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.
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.