Friday, February 25, 2011

Rock Out With Your Crock Out*

There’s nothing quite like coming home after a long day of work followed by an intense boot camp class and being greeted with the aroma of a good hearty soup or chili simmering away in the crock-pot.  It takes a little time up front to prep veggies and mix everything together but at the end of the day, I love walking in the door to find dinner ready and waiting.

Most of the recipes in my repertoire come from Robin Robertson’s Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker.  My favorites are “Corn Chowder in Winter,” “Carrot and Parsnip Bisque with a Hint of Orange,” and “Winter Squash and Sweet Potato Soup.”

While there are a lot of great recipes out there written specifically for use in a slow cooker, I’ve found that many stovetop recipes can be tweaked to cook in a crock-pot, as well.  My favorite chili recipe, in fact, uses the stove but I always make it in the crock-pot with amazing results.  The recipe is from Secrets of Fat-Free Cooking, which I bought about 15 years ago and only needed a slight modification to be veganized.

Two-Bean Chili
(printable recipe)


1 cup TVP (texturized vegetable protein)
1 cup vegetable broth
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes (try fire-roasted or with diced green chilies for an extra kick)
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz.) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
3 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. ground cumin
1. Combine the TVP and broth in a 3-quart pot and bring to a boil over high heat.  Remove the pot from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes, or until all the broth is absorbed. 

2. Add the reconstituted TVP, along with all of the remaining ingredients, to the slow cooker and stir to mix well.  Cook on low for 8 hours (or 12 if are gone all day like we are).

What is your favorite crock-pot recipe?

*Love you, Jaime!

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