However, on our current budget, repairs and replacements are both out. While we wait, this means that it's back to the Crock-pot! I have been big on Crock-pots for the last three or so years, being that they are such a blessing in enabling me to cook dinner in the morning rather than the awful-horrible-hour-o'-crank known as "dinnertime." However, this past year or so I've gotten away from the Crock-pot just because Crock-pot recipes tend to be very high-carb, and thus very difficult to combine with the VLC diet.
But I'm back! And ready to give it a go! Here are some of my latest projects:
Crock-pot Salsa (I would be doing this in the Crock-pot even if we had an oven, so this doesn't technically count!):
Crock-pot coffee cake! This got rave reviews! (Below was a half-recipe made in a 1 1/2-quart dish.)
Crockpot custard - custards do really well in the Crock-pot (2 1/2-3 hours on HIGH, covered with foil, lifted off the bottom with rolled-up foil, with 2-3 cups hot water added).
I also made a friend's granola recipe in the Crock-pot - assemble as usual, and cook 2-4 hours on LOW, stirring every half hour. I did the full four hours and did end up burning the bottom, so next time I'll stop at three hours (and be careful of the stirring!).
I am looking forward to trying more Crock-pot desserts, as well as main dishes. I don't think I will try things like pizza and French fries, but everything else is fair game! I have learned that there are low-carb versions of most dishes, and now I am learning that there are Crock-pot versions of most dishes as well!
Things I already love cooking in the Crock-pot:
- Meat stock (meat bones, celery/carrot/onion, peppercorns, bay leaf, water + 24 hours = stock!)
- Soups or stews
- Wet-cook meats
- Vegetables for baby food, especially winter squashes
- Date-nut bread
- Spaghetti sauce
- Roast beef
- Mexican casserole
One of my favorite Crock-pot books is Mabel Hoffman's "Crockery Cookery" - highly recommended! Her Shell Casserole is always a huge hit, even with the kidlets.
If you have any awesome recipes or other Crock-pot ideas to pass along, please do!