Don’t you just love 5pm, when everybody under the age of ten has a nervous breakdown the moment it’s time to start cooking? Me too. Which is why I’m such a fan of crock-pot cooking. Unfortunately, it can be tough to find healthy crock-pot recipes that call for natural ingredients. Hello, Cooking Light magazine! Every week I’ve been trying one new vegetarian crock-pot recipe from their list of fourteen. These are my 3 favorites:
Tofu and Chickpea Curry
2 cups cubed peeled sweet potato
2 cups small cauliflower florets
1 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1 ¼ tsp salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (16 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
1 package extra-firm tofu, drained (I used 2 packages)
1 Tbsp canola oil
3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
- Place first 11 ingredients in slow cooker; stir well. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours or until vegetables are tender.
- Place tofu on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Press to absorb excess moisture; cut into ½ inch cubes.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu; cook 8 to 10 minutes or until browned, turning with a spatula. Stir into vegetable mixture in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with rice.
(This curry dish was my favorite of the favorites. Really yummy, but mild enough that the kids liked it too.)
Barley, Black Bean, and Corn Burritos
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
¾ cup frozen whole-kernel corn
¼ cup chopped green onions
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp ground red pepper
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Toppings: cheddar cheese, salsa, sour cream, avocado, cilantro
- Place first 11 ingredients in slow cooker; stir well. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir in 1/4 cup cilantro.
- Heat tortillas according to package directions. Spoon 2/3 cup barley mixture down center of each tortilla. Add toppings as desired.
(My husband likes lots of flavor, and this one was his favorite. It’s a little spicy, but with some sour cream the kids ate it right up.)
Pinto Bean Chili with Corn and Winter Squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ½ cups chopped onion
1 ½ cups chopped red bell pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
½ tsp ground cumin
5 cups cubed butternut squash
3 cups cooked pinto beans
1 ½ cups water
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
1 tsp salt
1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles, undrained
Toppings: sour cream, diced avocado, lime wedges
- Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic; cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add chili powder and cumin; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Place onion mixture in slow cooker. Add butternut squash and next 6 ingredients. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or until vegetables are tender and chili is thick. Serve with sour cream, avocado, and lime wedges.
(I thought this one tasted even better the second day. The butternut squash and corn adds a really nice, slightly sweet flavor. Unfortunately, it was still too spicy for my kids. I ended up feeding them the ingredients separately–roasted squash, plain corn, and pinto beans.)
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