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Hey guys,

I've just got myself a slowcooker and am wondering what I can do with it. I have many ideas so far.

The main thing I am wondering right now is;

Can I add dried stuff (specifically, because that's what I have in the house, dried red split lentils, dried butter beans, dried chickpeas, oh and buckwheat but I know it's not the same!) to some cold water, stock and whatever fresh veggies I'm putting in, put it on low, go to work and come home 8/9 hours later to have something nice ready?

It's just these dried wholefoods, bar buckwheat obviously, they all say on the packet to soak for 8 or so hours, rinse, boil for however long, rinse again, and serve. Is this just to prevent some kind of bacteria or is it over the top?

I specifically need pretty long recipes because of my work hours and general lack of time. I have considered using an external timer on the slow cooker but I am reluctant to do so because I do actually eat meat and want to use meat in recipes with the slow cooker, I just thought that this forum would give me the best advice!

Also, if anyone can point me in the direction of some nice, long, slow cooker recipes, with or without meat, that would be appreciated.

~Andy
 

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I've made "refried" beans like that, by putting some dry pinto beans, about 6 cloves of garlic, a couple of rough cut onions, salt, cumin and chili powder into the crock pot with water that goes about an inch and a half above the beans and let it cook on low for 8 hours. Then when I got home I just drained off the little bit of water that wasn't absorbed and mashed it all up with a potato masher. Easy, healthy "refried" beans.


That's the only thing I've made like that though, but I imagine if you put things in for some kind of soup or something ti would turn out ok. Just be sure to have plenty of liquid for the beans to absorb.
 

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Lentils don't need to be soaked before use, but I think a lot of beans need to be. Some beans, especially kidney beans, should be boiled for twenty minutes or so on the stove before eating if they are cooked over low heat in a slow cooker. They contain a toxin that is destroyed by high heat, but isn't always destroyed when cooked over low heat. Slow cookers make cooking beans pretty easy though, and they are great to use that way!

Soups and stews are the best to make with slow cookers. They cook really well, and the flavors get plenty of time to develop. Any really soft veggies (like zucchini) or foods like pasta and rice will get fall-apart soft if you cook them that long, so if that bothers you either leave them out of recipes or add them in the last half hour of cooking. I regularly make chili, minestrone, and mock "beef" and vegetable stews in our slow cooker.
 

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i love my slow cooker. So simple and easy to use. I like it on busy days when I want something nutritious to eat at the time I want it. I love the make ahead and have it later idea.

There are times when I put dry ingredients in and just let it go. It always comes out yummy.

Here are some great recipes for the slow cooker

http://www.kalethyme.com/vegetarian-crock-pot-recipes.html

Hope that helps!!!
 
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