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Friday
Oct282011

The Vegan Slow Cooker - Wowser!

I thought I was pretty crafty with my slow cooker until I got my hands on The Vegan Slow Cooker. Slow-cooker fanatic Kathy Hester showed me how to make enchilada casserole, lasagna, and even bread without heating up the oven. Brownies, too! Wowser is the word for this friendly, delicious way to cook. 

vegan slow cooker cover

Hester starts the book by describing her "Slow Cooker Love":

I inherited my first slow cooker from my mother. When I was a very poor graduate student, it became the center of my kitchen. I could eat for half the price by cooking everything from scratch. Plus, it cooked while I was in class. I manage to stay within my food budget and feed all my friends most nights, too.

That's wildly affordable!

She then gives some slow cooker basics: how to choose one, how to start with caution so you don't burn down your house, and how to substitute ingredients to make her recipes work for you.

The section on kitchen staples is worth the price of the book alone. Learn to make your own Smoky Ketchup, Fruit Butter, and Balsamic Onion Marmalade, plus two flavors of seitan. Try cooking whole small pumpkins in your slow cooker for BPA-free pumpkin puree without the struggle of cutting and cleaning raw pumpkin.

Other chapters cover slow-cooker classics such as soups, stews, curries, and sandwich fillings, made flavorful with plenty of spices, coconut milk, lemon grass, and lime. Hester takes her slow cooker around the world to make Baigan Bharta (eggplant curry), Thai Red Curry Tofu and Veggies, Mojito Pinto Beans, and Better-Than-The-Classic Shepard's Pie.

Then she really unleashes her slow-cooker super powers with Foolproof Focaccia, Whole-Wheat Pumpkin Ginger Bread, and Peach-Almond Breakfast Polenta. You don't need to be a vegan to get lots of ideas and delight from The Vegan Slow Cooker.

Some recipes use soy products that aren't on the Cook for Good shopping lists, such as soy chorizo sausage and nutritional yeast. Just enjoy these recipes in moderation or turn the page to look for a recipe that is labeled "soy free." Folks on gluten-free diets will also enjoy the convenient labeling of each recipe.

Mouth-watering photographs provide inspiration. Hester's encouraging, humorous style will give even new cooks the gumption to take their slow cookers beyond pot roast.

Reader Comments (8)

Wow, this book sounds AWESOME! I Love, Love, Love to use the crock pot, especially in the wintertime. Love to come home to a hot cooked meal. I would REALY REALLY REALLLY use this book!

Oct 31, 2011 | Registered Commenterorganix4me

I can't wait to get a hold of this book! I have always had problems using a slow cooker for anything more than queso... I wonder if it will apply to a rice cooker as well, I do cook grains in my rice cooker. Thanks for telling us about this book.
Siobhan

Nov 1, 2011 | Registered Commentersioboop

Thanks, Siobhan! I love this book so much I got a new slow cooker today so I could try the bread recipes.

Lots of Cook for Good recipes use slow cookers, too. Check out my Vegetarian Un-Baked Beans, Cuban Black Beans, and the basis for most bean dishes, the Basic Beans recipe.

The recipes probably won't work the same in most rice cookers, since they provide fast, high heat with the goal of reaching a boil quickly. Here's a rice cooker recipe: Ready Up Rice and Lentils. But I'll ask Kathy when I have lunch with her tomorrow (lucky me!).

Nov 1, 2011 | Registered CommenterLinda Watson

I am really looking forward to getting this!

Nov 7, 2011 | Registered Commenterchanahliora

I would love a copy of this cook book to use developing new vegan recipes for my grandson - a true vegan - and in a slow cooker! Wow!

Nov 7, 2011 | Registered CommenterCarol Kivela

Looking forward to getting this book!

Nov 8, 2011 | Registered Commenterrose

This is exactly what I've been looking for. It's hard to find many slow cooker recipes that don't involve meat or dairy!

Nov 8, 2011 | Registered Commenteroctobergirl65

This book sounds great. Love using my crockpot!

Nov 14, 2011 | Registered Commenterjoann
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