Tag Archives: slow cooker

  1. Slow Cooker Shredded Beef – Three Ways {Paleo, Gluten-free}

    Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Recipe – Three Ways {Paleo, Gluten-free}

    Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Recipe – Three Ways {Paleo, Gluten-free}

    We have fully entered the season of busy. Easy weeknight meals are one of the things you guys ask for most, and this is also the struggle I see with many of my nutrition clients, simple, approchable meals for the busy work week. So, today I am sharing one of my favorite, simple slow cooker recipes, that comes with 3 different variations, so you won’t get bored. You could literally make this dish every single week as part of your meal planning and mix it up a million different ways.

    My favorite thing about each of these recipes are the many varying ways to serve it up:

    • lettuce wrapped
    • on a salad
    • over cauliflower rice (or traditional grains, like quinoa or millet)
    • over zucchini noodles
    • in any kind of veggie bowl
    • filling for tacos, fajitas, burritos or enchiladas with your favorite tortillas
    • sandwich
    • filling an omelette
    • nachos
    • add to soups or stews
    • stirred into a scramble or frittata
    • add to fried rice or fried cauliflower rice
    • over ramen noodles
    • just spooned straight into your face!

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  2. New Year Reset Meal Plan // Week 3

    Whether you are starting the year off with the Whole30 or a 21 Day Sugar Detox, maybe you are going paleo or gluten-free for the first time or perhaps you are simply just getting back to your usual mindful-eating ways – we could all use our regular, pre-holiday routines and definitely some healthier eats. I want to make these first weeks of 2017 a breeze for all of you, so I have meal plans set for every week this month.  All of the meals featured in the weekly meal plans, throughout this month, will be gluten-free and paleo, all of the recipes are free from grains, dairy, legumes and sugar (or have very simple options to make them as such).

    New Year Reset Meal Plan // Week 3

    Turkey Pot Pie Soup with Grain-free Drop Biscuits
    Monday: Grab a rotisserie chicken or make your own roast chicken in the slow cooker and use the leftovers to whip up this Pot Pie Soup with Grain-free Drop Biscuits (can be made with chicken or turkey). Drop in your favorite veggies and leave off the grain-free, nut-free biscuits, if you prefer.

     

    Slow Roasted Citrus Fennel King Salmon with Crispy Fried Lentils

    Tuesday: A seasonally-inspired meal, this Slow Roasted Citrus Fennel King Salmon with Crispy Fried Lentils (leave off the lentils if avoiding legumes) features winter citrus and beautiful, aromatic fennel for any easy but luscious weeknight meal. Serve with your favorite green veggie on the side!

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  3. Crock-Pot® Hot Chocolate {Dairy-free, Paleo and Vegan}

    Disclosure: Post sponsored by Crock-Pot® brand slow cooker & Mirum Shopper, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.

    Crock-Pot Hot Chocolate

    Crock-Pot Hot Chocolate

    With the first day of winter upon us and Christmas just mere days away, the comforts and coziness of the season are in full force. All the holiday cookies, seasonally-inspired meals, traditional cocktails and so much more. But for me, nothing brings the taste of the season like some rich, creamy, homemade Hot Chocolate.

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  4. Slow Cooker Ginger Apple Cranberry Sauce

    Disclosure: Post sponsored by Crock-Pot® brand slow cooker & Mirum Shopper, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.

    Slow Cooker Ginger Apple Cranberry Sauce

    Slow Cooker Ginger Apple Cranberry Sauce

    I always feel very divided when planning the Thanksgiving menu. Mostly I want a classic, traditional menu (obviously with some changes made to accommodate my diet and the diet of any of my guests, if I am hosting) but every year I like to mix it up a little with at least one dish, bringing in unexpected flavors or a new method of preparation. As part of my continued partnership with Crock-Pot® brand slow cooker, and in conceptualizing a holiday recipe using it, I knew it was the perfect tool for creating the best cranberry sauce this holiday season has ever seen. This here cranberry sauce was born to be the star of the show, rather than the unloved side that so many know it to be.

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  5. Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Butter

    This Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Butter is the perfect way to celebrate the season’s most abundant fruit, but this isn’t your mamma’s apple butter. With a rich, honey sweetened caramel mixed right in, you’ll find notes of rich, caramely goodness paired with the traditional spicy and tart apple butter.

    Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Butter

    Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Butter

    We are home and still getting settled after our whirlwind trip to Europe. It was absolutely glorious, incredible, magical and so inspiring. I came home with a heart full of memories, sore feet from so very many miles of exploring and a head full of ideas for recipes inspired by all of our delicious meals. While the jet lag has been a bit brutal (8 hours time difference is no joke), what has been an even greater challenge is getting back into it all. Not the work, my usual healthy eating or my daily fitness routine, I jumped right back into all of those – they are so important to my mental well-being and were sorely missed in those 10 days away. Rather, I again found myself plagued by something interesting upon my return, something that seems to happen nearly every time I step away for an extended period of time. The much needed break from the internet, the constant connection and the need to check in across the various platforms throughout the day, it all obviously disappears when I am off adventuring. It helps that with international travel we were limited in our data usage, and of course the time difference plays a role, as well, but being busy and present, this perfect combination renders the vast, never-ending virtual world essentially non-existent to me and I love it. I often look forward to that aspect of vacation as much as I do the travel itself.

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  6. Slow Cooker Fall Carnitas Tacos {Grain-free}

    Disclosure: Post sponsored by Crock-Pot® brand slow cooker & Mirum Shopper, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.

    Slow Cooker Fall Carnitas Tacos {Grain-free}

    Slow Cooker Fall Carnitas Tacos {Grain-free}

    Besides the usual fall foods we all get excited about, pumpkin-spiced everything, apples everywhere and of course, squash, I personally find most exciting, that fall once again opens the door to comfort food! Those soul-warming, hot, hearty meals that feel like a hug from your favorite family member.

    Fall always brings me back to aromatic, warming meals that celebrate the slowing down that comes with the cooler weather. I have always loved and admired that Mexican cuisine not only celebrates creative and powerful flavors, but also it’s the kind of food that brings family together with “oohs and ahhhs”. Meals featuring meats typically cooked all day, tended to with care in anticipation of the entire family coming together and celebrating. These Slow Cooker Fall Carnitas Tacos bring together classic flavors with an unexpected twist from traditional fall ingredients.

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  7. How-to Make Roast Chicken in the Slow Cooker

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty YummiesHow-to Make Roast Chicken in the Slow Cooker

    This tutorial falls under the category of simple, yet sweet. Or should I say, simple, yet savory! This is the perfect weeknight meal solution and as of recent, it is a near weekly occurrence in our house. I grab a fresh 3-4 lb whole pasture-raised chicken at the farmers market or Whole Foods, I rub it down, season it up, pile it atop some root veggies in the Crock Pot and voila, 4 hours later, dinner is ready.

    The best part of a weekly whole chicken is how many meals we get from it. The meal from the whole roasted chicken is good for at least 2-3 meals, we enjoy it with the potatoes, as chicken salad, on top of big green salads, etc. Then I make a big pot of stock from the leftover bones and we get another 2-3 meals from that. This is truly a must for any busy family.

    The seasonings on your chicken can vary with your preference and your mood. Generally I use this all-purpose herb and seasoning blend, that I love, occasionally I will opt for a spicy, chile pepper rub, it’s also great with lemon zest, garlic and freshly ground black pepper. The possibilities are endless. Seriously, you will never buy that rotisserie chicken from the store, again.

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  8. Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Sliders

    Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Sliders

    I would be a liar if I said I never craved junk food. The foods from days of yore, before I knew better, before my health declined, before I gained weight. Thankfully logic and common sense (and the threat of a super unhappy gut) keeps me from running out and eating the junkiest junk foods ever created, but this doesn’t mean that now and again I don’t think of it. Every so often I find myself fondly dreaming of those foods I used to indulge in.

    The good news is, from these random cravings oftentimes I am inspired to create a healthier version of those old dishes.

    Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Sliders

    Around here I find myself far more inclined to create dishes using seasonal produce. I want to inspire you to get creative, to find ways to introduce more healthy vegetables and fruit, to possibly look to foods you wouldn’t otherwise, inspiring meals you maybe wouldn’t have thought of. Nothing makes me happier. But on the rare occasions I recreate these old foods, I feel like it’s just as important to share these. If I am craving these flavors, surely I am not alone.

    Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Sliders

    I grew up in Buffalo, NY. Special occasions, birthdays, graduations, Christmas eve, even visits to the hospitals, funerals, and the like – these are often celebrated (or not) with pizza and wings. It’s a Buffalo staple. It’s been a long time since I could just bust into the box of sheet pizza and go to town. Buffalo wings, oftentimes are likely gluten-free, but sometimes breaded or coatedthey are also just so loaded with grease, tons of butter (or butter-like flavor) and who knows what else. Beyond that, chicken fingers, which used to be my junk food jam, those are just as bad, if not worse. Oh by the way, speaking of foods I will never, ever, eat again, if you haven’t had a chicken finger sub in Buffalo, you haven’t lived.

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  9. How-to Make Vegetable Stock

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty Yummies

    How-to Make Vegetable Stock

    This week’s Tutorial Tuesday post is a simple one, it’s hard to even call it a recipe. It requires very little work and it’s really hard to mess it up. You can make easily create your own signature vegetable stock with whatever your favorite ingredients are.

    How-to Make Vegetable Stock

    I find most store bought vegetable stocks to be lacking. They always taste flat and they all have this strange aftertaste, to me. I have never found one that I love. Most leave me wanting for more. I started making my own homemade vegetable stock a long time ago and it’s one of the easiest things you can make yourself at home. You can control the ingredients, the level of salt, the spices and it’s also a great way to use of vegetable scraps.

    How-to Make Vegetable Stock

    In the event you didn’t know, (I didn’t learn this until quite recently) there is a difference between a stock and a broth and that difference is usually just salt. Broth has salt added, stock does not. See, you learn something new every day. Actually, I think it is more than just the salt that makes them different,  I believe that it’s seasoning in general, spices, salt, wine, etc. Essentially you are looking for a stock to be somewhat neutral in flavor, almost to where when you taste it, it’s missing a little something. Instead it’s about letting the dish the stock ultimately goes into dictate the spices and the levels of salt. Either way, I prefer to make a vegetable stock over a broth, so I can control the saltiness with each recipe I use it in. I do, however, still add simple, yet somewhat neutral spices, that will work with virtually any recipe my stock would go into.

    How-to Make Vegetable Stock

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  10. Slow Cooker Spicy Asian Portobello Tacos with Sriracha Slaw

    Slow Cooker Spicy Asian Portobaello Tacos with Sriracha Slaw // www.tasty-yummies.com // @tastyyummies

    I am super excited to share this simple but delicious recipe for these Slow Cooker Spicy Asian Portobello Tacos with Sriracha Slaw, nspired by the beautiful green cabbage in-season now.

    I feel like cabbage has to be one of the most underrated vegetables of all time. I honestly feel like it gets a bad rap. Most people simply boil it or roast it, maybe they ferment it or add it to salad. I don’t feel like enough meals are centered around cabbage – it seems it’s usually an afterthought. In comes these Slow Cooker Spicy Asian Portobello Tacos with Sriracha Slaw.  This super easy to prepare meal is all about the cabbage! From the filling of the tacos, to the tasty slaw, we use the entire head!

    Slow Cooker Spicy Asian Portobaello Tacos with Sriracha Slaw // www.tasty-yummies.com // @tastyyummies

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  11. Chipotle Barbacoa Burrito Bowls with Cilantro Lime Cauli-Rice

    Chipotle Barbacoa Burrito Bowls with Cilantro Lime Cauli-Rice

    Part of being a food blogger is being lucky enough to meet and become friends with loads of other amazing and talented food bloggers, cookbook authors, recipe developers, food photographers, etc. It just sort of happens over time. Besides having social media feeds loaded with food photos and constantly chatting about what’s for dinner, it’s mostly just incredibly inspiring. Being surrounded virtually and in the real world with people that are passionate about food, eating and sharing this love and passion with others. It’s pretty darn amazing.

    Chipotle Barbacoa Burrito Bowls with Cilantro Lime Cauli-Rice

    More and more of these talented folks are authoring beautiful cookbooks filled with their creative recipes. I now have bookshelves full of incredible recipe resources. In 2014, I got a bit behind on my cookbook reviews and I am working to remedy that this year. So, I am working on a new series I am calling Foodie Friend Fridays, where every other Friday (or there-abouts), I will share cookbook reviews and recipes from some of my favorite cookbooks, guest posts from incredibly talented friends, occasional giveaways and more! Some of the reviews will feature cookbooks that are paleo, some vegan, others just a general topic cookbook, with recipes that would work for us gluten-free folk, but be sure I will always share gluten-free recipes and I will always give you my honest critiques.

    First up is Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple by Danielle Walker. It felt natural that this would be the first cookbook I’d review and share a recipe from, in this new year, as I had the pleasure of working closely with Danielle this past fall on the set of Access Hollywood.  Danielle was a guest on a segment promoting this book and she asked if I would work as her food stylist for the shoot. This meant I shopped for and made all of the recipes from her book featured on the episode, from start to finish, plating the dishes, getting the set all prepped for the shoot and making it all pretty. (watch the segment here, check out the sweet plating, the props from my home collection and the pretty flowers, too while you’re there 😉 ) It was an incredible experience and also a ton of work. I now have an immense amount of respect for people that do this on the regular. More than anything, I was excited to get to get my hands dirty creating 3 of the delicious recipes from Danielle’s latest NY Times Best Seller.

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  12. How-to Make Crock Pot Pumpkin Butter

    Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty Yummies
    How-to Make Crock Pot Pumpkin Butter

    For all of the crazy detailed, tutorials I have shared here, with lots of steps and tons of testing on my part, I equally love super simple, one step DIYs, as well. This week I show you How-to Make Crock Pot Pumpkin Butter and it seriously couldn’t be any easier. Let’s first clear the air for those of you that don’t know… Pumpkin Butter has no butter in it. No dairy of any kind. Discuss. Seriously though, it’s just that it’s thick like butter I guess? I don’t know who came up with the name.

    How-to Make Crock Pot Pumpkin Butter

    This super simple recipe requires very little of you. You literally dump the ingredients into your crock pot, stir, turn it on, let it cook. Done. I find the crock pot to be easier than the stove top and because it cooks low and slow, I like the flavor so much better. I do suggest still keeping an eye on the crock pot, since it can stick and you do not want scorched, burnt pumpkin butter, it won’t taste good that way. I personally recommend fresh pumpkin puree, which is stupid easy to make and provides the best flavor, but canned pumpkin will also work perfectly, I have made it both ways and they are both crazy delicious.

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  13. Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili (Gluten-free + Vegan)

    Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili (Gluten-free + Vegan)

    I feel like I am really outing myself lately with how much of an emotional eater I am. But listen, I am totally aware of it, that’s a first step, right? I try to keep it in check and make sure that whenever it’s tied to junk food, I try to make the best decision and swap something healthy or just ignore it (most of the time). Otherwise, I am all about eating your feelings!

    Tuesday, I was driving up to LA for a photo shoot for some yoga stuff (I will tell you guys more about that at a later time) and on my way there, on the obnoxious 405, I got into a car accident. It wasn’t anything too serious and everyone is OK, thankfully, but it was scary and I was very shook up afterward. That, plus the fact that my back and neck feeling a little “off”, meant I had to postpone the photo shoot until next week. So, that required immediately driving back home, in the terrible traffic on the highway I just got into a wreck on, (with my pretty, messy braid), feeling all scared. By the time I got home, I was starving, I was rattled, I was sore and was feeling pretty sorry for myself.

    Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili (Gluten-free + Vegan)

    I wanted some warming, comforting food. I wanted spicy and I was wishing for a big bowl of  authentic pho, some spicy thai food or some homemade chili! But, I was in no mood to cook after the afternoon I just had. I was bummed when I remembered our favorite Pho places don’t deliver and I wasn’t about to drive, the Thai place we love was closed, but then I remembered I had some of this delicious, leftover Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili in the freezer from when I made it to photograph for this post.

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  14. Slow Cooker Sesame Ginger Chicken

    Slow Cooker Sesame Ginger Chicken {gluten-free and dairy-free}

    Life has been busy as of late, between the various design-related events and jobs we have going on, teaching yoga, planning a retreat and keeping up with recipes for this site, I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed.  When life gets hectic not only do I crave home cooked food more than ever, but I also find myself looking for easy, delicious and light meals that will not only satisfy me, but also require very little energy and attention. Bonus points for meals that you can make once and eat for 2 or 3 more meals. The perks of being a family of two!

    Slow Cooker Sesame Ginger Chicken {gluten-free and dairy-free}

    If you follow me on Instagram, you probably noticed that I was up in San Francisco last week, visiting with two of my favorite ladies in the world! Vyana, the amazing goddess with whom I am co-hosting Rise, the upcoming women’s retreat and Gina, of So Let’s Hang Out, one of my most favorite people in the world, and one of the best things to come from all this food blogging fun.

    With two long days of filming in San Francisco and at the Sequoia Retreat Center with Vyana, we found ourselves grabbing food when we could, eating in the car on the way to the next location, eating bunless burgers in the park quickly before teaching a yoga class, slicing fresh avoacado and shoving it into our faces while we drove two hours to the retreat center. Not exactly ideal optimal eating conditions. Outside of all of that, Vyana so lovingly made us breakfast each morning and even found time to bake a delicious stone fruit tart, but it was a lot of eating on-the-go. By the time I got to Marin County to see Gina, I was hankering for some home cooked food and a good sit!

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  15. Spinach, Lentil and Sweet Potato Slow Cooker Soup {Gluten-free, Vegan}

    Spinach, Lentil and Sweet Potato Slow Cooker Soup - Gluten-free and Vegan

    This post is part of my ongoing restricted diets series with the Free People Blog BLDG 25.

    Since it seems this winter is hanging on until the bitter end for a lot of folks this year, I decided it was the perfect opportunity for one last comforting winter meal, like this simple to make spinach, lentil and sweet potato slow cooker soup

    OK, sure, I am in California and our idea of winter weather is the low 60s and some rain, but even with our (not so) cooler than usual winter weather — I want hot, comforting foods, that literally feel like a warm hug with every spoonful.

    Spinach, Lentil and Sweet Potato Slow Cooker Soup - Gluten-free and Vegan

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  16. Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde {Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly}

    Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde - Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly

    I have really come to love my slow cooker over the years. Crock Pot cooking is one of my favorite ways to make easy dinners, especially recipes that make multiple meals. I have said it before and I will say it again – a meal made in a slow cooker is just about the closest I may ever come to a personal chef. I load it up in the morning and by dinnertime the house is filled with incredible aromas and all I have to do is set the table and serve. It is amazing.

    I have shared many plant-based slow cooker recipes here on Tasty Yummies, over the years. Like this Butternut Squash and Chickpea Coconut Curry or this Chipotle Black Bean and Quinoa Crock-Pot Stew, which is a reader favorite. I also have a simple recipe for Slow-Cooked Black Beans, that are great for vegan tacos or it can just be pureed into an amazing soup. Speaking of soup, this comforting Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup can be made with or without ham, to be vegan. Or for a really different Crock Pot experience, try my Creamy Crock-Pot Pumpkin Risotto recipe.

    Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde - Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly

    Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde - Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly

    Since I have shared so many plant-based Crock Pot recipes, I thought it was time to share a meat-based recipe since, I know many of you are like me and do eat meat from time-to-time. Plus, when I asked on my Facebook page, a good majority of you were lookin’ for a “meaty” recipe. I had tons of ideas I was working on, but I had a beautiful locally-raised whole organic chicken that I thought would be perfect to create something different with. I thought about making my Chicken and White Bean Chili again with the whole chicken, but then I saw the beautiful tomatillos at the market and came up with the idea for this Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde.

    Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde - Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly

    This post is extra special – because it’s actually a two-part recipe. Besides the amazing chile verde, first – I have a super simple salsa verde/sauce that can just be used as-is, a salsa perfect for dipping your favorite corn tortilla chips into, or even better, served warm in this amazing chile verde or it’d also be great as a topping for homemade veggie enchiladas. So many possibilities. This salsa verde is just loaded with amazing fresh flavors, so bright and unique. You could certainly use the tomatillos raw if you wish, but I have found that roasting the tomatillos first really brings out their incredibly bright flavor. I have a feeling I will be making homemade salsa verde way more often now. It was so easy. Read the rest of this entry »

  17. Slow-Cooked Black Bean Tacos with Vegan Chipotle Cream {Gluten-free + Vegan}

    Slow-Cooked Black Bean Tacos with Vegan Chipotle Cream {Gluten-free + Vegan}

    I have always LOVED tacos, but from traveling a ton to Texas and California and even Mexico once or twice, I am well aware of what makes a good taco. Living in Western New York for the past 30+ years meant getting the very best tacos I could on the road and when I was really craving them at home, just making them myself. I have made soo many different tacos, some vegan, like these, some with slow cooked meat from our farmer, some loaded just with grilled veggies, and so on. I am not saying my homemade tacos are THE very best and most authentic, but for the most part they were better than any I could get in Buffalo. (Though Lloyds Taco Truck were damn delicious and the best in WNY outside of my kitchen, for sure!)

    I find the key to authentic tacos (or at least for my taste) is skipping on the loads of cheese and chopped iceberg lettuce like most Americans love. You want good quality ingredients like slow cooked beans or a meat, spiced to perfection. Add some fresh cilantro, a quick homemade pico de gallo or other salsa and add a few other simple but yummy things like quick pickled red onions, (diced onions or green onions are always great to) or maybe a simple chipotle cream. Less is more in a lot of ways.

    OK so now I am living in Southern California, the land of amazing tacos. Why did I make tacos at home, you ask? Almost every week for Taco Tuesday we have tried a different place out, since you can get amazing prices/deals at most places. Last week, we didn’t wanna go out and we still wanted tacos, so this was the next best thing.

    These tacos feature super flavorful slow-cooked black beans, that do their thing ALL day in the crock pot. Load it up in the morning before work and by dinner time it’s all ready for you. You can make the pickled onions and chipotle cream the day before, the morning of when you are loading up the crock pot or just a couple of hours before you serve dinner. I highly suggest making your own corn tortillas whenever possible, they are so simple to make and once you do, you will realize what you have been missing. I  was forced to skip on it this time as I wasn’t able to find non-GMO masa harina around here, so I just bought some pre-made organic non-GMO corn tortillas that were very good and very fresh.

    **BONUS ADDITIONAL MEALS: The great thing about this recipe is that it  makes a decent amount of black beans and other goodies. So make tacos for 4 – 6, or more – or make tacos for 2 one night, then make delicious black bean and brown rice bowls another night. Instead of tortillas start with brown rice in a large bowl, top with the slow cooked black beans, add any other veggies or toppings, top with the pickled red onions and chipotle cream sauce and you have another deliciously incredible meal.

    Slow-Cooked Black Bean Tacos with Vegan Chipotle Cream {Gluten-free + Vegan}

    Slow-Cooked Black Bean Tacos with Vegan Chipotle Cream {Gluten-free + Vegan}

    [print_this]Slow Cooked Black Beans

    • 1 lb organic dried black beans – soaked overnight, drained and rinsed*
    • 4 cups water and/or vegetable broth (if you aren’t using canned tomatoes, you may want a bit more water)
    • 1 jalapeño, diced
    • 1-2 dried chipotles, left whole
    • 2 stalks celery, diced
    • 1 red onion, diced
    • 1 green bell pepper, diced
    • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 small can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (I like Muir Glen organic) you can also use fresh tomato
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 3 teaspoons chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

    Salt to taste at the end of cooking

    Soak the beans overnight. Drain and rinse well.

    Add all of the ingredients to the crock pot. If you aren’t using canned tomatoes, add another 1-2 cups of water. You want to make sure there is enough liquid so the beans don’t scorch or burn.

    Stir well. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Salt to taste and the end.

    *If you forgot or didn’t leave time to soak the beans overnight, no problem. Put them in a large pot, and cover completely with water. Bring to a rapid boil for 10 minutes, then turn off stove and cover pot. Let your beans sit for 1 hour, then drain water and put beans into crockpot) [/print_this]

    Slow-Cooked Black Bean Tacos with Vegan Chipotle Cream {Gluten-free + Vegan}

    [print_this]Quick Pickled Red Onions (and Jalapeños)
    These simple pickled onions can be made ahead, it will keep for 2 weeks.

    • 1/3 cup red wine or apple cider vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon raw sugar (if you are totally sugar-free try a splash of maple or other sweetener of your choice)
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 jalapeño, cut into rings

    Whisk first 3 ingredients and 1 cup water in a small bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Place onion and jalapeños in a jar, pour the vinegar mixture over. Let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours. Cover and chill. Drain onions before using or just pull right out of the jar and add them to your tacos. [/print_this]

    Slow-Cooked Black Bean Tacos with Vegan Chipotle Cream {Gluten-free + Vegan}

    [print_this]Vegan Chipotle Cream
    This sauce is great on these tacos, but also delicious in place of mayo or other spreads on sandwiches or wraps.

    • 1/2 cup organic raw cashews (soaked for at least an hour), drained then rinsed well
    • 1/4 cup water (you may need more)
    • 2-3 chipotles (the canned kind in adobo sauce)
    • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
    • 1 large clove garlic
    • squeeze or two of fresh lime
    • salt, to taste

    Add all of the ingredients to your blender. Start on a low speed. You may find you need to add more water to get it moving and to reach your desired consistency. Gradually increase the speed of the blender until the desired creaminess is reached. If you add to much water and it’s too thin, just add a couple more cashews. Pour into a jar, cover and place in the fridge. [/print_this]

    Slow-Cooked Black Bean Tacos with Vegan Chipotle Cream {Gluten-free + Vegan}
    [print_this]Assembling Your Tacos – All The Add-Ons
    These are the other ingredients you will need:

    • Slow Cooked Black Beans (above)
    • Pickled Red Onions and Jalapeños (above)
    • Chipotle Cream Sauce (above)
    • 6-8 Corn Tortillas (more if serving more)
    • Organic baby greens, shredded lettuce or cabbage
    • fresh cilantro
    • lime wedges

    Optional:

    • sliced avocado
    • roasted corn
    • pico de gallo, salsa or fresh tomatoes
    • Tapatio or Sriracha or other hot sauce
    • etc

    Assemble. Heat up your corn tortillas. Add the beans, lettuce, pickled onions and jalapeños, cilantro and drizzle the chipotle cream over top. Serve with a fresh lime wedge.[/print_this]

    Slow-Cooked Black Bean Tacos with Vegan Chipotle Cream {Gluten-free + Vegan}

  18. Creamy Crock-Pot Pumpkin Risotto – Gluten-free + Vegan

    Creamy Crock-Pot Pumpkin Risotto – Gluten-free + Vegan

    If it isn’t apparent yet, I am all-in on the fall-inspired dishes right now. Apples, squash, pumpkin anything…I am all about it. All of it. I love the shift into comfort food at the start of Autumn and I know that my body is craving it for a reason. Ask and you shall receive hungry tummy! What better way to combine Autumn flavors and produce with comfort food, than a delicious creamy pumpkin risotto.

    Creamy Crock-Pot Pumpkin Risotto – Gluten-free + Vegan

    I had been dreaming of a pumpkin risotto for a few weeks now and even had a few readers request a recipe, but instead of a traditional risotto like this one or this one, I wanted something that wasn’t quite so labor intensive. I never mind standing over the pot, spooning the broth or stock in, one ladle-full at a time, it is always worth it, but I wanted to see if I could create a simpler method for those days that you don’t have the extra time to dedicate an hour of your life to just one pot of food. In comes the magical Crock-Pot, the closest thing I will ever have to a personal chef!

    Creamy Crock-Pot Pumpkin Risotto – Gluten-free + Vegan

    This risotto is creamy, rich and comforting without any dairy at all. It’s quite unbelievable that this is not only gluten-free, but it is also vegan. The roast pumpkin and the pumpkin puree and not only provide a beautiful rich autumn-inspired hue to the dish, but a delicious hearty flavor. If you aren’t vegan and/or dairy-free this would also be quite delicious with a good chicken stock and some Parmigiano-Reggiano at the end, though I can say with confidence neither are needed or missed. The key to a creamy risotto is opting for arborio rice rather than the trational long grain.

    Creamy Crock-Pot Pumpkin Risotto – Gluten-free + Vegan

    [print_this]Creamy Crock-Pot Pumpkin Risotto – Gluten-free + Vegan
    serves 6-8

    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 leek, cleaned, halved the long way then thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 1 red bell pepper, diced
    • 3/4 cup dry white wine
    • 2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
    • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, split in half.
    • 1 cup pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
    • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 small pie pumpkin, seeded, peeled, and cut into 1-inch cubes
    • salt and pepper

    Optional – 1/2 to 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese — preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano

    Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat and sauté the leeks, onions and red bell pepper until they have softened up a bit, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute or two, then add all of the veggies to the crock-pot. Next pour the wine into the pan that the veggies were cooked in and scrape up any leftover bits in the pan, then add in the rice, stir around and cook until all of the wine has been absorbed. Add the rice to the slow cooker along with the broth, salt and half of the fresh thyme. Cover and cook on HIGH for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until all the liquid is absorbed.

    While the risotto is cooking roast the pumpkin. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Toss the pumpkin cubes with olive oil and a little salt, and roast for 30-40 minutes until lightly browned and tender. Stirring after 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

    Just before serving, stir in the pumpkin puree, roasted pumpkin and the remaining thyme. If you are adding cheese, add it now. Stir it all together, cover and let sit for another 3-5 minutes, then serve.

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  19. Crock-Pot Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers – Gluten-free + Dairy-free (w/ Oven Option)

    Crock-Pot Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers - Gluten-free + Dairy-free (w/ Oven Option)

    This is my version of a dish my parents have been making for as long as I can recall. They always serve it with a big Greek salad on the side as well as kalamata olives and some cut up feta cheese. So good! They bake them in the oven which I really like, but when I made these a week or two ago in the oven with black rice in the stuffing, I of course didn’t account for how long they would take to cook, I am not always the best at that type of longer term dinner planning. I didn’t get them into the oven until nearly 7:30pm, OOPS! We definitely didn’t eat dinner until 9:30pm that night, which I am not necessarily a fan of.

    Crock-Pot Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers - Gluten-free + Dairy-free (w/ Oven Option)

    After that dinner, we got even more peppers and tomatoes the following Saturday in our CSA from Porter Farms, including more of the beautiful purple bell peppers, which are just beautiful. I thought I would try making these again since they are such a great use for the veggies, but this time in the Crock Pot, so they can just cook away all day and be hot and ready for us when we were ready for them. It turned out perfect, the peppers and tomatoes were nicely roasted and tender, but not too soft, the stuffing had a delicious taste and the wild rice had a sweet and nutty bite to it.

    Crock-Pot Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers - Gluten-free + Dairy-free (w/ Oven Option)

    The thing I like a little bit better about making these in the oven versus the Crock Pot is if you take the foil off for a little bit, you can get a little crispiness to some of the stuffing, but other than that, the Crock Pot version is just as delicious. If you are making this in the oven and you have a bit more room, I also enjoying filling zucchini and eggplant with this stuffing.

    Sadly these are so much more beautiful when they go into the Crock Pot versus when they come out, but I promise what the veggies lack in color, they make up for in taste.

    Crock-Pot Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers - Gluten-free + Dairy-free (w/ Oven Option)

    [print_this]Crock-Pot Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers – Gluten-free + Dairy-free
    Serves 4

    • 1 lb raw local pasture-raised ground beef
    • 1/2 cup uncooked wild rice (you can also use brown or white rice, black rice is also quite delicious)
    • 1 28-ounce can of organic diced tomatoes
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 stalks celery, diced
    • 1/4 cup fresh herbs, chopped – I used basil and oregano
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 – 1/3 cup water
    • 6-9 tomatoes and peppers (I only had room for 7 veggies total in my crockpot but I could have filled 1 or 2 more with stuffing)

    In a large bowl, mix all of the stuffing ingredients together (except for the water and the peppers). You can really get your hands in there if you wanna make sure it is well mixed.

    Cut off the tops of the tomatoes and peppers and set aside. Take out the seeds and ribs on the peppers. For the tomatoes, scoop out some of the inside flesh you can add it to the stuffing or put it aside for use in something else. Wash and clean out the peppers and tomatoes, give them a quick dry.
    Stuff each pepper and tomato with a good amount of the ground beef and wild rice mixture
    Nestle the peppers and tomatoes into your crock and put the l tops back on. Pour in water around the bases of the peppers and tomatoes, you want just enough to cover the bottom of the crock pot.

    Cook on low for about 6-8 hours.

    Depending on how tightly you have them packed in there, you’ll need to be a little careful when removing the veggies from your Crock Pot, you don’t want them to bust open and ruin your pretty presentation (like my tomato decided to do). They are definitely tender, the tomatoes especially. Salt and pepper to taste, if need be when serving.

    Oven Option – Preheat the oven to 400º F. Prepare the peppers and tomatoes the exact same way. Add them to a glass baking pan, with just a drizzle of water at their bases. Cover with foil and bake for approximately 2 hours until the rice is fully cooked. [/print_this]

  20. Chipotle Black Bean and Quinoa Crock-Pot Stew – Vegan + Gluten-free

    Chipotle Black Bean and Quinoa Crock-Pot Stew

    This post will be quick and easy, just like this recipe. Which is exactly what I need right now with everything going on. I made this the other night in an effort to make something hearty, healthy and satisfying without having to spend at least an hour in the kitchen. Since we are getting ready to hit the road this weekend for SXSW in Austin, every minute counts. This is where cooking dinner in a crock-pot comes in. No matter how busy I am though, I insist on eating as healthy as I can, especially at times like this. It is when you need nutritious goodies and healthy energy the most!

    Chipotle Black Bean and Quinoa Crock-Pot Stew - Vegan + Gluten-free

    This stew was super easy to toss together and it made the house smell amazing all day long while it cooked. Plus, we’ve been enjoying the leftovers ever since. You can have fun with the toppings on this or keep it as simple as you’d like. Additionally, if you want to saute the veggies first, you can do that too, but I like keeping my crock-pot cooking as easy and quick as I can. After all, that is the entire point of it, in my opinion anyway.

    This recipe is similar to my crock pot black bean soup, but I thought leaving the beans whole and adding in the quinoa and diced tomatoes would make it more stew-like and a fun change.  The quinoa was a subtle addition but it was nice. I think I could actually get away with adding in 1 full cup, but I didn’t want the quinoa to steal the show! The bonus, this stew is naturally vegan and gluten-free. Feel free to play around with the spices making it to your liking, maybe adding in some cumin or leaving out the cinnamon, etc. Make it your own.

    Do you have a favorite crock-pot meal? What do you like most about cooking in a crock-pot or slow-cooker?

    Chipotle Black Bean and Quinoa Crock-Pot Stew
    [print_this]Chipotle Black Bean and Quinoa Crock-Pot Stew – Vegan + Gluten-free
    serves 6-8

    • 1-2 dried chipotle peppers
    • 1lb of dried organic black beans, rinsed and picked over, soaked overnight
    • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and picked over
    • 1 28-ounce can organic diced tomatoes
    • 1 red onion, diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 dried cinnamon stick
    • 2 teaspoons chile powder
    • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
    • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
    • 7 cups water
    • sea salt and pepper, to taste

    for topping:

    • cilantro
    • green onions, thinly sliced
    • lime wedges
    • avocado

    Load all of the ingredients, except the salt, into your slow-cooker, stir to combine. If you wish to saute the onion, garlic and bell pepper first, you can, but I like to make crock-pot cooking as simple and quick as possible. Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours, or on low for 8 to 10 hours, until the black beans are tender. The time to cook the beans can vary based on the strength of your slow cooker and also the freshness of your beans. Add the salt at the very end, as it will affect how the beans cook, if you add it at the beginning.

    Remove the chipotles (if you don’t want a mouthful of a whole spicy pepper) and the cinnamon stick before serving. Ladle into bowls and serve topped with fresh cilantro, green onions, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, diced avocado, sour cream, hot sauce, tortilla chips, etc.

    PLEASE NOTE:

    It seems due to the varying cooking power and strengths of crock pots and other slow cookers, unfortunately the cooking time for the dried beans can vary significantly. For some, this time works great and for others the beans are still crunchy even after 12 hours. If your crock pot is older or is known for not being very strong, I would suggest soaking a bit longer and/or pre-cooking the beans first, before putting them in the crock pot. This time has always worked for me and my crock pot and I have made this recipe many many times. Sadly without being able to test it on other slow cookers, I have know way of knowing how much that time can vary.

    Older beans can take longer to cook, so that is also something to keep in mind.

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  21. Butternut Squash & Chickpea Coconut Curry (Crock Pot Recipe)

    Butternut Squash & Chickpea Coconut Curry (Crock Pot Recipe)

     

    I absolutely adore my slow cooker. It is so perfect for those days where you kinda feel like cooking, but you don’t really have the time or desire to stand around stir this pot so it doesn’t stick, toss that thing in this dressing, cut up this and that. I always love eating at home and cooking my own meals, but sometimes after a long day of work, I just don’t have the energy to head to the kitchen and start on another 1-2 hour adventure. Though it hardly feels like work, sometimes it’s just hard to muster up the energy after a long and busy day. With a crock pot there is no preheating, no keeping an eye on it so it doesn’t over cook, no stirring. It’s just simple, easy home-cooking. When you are ready to eat, just head to the kitchen and serve yourself. I always tell Mark that my crock pot is the closest I will ever come to having a personal chef, it really feels like that.

    This recipe is exceptionally easy, just toss all (well, almost all) of the ingredients in to your crock pot in the morning and check back later. I decided to keep out the peas until the end and wished I had done the same with the spinach, so I altered the recipe to reflect that. That’s it. You could certainly fuss with sautéing the onions and garlic ahead of time if you wish, but I really don’t see why you should bother. I tossed it all in and it was ready to go 6 hours later. I had some beautiful spinach and peas from the market so I decided to toss those in for some extra greeny goodness and that was our meal.

    I truly think this was the best curry I have made yet. I personally have a wonderful yellow curry powder that I love, though I know many people swear by making your own mix, toasting the spices yourself, etc. I have yet to try that as I really love the powder I buy. If you prefer to take that route, please do. Beyond being extremely easy to make, this curry is loaded with flavor and is so satisfying. I served it over a small serving of brown basmati rice and topped it with fresh cilantro and a bit of unsweetened shredded coconut. The perfect cleanse-friendly, fall meal.

    Butternut Squash & Chickpea Coconut Curry (Crock Pot Recipe)
    serves 8

    2 1/2 cups diced butternut squash
    1 1/2 cups dried organic chick peas
    1 small onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 can 13.5 ounce organic coconut milk (you can use light here, I didn’t)
    1 bunch of fresh spinach, rinsed and roughly chopped (you could also use kale here)
    1 1/2 cups freshly shelled peas (you can use frozen here, if you wish)
    1-2 large tomatoes, diced
    3 cups vegetable broth or water
    3 tablespoons yellow curry powder (you can use your own blend of spices here, I just happen to have a premixed curry powder from a local indian grocery store that I love)
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (save some for serving)

    Rinse and sort through the dry chickpeas. Cut the skin off the squash, remove seeds and cut into 1 inch square cubes. Add all of the ingredients to your slow cooker besides the peas and spinach. Cook on high for 6 hours. About 20-30 minutes before serving add in the fresh peas and spinach, and give it a stir. If your sauce seems to be a bit too thin or watery when it is done cooking, you could make a quick mix of cornstarch and hot water and pour a tablespoon or two of the mixture into the crock pot, allow it to simmer a bit longer. This will thicken it right up.

    Serve over brown basmati or jasmine rice topped with fresh cilantro, mint or basil and maybe even some shredded coconut.

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