Slow Cooker

My wife’s grandmother bought us a (giant) slow cooker.

We’ve done some standard slow cooker stuff–pulled pork, pot roast, and chicken tacos. Pretty good!

We’re now looking for interesting (and good tasting) non-traditional slow-cooker foods, if they exist. Like, “If I were a foodie with a slow cooker, I’d make _________.”

Any suggestions?

You want non-traditional? I got your non-traditional. The author of that site embarked on a mission to cook at least one meal a day in the slow cooker. Lots and lots of recipes.

ETA: Here’s another interesting collection.

Beans! Chili! Hamburger!

(Huh? Hamburger?)

YES, HAMBURGER! Load up the crockpot with hamburger, finely minced onion and celery (carrots, too, if you want!) and garlic. Cook all day, chopping it up occasionally while it cooks with a pancake turner.

After it has cooked, keep chopping with the pancake turner, until all chunks are gone. If you bought the expensive stuff, add some water and stir it all up.

Stick it in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, remove the congealed grease and throw away. Then divide the cooked burger into meal-sized portions and place in quart freezer zipper bags. Flatten the bags and freeze.

One bag for tacos, one bag for spaghetti, one bag for sloppy joes…you get the idea. No need to brown and drain, just throw the frozen block in the pan and cook like crazy!

This is one of my (simple) favorites that’s always gone over well with friends -

Lentil stew w/ butternut squash

3 large stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 large (12-ounce) onion, chopped
1 large (2 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 bag(s) (1 pound) brown lentils
4 cup(s) water
1 can(s) (14 to 14 1/2 ounces) vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon(s) dried rosemary
Salt and pepper
1 ounce(s) Parmesan or Romano cheese, shaved with vegetable peeler
1/4 cup(s) loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  1. In 4 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker bowl, combine celery, onion, squash, lentils, water, broth, rosemary, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Cover slow cooker with lid, and cook as manufacturer directs on low setting 8 hours.

  2. To serve, spoon lentil stew into serving bowls; top with Parmesan shavings, and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Makes about 11 1/2 cups.

Seconding beans. Here’s a good BBQ beans recipe suitable for a slow cooker.

I mostly do things with condensed soup. Boneless chicken with some cans of creamy chicken & mushroom and/or cream of mushroom (with or without roasted garlic). Beef brisket with French onion and golden mushroom. Plus, any soup that’s left over can be frozen and re-used.

Speaking of soup, how about corned beef brisket with sauerkraut & Swiss cheese? “Reuben soup”!

You can make a meatloaf in the slow cooker by making the loaf like normal, then balling up foil for the bottom of the crock to rest the loaf on, then cook on low for 6 hours.

Not highfalutin’ but an easy way to loaf!