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Slow cooker - worth it for a vegetarian?

(17 Posts)
Venetia70 Wed 06-Nov-13 19:32:52

Money is a bit tight in our house at the moment. My mother (DM?) tells me I should 'invest' in a slow cooker. I can see the merits of tenderizing cheaper cuts of meat in one of these, but what could our veggie household do with it? We eat a lot of pulses and beans.

weasle Wed 06-Nov-13 19:34:02

Sorry, no advice as in the same position. Watching with interest.

soundedbetterinmyhead Wed 06-Nov-13 19:36:14

Us too...anyone?

BinarySolo Wed 06-Nov-13 19:38:46

You can make nice lentil stews, dahls and the like. Iyou can cook dried pulses in it then freeze them rather than buying tinned. Depends on how much you like pulses IMO.

hopeitsright Wed 06-Nov-13 21:20:06

My daughter got a slow cooker, and she happily uses it for lamb, chicken, pork. With or without vegetables, spices, rice, etc.
What I think is the best thing about a slow cooker is that you don't have to be there to keep a watch.
You can put everything on to cook, go to work, go shopping, go to a movie, and come back home to a perfectly cooked hot meal.
Yo don't have to worry about anything burning, or needing stirring, etc.
We use the pressure-cooker for dals, pulses, lentils, and we cook enough for two meals, and freeze half.
So I dunno about slow cooker and lentils.
But hey, it could make good biryanis, pulaos, stews, soups, casseroles, puddings, and cost next to nothing in electricity.

MILLYMOLLYMANDYMAX Wed 06-Nov-13 21:25:09

I'm vegetarian and I use mine for rice meals, rice vegetables quorn pieces and veg stock and casseroles, especially nice are the chunks of swedes, large carrot pieces and potatoes when they are perfectly cooked.

JamNan Thu 07-Nov-13 12:57:14

I bought my SC from Tesco about a tenner. It makes the best dhall curry ever. I use it for all sorts of veggie dishes. It's deffo worth investing in one. Not only does it save energy (gas and leccie) but also time because all you have to do is the prep and chuck it in to cook itself. It makes lovely soup, rich tomato sauce for pasta, ratatouille, veg stew and dumplings, suet puds, steamed puddings, rice pudding, potato dauphinoise, and veg curries.

Someone on here said you can even make baked potatoes but I haven't tried that as I don't know how to.

feelinlucky Thu 07-Nov-13 13:09:05

I popped on a nice carrot and coriander soup before I went to work yesterday, got home and didn't need to cook. I'm always busy so it's great to pop something in, a veg casserole with quorn sausages before one of my dibs hobbies, get back, dinners ready. I love mine.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 07-Nov-13 13:21:42

I don't think it's worth it. Nothing made out of vegetables needs very long to cook down and I think a slow cooker would be a waste of both energy and worksurface.

pregnantpause Thu 07-Nov-13 13:28:58

I'm a meat eater so perhaps not best placed to advise, but I do more vegetarian food in my slow cooker than meat.
Soups- veg, leek and tato, carrot and red lentil, red lentil and chickpea, broccoli and Stilton, cauliflower and cheese soup, etc
Stews- pearl barley and squash etc
Dhal (wonderful in sc)
Pumpkin casseroles
Lentil casserole
Bean chilli
Chickpea curry
Cauliflower curry
Saag aloo
Aubergine parmigiana
Rice pudding
Potato and onion gratin
Stuffed peppers/squash

The only fail I've had is risotto and pasta. Not good.

CockPissPartridge Thu 07-Nov-13 13:38:57

I use mine for cooking recipes that include dried beans/pulses (e.g. 'refried' beans).

It means that I can avoid the pre-soaking, and the long cooking hours on the stove whilst saving ££ by getting dried rather than tinned (especially for things like chickpeas if I'm wanting to make hummus).

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 07-Nov-13 14:09:50

That's not a good idea CockPissPartridge. Most big pulses need to be boiled rapidly for the first 10 minutes to get rid of toxins, then simmered. If you put them in the slow-cooker raw you're risking stomach-aches, indigestion, wind etc.

pregnantpause Thu 07-Nov-13 17:34:22

Cogito- is that true of chickpeas and cannelini? I do soak them overnight (in slow cooker then drain and add all other ingredients on the morning) but I've been cooking them in the slow cooker. I wouldn't want to unknowingly make DC illsad

Kefybaby Thu 07-Nov-13 17:50:14

Some advice on beans here. Apparently beans should not be slow cooked. I avoid sc any pulses (apart from lentils) to be on the safe side but chickpeas might be ok.
Baked potatoes are amazing in the slow cooker. Rub with oil, sprinkle some salt, wrap in foil and cook.

pregnantpause Thu 07-Nov-13 18:00:46

Thanks key that's really useful- cannelini are a definite no for slow cookers from raw- apparently increases their toxicityshock
It says fine from tinned though , so all suggestions stand as long as tinned beans are usedsmile

Kefybaby Thu 07-Nov-13 18:04:10

Pregnant, yes, indeed. I should have made this clear: you can use tinned pulses. I do this quite a lot (mainly mixed with sausages - not very veggie! blush)

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 07-Nov-13 18:10:21

Definitely true for chickpeas and cannellini beans. Boil rapidly for 10 mins before putting them in the slow cooker and skim off the froth that forms. If you use tinned beans, it kind of negates the need for long, slow cooking... they only need warming up.

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