread and we think you will be pleasantly surprised at how good it tastes.
There is nothing boring about lentil soup if you add in chickpeas, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne pepper as well as any veg you have kicking around in the fridge. Cook on slow for a few hours and you will have a filling lunch or late supper waiting for you when you are feeling peckish.
If you have got a recipe you think we would like, drop us a line as we would love to know what it is.