by amvandenhurk | Curry, Indian, Plant-Based Eating, Vegan, Vegetarian Slow Cooker
The slow cooker has saved the day many times over the past three months. Slow Cooker Chickpea Butternut Squash Curry has been to the rescue a couple times one. I kept buying butternut squash saying I’m going to make x or y, but then it just sits there in the fridge with the great potential to end up in the compost bin. It is a simple and quick recipe to throw in the slow cooker then forget about it until you need to make the rice or heat the naan.
Now back to my slow cooker saving the day. This year has flown by and I have been on it by the seat of my pants. Between managing a busy family, working at the lighthouse foundation, servicing my public relations clients, attending graduate school, and launching a new business, let’s just say cooking hasn’t been top of my action list. We are attempting to eat well while adding plant-based meals without resorting to pizza or Chinese delivery. And we have done that more than we would like to admit since September. The slow cooker provided us with hot wholesome meals after long days.
This recipe is made with simple ingredients, but packs a lot of flavor. It isn’t spicy nor sweet. Just a nice balance of flavors. Add rice or naan to round it out. I buy the pre-cut butternut squash. I have no patience to peel then cut one up so I do the pre-cut.
If you are looking to add more plant-based meals to your diet then this is a good one to start with since it is so flavorful.
Slow Cooker Chickpea Butternut Squash Curry
- 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
- 2 T curry powder
- 1 T minced garlic
- 2T grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 14.5 oz can chickpeas, drained
- 1 small butternut squash (about 2.5-3 lb), peeled and diced or sweet potato
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Combine all ingredients except for cilantro in the slow cooker
- Cover and set to LOW
- Cook 8 hours
- Add chopped fresh cilantro
- Serve over rice
by amvandenhurk | Asian, Chicken, Slow Cooker
Spicy Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Rice Soup
This Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Rice Soup recipe comes with a warning. If you are not careful with the brand of Thai red curry paste then it will knock your socks off after one sip. How do I know this? I made this soup for friends. They had just got off a transatlantic flight and nothing is better than a nice bowl of soup. Usually this is the case. We were all crying from the spice. Even my son who can drink hot sauce was like, “Mom, holy cow this is hot.”
Let’s sort out the whole red curry paste situation. Due to the amounts of curry I made, I buy my curry pastes at the Asian grocery store. It is cheaper and much larger than the tiny bottles of Taste of Thai Red Curry Paste in the grocery store. And that’s where the fault in the recipe presents. Depending on what brand of curry paste you use, it is going to change the quantity. The original recipe which I have a feeling was designed for Taste of Thai brand calls for 3 tablespoons. That is a brand adapted to American tastes. When you add 3 tablespoons of Thai red curry purchased in a huge tube at the Asian store, it makes the soup uneatable except to those who have no taste buds. So if you are using Asian store curry paste, then 1/2 to 1 teaspoon will be enough. Trust me on this.
Once the level of spice is correct, this is an amazingly yummy soup. As in it becomes a soup that causes cravings. It is super good. Perfect for winter. There is nothing fancy about this soup outside of the curry paste. It is chicken, carrots, butternut squash, onions, fresh ginger, brown sugar, fish sauce, veggie broth, and wild rice.
Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Rice Soup
- - 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- - 4 carrots chopped
- - 4 cups butternut squash cubed
- - 2 small onions diced
- - 2 tablespoons fresh ginger minced
- - 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (see note)
- - 3 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar
- - 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- - 2/3 cup wild rice or wild rice blend blend used in photos
- - 4 cups vegetable stock
- - 2 cans coconut milk
- - 1 tablespoon lime juice
- NOTE: If using Taste of Thai brand then 3 tablespoons is OK, but if using Asian grocery store purchased red curry paste then decrease to 1/2-1 teaspoons. Trust me on this.
- - Combine all ingredients except the coconut milk
- - Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours
- - Stir coconut milk and lime juice in cooking for 10 minutes
- - Shred the chicken
- - Serve with lime wedges and cilantro
by amvandenhurk | Dinner, Slow Cooker
The Best Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas this side of the Mexican State of Michoacán
For us, a mark of a good Mexican restaurant in the US is how they prepare pork carnitas. Recently we have had trouble finding good carnitas so I decided to make them myself. My first attempts were not successful in the crock pot. While tasty, they lacked the texture. You know that crispiness goodness on the edges and they tasted bland to me. The key to success with this recipe outside of the beer and chiptle spice is browning the meat before it goes into the slow cooker then once it is done, spreading it all out on a baking sheet crisping under the broiler.
Add warm tortillas, shredded cheese, sour cream, lettuce, and salsa, perfection!
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 (4-5 pound) lean boneless pork roast, excess fat trimmed, cut into 3-inch chunks
- 1 bottle beer
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon chipotle
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Heat oil in a large saute pan over high heat.
- Add the pork and sear on each side until browned then transfer to a slow cooker.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker, and combine well.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours until the pork is completely tender and shreds easily with a fork.
- Preheat broiler to high heat.
- Use a fork to shred the meat into bite-sized pieces.
- Transfer pork with a slotted spoon to a baking sheet.
- Spread the pork in an even layer and leaving the juices behind in the slow cooker. (Don’t discard the juices)
- Place the sheet under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until the edges of the pork begin browning and crisping up.
- Remove the sheet from the oven, then ladle about 1/4 cup of the juices from the slow cooker evenly over the pork.
- Broil for an additional 5 minutes to get the meat more crispy.
- Then remove and ladle an additional 1/4 cup of broth over the crispy pork.
by amvandenhurk | Chicken, Curry, Dinner, Indian, Slow Cooker
Simple and Tasty Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
This recipe of slow cooker butter chicken has become a staple in our house when we fancy an Indian curry meal. It is simple and tasty. And it is good enough to serve to company.
In fact, that is what I served recently. We were having a gathering of twelve for dinner at our house to celebrate my son’s birthday. What to cook to feed a crowd of foodies? And is not going to exhaust me in the process? We had a mix of meat lovers and vegetarians. Indian food was the answer. It is an excellent choice. To add to the meal, how about trying, Quick Vegetarian Cauliflower Chickpea Curry.
Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Recipe
Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized chunks
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- Heat olive oil over medium-hight heat.
- Brown chicken on all sides in batches, about 2 minutes. Once browned, remove chicken to slow cooker.
- Cook onions until soft.
- Add garlic, garam masala, curry powder, turmeric, ginger and salt cooking for another minute.
- Add onion and garlic to slow cooker.
- In a large bowl, whisk together tomato paste, yogurt, coconut milk and sugar.
- Pour coconut milk mixture over chicken and onions.
- Cook for 5-6 hours over low heat.
by amvandenhurk | Asian, Slow Cooker
Slow Cooker Sweet Spicy Pork Goodness
Making dinner easy is priority during busy times. And that’s where slow cooker sweet spicy pork eases your stress. Weekends tend to get busy around the holidays here no matter how much we try to keep things simple. Same for you?
The slow cooker is one way I ease that stress. During the holidays, it is really easy to fall into eating junky foods that, while are tasty, they aren’t healthy. The junky foods are deceiving and feel satisfying, but soon they start slow you down. Slow cookers help you stay on course instead of picking up stuff on the way home when you are starving. Get the slow cooker items ready the night before in dump in the morning or do it all in the morning in less than 10 minutes.
I like to use organic meats when I eat meat and that includes pork. Normally, I use pork shoulder, but they looked a bit fatty for my taste. I went with the tenderloin instead and it worked nicely. The meat was tender and tasty.
At this point, Asian spices for the most part have gone mainstream. I can get Chinese Five Spice Powder and Garlic-Chili Sauce at my local grocery store. That said, I usually pick them up at the Asian grocery store when I make a trek there. Bok choy is becoming more readily available, too.
This recipe is good enough for company. One more reason to slow cooker sweet spicy pork. It is tasty, simple, and fancy.
Slow Cooker Sweet Spicy Pork Recipes
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 1/2pounds pork shoulder or tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 medium head bok choy thinly sliced
- Cut pork into small pieces and chop boy choy.
- In slow cooker, mix the soy sauce, sugar, chili-garlic sauce, ginger, five-spice powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the pork tossing to coat.
- Cook until the pork is tender, on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.
- About 30-minutes before serving, cook the rice and add bok choy.
- Serve with the rice.