Slow Cooker Chanko Nabe

Chanko nabe is a component of sumo wrestler fuel. But chanko nabe is not like Furious Pete eating a giant burger or Matt Stonie attempting to eat 8 sticks of butter. This is a nutrient-rich and low-fat chicken and vegetable stew.  It becomes part of a weight gain regime if you consume a big pot of it by yourself and with a bucket of rice.

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No-Browning-Required Slow Cooker Cabbage ‘Roll’ Soup

slow cooker cabbage roll soup

Here is a beautifully lazy and delicious soup that consists of the ingredients one would use to make slave-away-all-day cabbage rolls. One could brown the meat before stuffing the slow cooker for the day, but it’s not necessary. The meat will fully cook when left in a slow cooker for the day. Plus, if one searches for ‘traditional cabbage roll’, one will see that the resulting recipes call for filling cabbage rolls with raw meat before baking. Therefore this recipe is… more… traditional?

I’m tired.

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Slow Cooker Ratatouille, for the 21st Century Peasant

Ingredients for ratatouille: eggplant, zucchini, tomato, mushroom, bell pepper, onion

I’m back again. Hugs of reassurance to you if you missed me.

I suppose we have an animated film to thank for a generation of young Americans that know how to pronounce the word ‘ratatouille’ at least somewhat correctly. Some portion of that cohort also knows that ratatouille is a vegetable dish of southern France. A quick Google search will tell you that there are many different ways to prepare ratatouille, e.g. carefully layered and roasted, sautéed then simmered, or slapped together into a slow cooker before leaving for the day. Well boy howdy guess which category this recipe falls into.

Ratatouille can be eaten as a meatless main by itself, or with bread or polenta. It can also be served as a side to accompany… I guess a piece of grilled fish or a nice big sausage.

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No-Browning-Required Ground Beef and Chipotle Slow Cooker Chili

slow cooker chili no brown beef chipotle beans

There exist reasons to brown meat before stewing/braising/whatevering it, but they are not all necessarily legit. There is no need to pre-cook meat when it will be immersed in near-boiling liquid for several hours. Similarly, browning meat will not retain its moisture if it is to be surrounded by even more moisture for a long cooking period. If one is using a fatty cut of meat or ground meat of a high fat percentage for a soup or stew, that fat can be skimmed off of the surface during simmering, if desired. Or, resolve that issue by using leaner meat.

There is one good reason to brown meat before slow-cooking it: the Maillard Reaction. To grossly simplify, it means proteins + sugar + heat –> various dark, delicious, aromatic compounds. Ultimately there is a definitely a difference in flavour between a chili whose meat and onions were browned before slow-cooking verses a straight-up boiled chili. But if you don’t have the time/patience for this step, I suggest a pseudo-substitute here. A combination of chili peppers in adobo sauce and ketchup provides a flavour that is similar (but of course not identical) to the smoky sweetness of browned meat.

This recipe is for a northern North American chili/English chili con carne for the slow cooker (by that I mean it is cheap and contains beans). Browning the ground meat before slow-cooking would be a wonderful bonus, but it is not required to produce a perfectly edible and tasty weeknight meal that is bold with different flavours.

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Better-Than-It-Sounds Slow Cooker Cabbage Soup

I am terribly busy this month, so here is a simple yet healthy and effective recipe that I have been relying on.  It’s full of vegetables and herbs and not much else, yet the broth comes out aromatic and satisfying—an excellent calming agent after a long day of running around in frustration or confusion.  You can make this soup vegan or non-vegan, as I outline below.  Also, if you are trying to fit into a too-snug wedding dress two weeks before the big day, you can omit the legumes and grains and use this soup as a staple.

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Slow Cooker Creamy Vegan ‘Enchilada’ Soup

Enchilada soup is a thicker, even-more-American version of sopa de tortilla or tortilla soup, sometimes without the tortillas.  Sometimes it is creamy and other times it is on the clear side; oftentimes it contains chicken.  This is a creamy, vegan version that is easily prepared using a slow cooker.

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Not Quite Texas Slow Cooker Chili

texas inspired beef chili no beans

A Texan chili (and the only true chili to some people) has no beans, tomatoes, or vegetables.  It consists primarily of meat and chili peppers, as the name suggests.  Here is a slow cooker version of what I’m calling an almost Texan chili, as I’m not sure how orthodox it is to use onions, garlic, or beer as ingredients and cheddar cheese as a topping.

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Slow Cooker Bean, Sausage, & Kale Soup

sausage bean kale soup slow cooker

All those holiday dinners got everything in your system backed up, but you still want something warm and hearty during the winter months?  A nice bean soup is in order!  Plus, with a slow cooker, it’s a great time-saver when you’ve got a long list of awful holiday errands to do.

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Hello World. Slow Cooker Guinness Beef Stew with Bubble and Squeak

Hello World. This is my blog about food–usually the food I make to put in my mouth and sometimes others’ mouths.  This is so that I can share this knowledge with a few others and also with myself because I’m forgetful.  But I’m bad with measurements so I’m sorry that reproducibility may be an issue for at least a few of these posts.

Today I made Guinness beef stew in a slow cooker with a bubble and squeak.  Guinness is some people that make a famous stout and they also made the Lions Gate Bridge.  Bubble and squeak are the noises made when one makes bubble and squeak. Continue reading “Hello World. Slow Cooker Guinness Beef Stew with Bubble and Squeak”