Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Slow Cooker Goodness

When I was packing up for our move to a new house, I made sure I clearly marked the box that held our Crock Pot. I planned to make some no-fuss food after we moved in. With the kitchen in boxes, we’d been fast-food slumming and were ready for something tasty and healthy.

I can’t expound enough on the merits of the slow cooker. It was so easy to chop up some veggies, pour in stock and voilĂ  a few hours later you have rich soup. No standing over a stove, no stirring. Perfect when you need your hands free to unpack the mountain of boxes still in your kitchen!

The day after we moved I got out my trusty Crock Pot. I chopped up red onion and garlic from Persephone Farm and tossed them in the slow cooker. I added ground beef, 2 cans each of tomatoes and red kidney beans, 2 bay leaves, salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, paprika and a little cayenne pepper. (I usually add a little red wine to my chili, but we didn’t have any.) I set it for 6 hours and by dinnertime, we had a hearty chili. We toasted a bake-at-home baguette and had a home-cooked meal that only took about 20 minutes of hands-on prep time. There was plenty left over for lunches and topping a baked potato later on in the week.

The next day I made chicken soup in the slow cooker. You can use whatever vegetables you prefer. I threw in Persephone onions, garlic, celery, kale and potato. I also added carrots, frozen peas and corn. I used the frozen vegetable stock I had on hand and added water, too. For seasoning I added 2 bay leaves, thyme and a pinch of sage, and salt and pepper. I browned the chicken before adding it to the cooker, but you don’t have to. Then I deglazed the pan I cooked the chicken in with water and added that to the pot as well.

And as added bonus, the Crock Pot filled the entire house with the smell of home cooking, all with minimal effort on my part.

P.S. Check out this article in the Oregonian about another Persephone stand employee, Paul Hudak. He's doing great things at Terra Nova High School!


  1. I also love using my slowcooker.Great post!I came across your blog from the foodieblogroll and I'd love to guide our readers to your site if you won't mind.Just add your choice of foodista widget to this post and it's all set, Thanks!

  2. Dude! I love the slow cooker, too!