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Nov 12, 2010 07:18 AM

Crockpot Recipes for Vegetarians (No Fish, Chicken, Etc.)

Every time I open my pantry, my crockpot stares angrily at me. We've never once used it! I have no idea what to make with it (except for veg chili, which I do on the stove).

Can anyone help me justify the amount of space the huge crockpot takes up in my small pantry? Thanks a whole bunch.

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  1. If you don't use it more than once a year, IMO it's a space-waster. But, I find the crockpot is invaluable for making any and every sort of vegetable stew. Cut up chunks of eggplant, onion, tomato, zucchini, bell pepper, toss with some salt and pepper, lay into crockpot and just cover with vegie broth. High on 5 or Low on 8; either way you've got ratatouille that you can eat plain, eat on good toast, toss into pasta, use as a base for a dynamite minestrone soup. A great side dish is chunks of peeled assorted squash (acorn, butternut, etc. ) just covered with apple cider, cloves, cinnamon, a dash of salt and some cardamom if you like it; low on 5 hours or until tender, and re-taste for salt. You can do a standard amalgam of root vegies:onions, potatoes, sweets, parsnips, carrots, turnips, season with garlic, rosemary and thyme, again w/ the veg broth, low for 5-6 hours. The best thickener I"ve found for these dishes is arrowroot, if indicated. Oh, a great big huge pot of tomato sauce; you can throw in tofu during the last hour for added protein. They're great for soups of any sort: I've thrown stock, spinach, onions and garlic into the slow cooker, looked in four hours later and after 2 whisks and some salt and pepper; instant soup when I tossed in some yogurt. Beans of any kind. Try the crockpot for your vegetarian chili; you may be pleasantly suprised.
    Oh, and I'm sure you know these times are pretty approximate. Wait, one more: during the holidays you can use it to keep dips warm or mull cider or wine, and you can use it as a transporter for casseroles and the like to potlucks to keep the food insulated and have your own warming capacity.

    1. Those root veggies sound kick ass. Thanks!

      1. I do variations of eggplant chickpea stew, changing spices (curry, middle eastern--love cinnamon, thyme/rosemary like a ratatouille, chili), vegetables depending on season (works great w/ winter squash and summer), mood. I serve it over rice or hearty bread to dip in the sauce. It's the best thing to come home to on a cold night--hearty and rich. This is a basic recipe:

        If you entertain often, I use the crockpot to heat food/drinks and keep them warm. It also does a good bread pudding and keeps it warm for potluck parties.

        1. Oh, my goodness, my dear. You aren't using it to cook your dried beans and other legumes? I'll never do them any other way. Really increases flavor. Chickpeas in particular just blossom in their savoriness.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lemons

            You know, I tried using it to cook split pea soup and they were still rock hard after nearly 12 hours. So I gave up and made the soup on the stove -- it was done in 30 minutes. I don't dare try it with beans, which take much longer to cook than peas...

          2. About a million soup dishes and any Indian dahl dish. I don't know cooking times but a little experimentation would answer that question.