Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Vegetarian Crock Pot Receipes

When you first begin to explore the world of slow cooking, it can seem like meat is the only thing most people bother to prepare in these devices. With a little research however, many vegetarian crock pot recipes rise to the surface; some of them are even appropriate for the vegan crowd. Here are 25 of my favorite finds. (See also: 25 Great, Cheap, and Easy Crock Pot Recipes)

1. Corn Chowder

Homespun and hearty, corn chowder is an affordable meal to warm up with at the end of a brisk day. It’s also a great way to use up extras you have kicking around in your pantry like canned corn, dried onion, and warehouse-purchased herbs. Personally, I like to put the milk in towards the end of the cooking time when I do it in the crock pot to help keep it from separating.

2. Vegetarian Chili

Whether you’re doing a standard beans-and-peppers version or going with a sweet potato chili to mix up the menu a bit, this popular dish is one of the better vegetarian crock pot recipes you can plan. It provides boatloads of flexibility (think veggie dogs, paired with corn bread or over rice), and dresses up nicely with some chopped scallions and a pitcher of margaritas. I also like to use black beans in my chili, along with kidney and pinto.

3. Mexican Pinto Beans

One of the most inexpensive ways to enjoy beans and rice is to top your servings of rice with seasoned pinto beans. They are extremely affordable when purchased in large bags at places like Costco and can be used in everything from refried beans to burritos, soups, and more. These slow cooker Mexican-seasoned pinto beans are a great way to start.

4. Double-Decker Taco Fillings

To do this one, you’ll need a dual-sided crock insert or one of those triple crock buffets. I’m not sure why people only use these for the holidays, because they are great for once-a-month cooking or doing up large batches of plain beans to use in salads and dips throughout the week. Basically, you’ll need a batch of refried beans thinned with a little soy milk on one side. (It’s OK to use the canned kind of beans with this one.) On the other side, you need whatever you’re going to put as your ground-beef-like item. Whether that’s actual ground beef, TVP, tempeh, or even ground turkey is up to you. Just add an appropriate amount of tomato sauce and taco seasoning to suit the size of the batch you are preparing. While both fillings are heating, get out your flour tortillas, crunchy corn tortillas, and all of the toppings you will need such as chopped onions, sliced lettuce or greens, diced fresh tomatoes, and guacamole.
When ready, place each flour tortilla flat, and smooth on a layer of the refried beans. In the middle of that, stand up a crunchy tortilla and fill with the ground filling. Push your flour tortilla and bean layer up the sides of the crunchy taco to form the layered taco, and go nuts with your toppings. This is a great way to eat vegan on the cheap, but with a little bit of style. It’s also something you can set up for a mixed crowd if you have three crocks, so that meat eaters and veggie fans alike can enjoy the dinner without having to plan something else altogether.

5. Vegetable Soup With Black-Eyed Peas

This is an easy soup to make on the fly, and one of my favorite ways to use frozen mixed vegetables. Basically, you need 12-16 ounce bag of the veggies (or part of a larger bag), water, tomato sauce, black-eyed peas, and your seasonings of choice. Italian seasoning with a little salt and pepper works fine, but you can play around others if you like. Toss in a half pound of black-eyed peas, and set your crock to low for six hours, or high for a shorter amount of time. This is basically one of those recipes you can eyeball or readjust intuitively to fit the size of your slow cooker. Not only is this a great one to add to your list of vegetarian crock pot recipes, it’s also a great way to maintain cost control on your organic vegan grocery list. Pair it with homemade jalapeno corn muffins or toasted ciabatta bruschetta.

6. Meatless Sloppy Joes

One of the great thing about cooking with brown lentils is how well they work in place of ground beef for a variety of meals. Once such meal is meatless sloppy Joes. Basically, you cook up a batch of plain brown lentils in the crock pot with water until they are soft but not too mushy. The time will vary depending on your crock pot and the size of the batch. Towards the end of the cooking time when the water is mostly absorbed, throw in a can or two of Manwich sauce (again, it will depend on the size of your batch whether you need one or two cans) and dress up with chopped green peppers and onions if you so desire. Let this heat through for a half hour or so. Serve on a round, bulky roll with sprouts and baby spinach leaves, or plain. You can pair these with anything from oven fries to carrot sticks. It’s a pretty casual dinner option, but definitely one that fills you up.

7. Chickpea Curry

There are tons of recipe ideas for chickpea curry on the web, but this vegetarian crock pot recipe for black chick peas from Kalyn’s Kitchen caught my eye. Black chickpeas aren’t as common in regular grocery stores, but they can typically be found at Indian markets. They turn a rich, nutty brown color when soaked and cooked, and in my opinion are a bit toothier than regular chickpeas. If you prefer the other kind, there are certainly many recipes to choose from. The point is that chickpeas in general are hearty enough to prepare a satisfying curry that carnivores can also enjoy.

8. Nacho Dip

Nothing says party time like nacho dip, and this meatless one from the folks at Yummly certainly looks tempting. Not only does it have lots of cheesy goodness, it includes two different types of beans for added protein. You could serve this at a Super Bowl gathering or when your teen is having friends over for a movie night. It’s also suitable for a summer party or casual New Year’s Eve snack buffet.

9. Holiday Stuffing

If you love stuffing but don’t want the meat broth that goes along with it, then try this meatless crock pot stuffing from Fat Free Vegan. It allows all the holiday decadence, but with cruelty free flavor. You could serve this with a field roast or inside a stuffed squash with mushroom gravy. This is also a good stuffing to try for a holiday meal where both meat eaters and vegans are attending. In fact, if you make sure several of your sides and a dessert or two are vegan, it could be a relatively low-stress event.

10. Meatless Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers are usually a crowd pleaser, and when the summer heat gets oppressive, making them in your crock pot is a great way to avoid heating up your house unnecessarily. These vegetarian stuffed peppers from Purposefully Frugal look fun and tasty. Served with a side salad and a light dessert like sorbet, this would form a perfect summer meal.

11. Thai Tempeh Curry

I love incorporating curries into my repertoire. They are aromatic, affordable, and full of flavor. This recipe for Thai tempeh curry from Oregon Live is certainly a shining example, but if you’re in a pinch you can use pre-made curry paste from the Asian market and stir it in with vegetables, coconut milk, and tofu to serve over rice.

12. Moroccan Bean and Lentil Stew

At our house we enjoy international cuisines on a regular basis. Many of them help us to explore different ways to incorporate beans and legumes into our diet, not to mention how affordable recipes from other parts of the world tend to be. This Moroccan lentil stew from the people at Full Measure of Happiness checks both of those items off the list.

13. Produce Butters

Full-flavored spreads and condiments are great to have on hand when company comes, and many of them can well to boot. Two that you can pull off in the slow cooker are this crock pot apple butter from The Thrifty Mama and this slow cooker pumpkin butter from the people at She Knows. Serve either of them with homemade biscuits or scones and a pot of herbal tea for a fun afternoon with friends.

14. Eggplant Parmesan

Feel like Italian for dinner? Try this slow cooker eggplant Parmesan from Get Crocked. While it’s cooking, you’ll have the time to set a nice table, make a salad, and choose the wine. If you have time to whip up a tiramisu, even better.

15. Middle Eastern Stuffed Cabbage

It’s no secret I’m always on the lookout for fresh cabbage recipes, so when this idea for Middle Eastern stuffed cabbage rolls made it onto my radar, I definitely wanted to incorporate it into this article. It calls for baking the rolls, but I don’t see any reason why this couldn’t be achieved in the slow cooker just like the stuffed peppers recipe above.

16. Soy Yogurt

Honestly, this looks a little too technical for my taste, but if you’re determined to do the DIY thing, then this slow cooker soy yogurt is just the ticket. Serve it on the side with your favorite rice and lentil curry combos, or with some seasonal fresh fruit.

17. Vegetarian Chow Mein

Have a hankering for Chinese food? This slow cooker veggie chow mein from Peta is one of those vegetarian crock pot recipes you can leave heating and come home only needing to put on a pot of rice to complete the meal. If you have a few frozen veggie egg rolls on hand, all the better.

18. Mac and Cheese

It’s hard to go wrong with the classics, especially when you’re cooking for kids who have no interest in gourmet cuisine. That’s why I had to incorporate Taste of Home’s hearty recipe for crock pot macaroni and cheese. They are a source I trust for homespun foods, and they typically keep budget concerns at the forefront. Try this with some dipping veggies and your favorite brand of meatless chicken nuggets for a satisfying dinner that’s kid-approved.

19. Balsamic-Roasted Root Veggies

If you’re determined to “fancy it up” a bit, however, these balsamic-roasted root vegetables from Spark People would work well with a lentil loaf and some mashed potatoes. Pair with a simple dinner wine and an autumn dessert such as pumpkin bread pudding.

20. Polenta and Vegetable Casserole

I don’t know why many North Americans — myself included — overlook polenta as a way to bulk up their dinner menus. Every year I say I’m going to make it more often than I do. With this recipe for polenta vegetable casserole for the crock pot, maybe I finally will.

21. Enchiladas

When it comes to vegetarian crock pot recipes that are tall on flavor and short on cost, enchiladas make the grade on both counts. Mexican food is one our family favorites, and this recipe can be served with sangria, Mexican beer, or even a pitcher of margaritas. Side dishes can include a spicy, fresh pineapple salsa for summer or a batch of seasoned rice for later in the year.

22. Cranberry-Swiss Party Dip

Hot dips are always a huge hit when you entertain, and this cranberry Swiss dip brings a touch of elegance I’d especially welcome around the winter holidays, or even during the early fall. Pair it with specialty crackers in fun shapes and grain blends, along with a nice white wine and some miniature quiches.

23. Broccoli Risotto

I usually save risottos for special occasions due to the fact that you have to stand over them for long during the preparation. This slow cooker broccoli risotto from Veggie Converter just might change my mind. Pescatarians could pair this with a nice grilled trout or some seafood skewers. It’s a great addition to your list of frozen broccoli recipes and affordable for nearly everyone.

24. Steel-Cut Oatmeal

This overnight crock pot oatmeal from Frugal Upstate makes weekend breakfasts a snap. Everyone can get up and put their own toppings on, and if the host sleeps in, it isn’t a big deal. You could also use this recipe to enjoy breakfast for dinner during the week.

25. Spaghetti Sauce

Meat isn’t necessary for a hearty crock pot spaghetti sauce. You can round out the tomato-based goodness with minced tempeh or meatless burger bits, followed by a bag of bargain frozen peppers from Save-A-Lot and a package of chopped mushrooms.

Do you have some vegetarian crock pot recipes you feel are exceptional? Feel free to share your resources in the comment section below.

French Toast Bread Pudding

This Easy Bread Pudding Takes French Toast To A Whole New Level!

French Toast Bread Pudding
The recipe for this easy bread pudding is one of the quick, easy Crockpot recipes featured in Robin Robertson’s cookbook Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker.
This was one of the best bread pudding recipes I’ve ever made, with just the right amount of spice and sweetness. All of the tasters thought this easy bread pudding was just right—no need to add extra maple syrup to their individual portions.
Total prep & cook time: 2 hrs
8 Servings
Slow Cooker Size: 4 to 6 quart
Nutrition Data, 146g Serving: 234 cal, 54 Cal fr Fat, 40g carb, 6g fat, 1g Saturated Fat, 384mg sodium, 2g fiber, 5g protein, 21g Sugars, low Saturated Fat, very low Cholesterol, good source Manganese. Estimated glycemic load 25

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups soft white Italian bread cubes
  • 6 oz soft or silken tofu, drained
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups plain unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, plus more for serving
  • 1 Tblsp. vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
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Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes to dry the bread
  2. Thoroughly oil the slow cooker insert or spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the dried bread to the cooker
  3. In a food processor, combine the tofu, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Add the milk and maple syrup, stirring to blend
  4. Pour the tofu mixture over the bread cubes in the slow cooker, pressing them into the wet mixture to moisten. Dot with bits of the vegan butter and sprinkle the top with the pecans. Cover and cook on High until firm, about 1 ½ hours. Serve topped with additional maple syrup
 

Cooking Tips:

We changed the servings to 8 on this recipe, because of the high calories, fat, glycemic index etc. If you want it for breakfast, fine, eat 2 servings but a small helping for dessert works better for us.
This quick easy bread pudding recipe is not just for dessert it also makes a great weekend breakfast dish. If you are planning to serve this for breakfast, prepare the bread pudding recipe ingredients the night before, store them in the fridge overnight, and then assemble and cook them in the Crockpot first thing in the morning.
Since this slow cooker recipe calls for cooking the French Toast Bread Pudding on high, grease the insert extra well and keep a close eye on the bread pudding after the first hour to be sure that the bottom and sides of the pudding do not get scorched.

****FROM SAVRY VEGETARIAN WEBSITE*****
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