Archive for Slow Cooker

Quinoa, Black Bean, Butternut Chili

I tend to cook with the seasons. That means I like to eat ingredients when they are seasonally available; which means fresh greens and fruit in the summer, heartier winter vegetables in the winter.

a, Black Bean, Butternut Chili

It’s been a long, hot summer here in Vancouver, with very little rain. It’s only just over the last few days that we’ve started to feel a change in the weather, and have been happy to see some badly-needed rain.

One of the things I love most about living here is our beautiful, warm falls. You can pretty much count on there being beautiful weather well into October.

So while Starbucks may be already pimping out the PSL, I’m going to try to enjoy the last bit of summer for a while.

However, I am turning to warmer recipes these days, now that it’s cooled down enough for me to turn on my oven. I’m loving my French Enamel cookware (I am lucky enough to now own TWO Staub Cocottes), which are busy these days making up pots of beans and soups and stews.

Even before I was a vegetarian, I made my chili without meat. I just don’t think it needs it, simply put. Chili, made with beans, especially, is so meaty and full of protein already. It really fills you up.

The spin on this one includes one of my favorite fall ingredients: butternut squash. It also includes and extra dose of protein in the form of quinoa.

It’s a little sweet, a little spicy, very warming and oh-so-filling. You can make this in your French Enamelware, or in your slow cooker.

Vegan Chili

Quinoa, Black Bean, Butternut Chili

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 c vegetable stock
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 smallish butternut squash
  • 1 large (14-oz) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 c uncooked quinoa
  • 1/4 c chopped cilantro

Method:

  1. Heat your dutch oven over medium heat, and add a couple tablespoons of oil. Dice up the onion and add it to the pot. Season and stir well. Allow onions to sweat out for 5-10 minutes, until soft.
  2. While the onions are cooking, cut the butternut squash in half, and peel. Scoop out the seeds, then cut into 1″ dice.
  3. Finely dice the garlic and add it, stirring, just until fragrant. Now add all the spices and stir well so that they coat the onions and garlic.
  4. Now add the squash, and stir well. Cook for 5 minutes or so more, allowing the edges to soften and pick up some colour.
  5. Now add everything else, stir well, and taste for seasoning. Allow to simmer, partially covered, on top of the stove for about 20-30 minutes, until the squash is soft and everything is thick and comes together.
  6. Before serving, taste and see if it needs more salt or heat. Stir in most of the cilantro, reserving a few leaves for garnish. Garnish with a sprinkling of cilantro, and slices of avocado, if you wish.

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Slow-Cooker Upside-Down Peach Bourbon Cake

It’s hot.

And I don’t mean that as a complaint. I ain’t complaining. I am a girl who loves the summer, thrives on it, won’t complain when the mercury rises.

I might complain a little, though, if I am forced to turn on my oven during said heat. Because then my apartment gets to be about 700 degrees, and it’s pretty unbearable.

peach bourbon upside down cake

So, faced with a dilemma: that being I had too many peaches (a friend picked them up for me on his way home through the Okanagan), and wanting to make an upside-down cake with them, but not wanting to turn on my oven, I thought I’d give it a try in my slow cooker.

Here’s the thing about slow cookers. People think that they are only for the winter. For soups and stews and heartier, comforting fare. But they can also be your best friend during the summer, when you don’t want to turn on your oven. The heat they kick out is not immense, and it’s contained, so they won’t make your kitchen hot like turning on your oven will.

I’ve never baked a cake in my slow cooker before, but I knew someone who had: Julie Van Rosendaal.

Her new Best of Bridge cookbook included a recipe for a classic pineapple upside-down cake done in the slow cooker, and I thought I’d just swap out the pineapple for peaches, and Bob’s your uncle.

Turns out, Bob IS your uncle! I will admit to having a healthy dose of skepticism going in, but it worked really well. I was really impressed. And the cake was amazeballs. Moist, with just the right crumb. It makes this super tasty caramel sauce that drips down over everything and just rocks. My kid hoovered down a chunk of this still warm, and asked for more.

Winner! And no burning hot kitchen. Extra win.

peach bourbon slow cooker upside down cake

Slow-Cooker Upside-Down Peach Bourbon Cake

(adapted from Best of Bridge Slow Cooker)

Round, 4-6 quart slow cooker

Ingredients

Topping

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 4 peaches, pitted, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tbsp bourbon

Cake

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup milk

Method:

  1. Make the topping. Melt the butter and mash the brown sugar into it until it’s all combined into a kind of paste. Add the bourbon and mash it in as well. Grease the inside of your slowcooker, then spread the brown sugar-bourbon-butter mixture in a single layer on the bottom of the pot.
  2. Carefully arrange the peach slices on top to make it pretty.
  3. Add the softened butter to the bowl of your mixer, and then add the sugar. Whip those together until they are light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla.
  4. Combine the baking powder and salt with the flour, and then slowly beat it into the wet ingredients, alternating with the milk.
  5. Once the batter is done, pour it into the slow cooker on top of the peaches.
  6. Turn heat to high and let cook for about 2-2 1/2 hours, or until the edges are browning and a skewer insterted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Remove the bowl from the slow cooker and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen, then place a plate on top and flip it upside down.
  8. Your cake should slide out onto the plate. If there are any bits left in the slow cooker, you can dig them out and patch them in.
  9. Serve warm with ice cream.

 

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