If you have a slow cooker, you really need to get a copy of The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester! And if you don’t have a slow cooker, you should run out and get one, and then buy yourself a copy of The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester. This book is a must for busy people who don’t have too much time to cook dinner in the evenings. Who doesn’t love coming home from work to find a hot delicious meal cooked and waiting for them?
The book begins with slow cooker basics as well as a slow cooker Q&A, so if you’re new to using a slow cooker, everything is covered. I love that each recipe tells you what to do the night before, in the morning, and in some cases about an hour before serving. Some recipes do require precooking things like onions and mushrooms, but Kathy says at the beginning of the book that you can skip this step if you don’t have the time. She also includes a list of ingredient substitutions and suggests swapping out seitan or tofu with beans if you’re trying to avoid soy or gluten. A lot of the recipes include serving ideas and cooking variations as well.
I’ve had quite a few super busy days in past few weeks, and this book has been a lifesaver. I’ve gone shopping for ingredients and prepared everything as soon as I’ve gotten home from the grocery store so that my meals are quick and easy to put together in the mornings before busy days begin. I’ve even set up the slow cooker at night so that I’ve had a delicious hot breakfast waiting for me in the morning. And another great bonus is that each recipe made enough so that I had lunch the next day too! In addition to dinner and breakfast recipes, there are also recipes for breads, snacks and desserts, and I’m eager to try more recipes.
My favorite dish so far is this Ma Po Tofu. It’s spicy and flavorful and I love the way the broccoli soaks up the sauce. I added some red pepper for color. I think this dish will be going on regular meal rotation in my house.
I also really loved Not-My-Grandmother’s Beefy Stew. I was never a stew eater growing up and I don’t think I’ve ever had beef stew. Stew kind of scared me because I could never really tell what was in it, and it just looked like a bowl of brown slop. This stew was far from brown slop though, and I knew exactly what was in it – the perfect mix of potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and seitan. I used purple potatoes to give it more color.
This Sweet and Sour Smoked Tofu was another delicious dish that came together really quickly. The great thing about all of these dishes is that they contain lots of colorful veggies, so there’s no need to worry about getting enough nutrients in each meal.
We all know by now that I’m a total sucker for spicy peanut sauce, so I was really eager to try the Tempeh and Veggies in Spicy Peanut Sauce, and the recipe did not disappoint. There’s broccoli, green beans, tempeh and a little added cauliflower under all of that peanuty goodness.
I’m also a sucker for curries, which are the perfect dish for slow cookers. This Thai Red Curry Tofu and Veggies is another dish that will become a winter favorite in my house. It’s also very versatile and the veggies can easily be swapped for whatever vegetables you have on hand.
People often tell me that they either don’t know what to make for breakfast or that they don’t have time to cook a healthy breakfast in the morning. Slow cooker oatmeal is a perfect solution to both of those problems. This Carrot Cake and Zucchini Bread Oatmeal was the perfect hot comfort food for a cold fall morning.