Posts Tagged ‘slow cooker’

D.C. Chillin’: Enjoying a gorgeous day while the veggie soup cooks

So today I got a wee bit sidetracked with things like….enjoying the beautiful weather outside.

But I managed to throw some ingredients together to make some veggie soup.

Here’s what went in…

This is about how much I put in of each.

I mean, what do you think, do I use too much garlic? I asked the same thing last time though and then I could barely taste it! I sauteed it this time to perhaps bring out more flavor…?

So here is everything that went into the slow-cooker, on low:

  • A wee bit (rest of can left over) of crushed tomatoes aka tomato sauce
  • Veggie broth, whole box
  • Beans
  • Garlic, sauteed
  • Carrots, three, not cooked
  • Onion, one, sauteed
  • Mushrooms, sauteed
  • Parsley, oregano, basil, salt, pepper
  • Once the veggies are near done I am going to add chopped up potatoes. Apparently those should only take 1-2 hours. Didn’t end up adding potatoes. Fine without!

That’s all cookin’ up now. Cheated and took the top off (don’t do this if you are on a time constraint, slows the cooking down) and anyway I tasted it and it’s good ūüėČ

So today, Jen, Charlie, Tom and I walked down to get lunch at this little deli. I got a grilled veggie “hero.” It was OK. Then we got coffee at Politics and Prose and Jen and I invented the Best Game Ever. It basically started when I picked up/pretended to be reading this book to be funny because Jen isn’t a foodie like me and she gets so overwhelmed (annoyed) by my constantly talking about it. And then she picked up this book to be ironic. Get it? Anyway, it was really funny, and we continued to play that game for about 20 more rounds. Talk about acting like you’re in high school again. Must be the weather! I love it.

Then Jen, Charlie, Mike and I went for a cruise.

D.C. chillin’.

I’ve sort of neglected the homework/dealing with life today in order to enjoy this weather. Tomorrow will be less blogging, more work. Right now it’s go for a run (or maybe just lift at the gym?) and then out for an Eaglet’s birthday.

Happy Saturday! =)

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Chili #1: Finished product

And, through the magic of the Internet….ta da!

It came out well. I think next time I’d love to have something green in there like green pepper or broccoli. It was really tomato-y too. I actually ended up adding the rest of the beans (slow cooker faux pas?) because once it cooked down it lost some thickness. But I was relieved that everything cooked evenly, was afraid the cauliflower was going to get mushy. I wonder if roasting the veggies beforehand next time would make it even tastier…

Reasons why this dish rocks nutritionally:

  • all vegetarian, which means you avoid the bad fats that come with a meat-filled meal, and it has been proven that even if you are an omnivore,¬†replacing traditionally meaty meals with vegetarian ones is a great way to up your vegetable intake and improve your diet
  • paired with rice, provides all your essential amino acids and offers a complete protein, so you can’t even say you are missing out on that from the meat
  • the carrots offer beta-carotene, aka vitamin A (though not as much as an uncooked carrot)
  • the cauliflower and kidney beans pack lots of fiber to fill you up so you don’t crave unhealthy foods after your meal
  • the tomatoes pack lycopene, which has been linked with reduced incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and macular degeneration
  • I’m estimating one serving to be about 250 calories + 1 cup of rice = about 450 calories, a good-sized lunch or dinner

Basically it’s super healthy and super filling. And really not all that expensive. I think I spent about $7.50 on these ingredients (plus a few cents for the spices if we’re really being nit-picky). I will get about 5 meals out of it, making each meal $1.60. Take that, McDonald’s. And sure beats the crap out of that expensive $8/lb salad bar at Whole Foods.

Yay for not having to pack a lunch the rest of this week! =)

Slow cookin’!: There’s no such thing as too much garlic.

Experiment #1…

I like my slow cooker, because you can see what is going on through the clear top, but the sides aren’t clear. Some slow cookers are¬†totally clear, which I think would be weird. It’s like, hello, TMI about what’s going on in my slow cooker. Anyhow. I guess that is why most aren’t clear. I’m really reaching to try to boost my slow cooker‘s confidence, because he’s had this inferiority complex ever since my¬†sister made the comment about how you can’t call a slow cooker a “crock pot” unless it’s really a Crock Pot. Apparently it is like calling a box of CVS tissues a box of Kleenex. GEEZ. (By the way, WTF‚ÄĒthat link says this is $2.99 currently? I paid $20 for mine. I am upset. Calling Best Buy today.)

I think I may soon wish I had spent a few extra bucks and gotten one larger. This one’s only 3 quarts. But oh well, I am still in¬†the experimenting stage.¬†Which brings me to an important point about me: I like to cook, but I don’t really love to follow recipes (except when it comes to baking, because baking is more of a¬†science, in my opinion, while cooking is an art).This is out of character for me,¬†because generally I am a follow-the-plan type of person. With cooking, no. In fact, if there’s a scientific reason behind cooking a certain dish, I tend to shy away.

onions & two giant cloves of garlic

However, I have to follow recipes quite a bit at my baby-sitting job, which is good because it gives me more exposure to cooking different things, but bad in a sense because I sometimes screw up when I think I can make my way around the rules. For example, last week while making beef stew, the recipe said to brown up the chunks of beef with bacon (no, I don’t eat what I cook there!) in shifts. Well, I did the shifts part, but only with the beef, so in the second batch everything started sticking more than usual, because the bacon was supposed to provide the fat to prevent that‚ÄĒhad I followed the recipe correctly. So! I also apparently have no idea how to cook fresh brussel sprouts and that the outer¬†layer and stem needs to be removed beforehand. Haha–you cook and you learn.

PS(A): Speaking of baby-sitting, if anyone college-aged here is going to be looking for work come May, and you like kids and hanging out by the pool and cooking and shopping at Whole Foods and playing soccer with 7-year-olds‚ÄĒI may have the job for you! Email me for more details. I need to¬†find a replacement for me come that time, assuming I have found something more ‘career-orientated.’ And if anyone¬†is looking to hire me for that ‘career-orientated something,’ just click on that “drop me a line” link above.

What I am slow-cooking today uses what I know about what goes into chili, aka: chili powder, ¬†cumin, tomatoes,¬†beans ‚ÄĒ and then adding a healthy twist (more veggies, no meat).

Yesterday I went to the farmers market and got all kinds of stuff, some of which went into the slow cooker today.

..

I got…

  • Cremini mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Honey crisp apples
  • Big bottle of olive oil that cost more than my slow cooker

At the Giant, I got a whole bunch of beans and canned tomatoes/tomato sauce (which aren’t in season locally), and a bunch of spices, since I had none.

Then this is what I threw in the crock pot, which is cooking at the moment:

  • big can of organic crushed tomatoes (20 oz.)
  • half of a big can of light kidney beans (so about 20 oz. again)
  • smallish onion, cut into smallish¬†chunks *L
  • 2 carrots, sliced up like a 1/4 inch thick *L
  • a couple handfuls of cauliflower florets
  • the biggest “clove” of garlic you’ve ever seen in your life–I thought it was a bulb! Threw the whole thing in anyways, and did a piss-poor job of mincing, it’ll be fine though. *L
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. cocoa-chili powder (I bought the cocoa blend because I couldn’t find straight up regular chili powder and I was tired of searching. Hope it’s not too cocoa-y!)

*L = Local

So I am going to let that get happy in the hot tub for about 8 hours, should be ready by 6 or 7pm. Will let you know how it turns out! Smells garlicy but I guess there’s no such thing as too much garlic!