Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker

Also from the Vegan Slow Cooker: Creamy Polenta with Mushroom Ragu & Warm and Fudgy Bread Pudding

I started writing this in October and for some reason just realized it was still a draft so I finished it up :)

I finally broke away from the soups in Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson.

This week I tried a main dish and a dessert.  I couldn’t find any links for the recipes for you, but they are both part of the Google preview if you haven’t worn out your privileges with this book yet.  If you have, maybe you should just buy it, eh?  (It happens to be on sale right now)

The one thing I found surprising about this book, is that the methods for everything aren’t what I would consider a traditional slow cooker meal.  You can’t just toss everything in, be gone for 8-10 hours (or in my case nearly 12) and come home to a complete meal.  Some are like that, but be aware that they aren’t all.  Neither of these are that way.  But they worked out nicely.

On Sunday morning before I started getting ready for church, I put in the polenta so it was timed perfectly with my return for lunch.  As a southern girl, these “grits” were the perfect consistency.  They weren’t stuck together, but you could get away with eating them with a fork.  I do fear though that using broth that they would have been way too salty if I had added the salt called for in the recipe.

The Mushroom Ragu sauce didn’t even hit the slow cooker so this was a half-n-half slow cooker meal. But, using the Trader Joe’s classic organic marinara, it was delish. I added some fresh arugula for a little extra nutrition and had a delicious comfort food lunch.

Creamy Polenta and Mushroom Ragu - Fresh From the Vegan Slow Cooker

 

And then there was the Fudgy Bread Pudding.  Oh my word.  The picture does more for this chocolatey goodness than words ever could:

Warm and Fudgy Slow Cooker Bread Pudding

I added about an extra 1/3 cup of non-dairy milk (almond in this case).  For the bread, I used the brown rice bread from Food for Life.  Since bread pudding is ideally made with stale bread, this heavier bread worked perfectly.  I cooked it for about 2.5 hours and we ate it warm.  It was decent cold, but the bread lost its softness.  Heating it back up in the microwave brought it back to it’s original texture.

Slow Cooker Meal: African Inspired Peanut Stew

Last Christmas, my sister gave me a copy of Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson.  I’ve stuck to soups so far just because I don’t have a big rotation of soup recipes I like and I want to add to it.  We had a grey misty day today so it seemed like the perfect day to have a nice heavy stew.

Enter African Inspired Peanut Stew.  Since the two of us eating have different tastes, I used an orange pepper instead of a green one, used a very light amount of ginger and only put a dash of cayenne.  Since my broth wasn’t really salty, it ended up a tiny bit bland with those changes.  So I added a little salt and more cayenne in my own bowl and it was great. I really enjoy the combination of sweet and hot.

I served it with millet, my favorite substitute for couscous.  Do take the extra step of toasting the millet before cooking it.  It’s worth the time to amp up the millet’s flavor.

African Inspired Peanut Stew

In my slow cooker, even on low, it only took about 4½ hours after everything made it’s way into the pot.  I checked it at 3½ because I had gotten a late start, and the sweet potatoes were already getting soft. So I added spinach and let it cook that last hour.

It has flavors that are different from what I’m used to, but it is warm, filling and delicious.  Because it’s not trying to be like any dish containing meat, I think it would be a great option for someone who is new to veganism or is just trying to add more veggie meals to their rotation.  While I wouldn’t want it in the middle of summer, it’s definitely a make again item for fall and winter.

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