Just because you don’t eat animals and animal-related items doesn’t mean you can’t have a warm, hearty meal waiting for you at the end of the day. Put together a vegan slow cooker meal early in the day and have it ready for you when you come home. Both your belly and your conscience will be satisfied with your decision.
Stew and Chili
Chilis and stews are a popular option for slow cookers, and vegetarians need not be left out of this opportunity. If you have a family or favorite chili recipe, adapt it a bit. Instead of using ground beef or sausage, pan fry some tempeh, which is packed soy beans. You can find tempeh in the refrigerated or natural section of your grocery store. Crumble the tempeh into a pan with a little olive oil, pan fry over medium heat until tender. Season with cumin and paprika. Place this mixture in your slow cooker. Add red and white kidney beans, peppers, onions and other veggies of your choice. Pour vegetable stock, rather than a meat based stock, over the mixture to make stew.
For a filling meal at the end of the day or for guests coming over who want a warm meal, put together a pasta dish in the slow cooker. You can precook your noodles, mix them with your favorite tomato-based sauce and let it warm up in the slow cooker. This is a last-minute option when friends just announced they are on the way. Ask them to bring the bread and wine, and you can provide the main course. If you have a little more time to prepare, chop some onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and other favorite vegetables. Toss them with your favorite pasta in the slow cooker. Cover with tomato sauce and about a cup of water and let it cook for four to six hours.
The main course isn’t the only item that can be ready in your slow cooker. Impress your vegan friends and family with a fruity dessert. Chop four to six cups of apples. Toss with flour and place in the slow cooker. Sprinkle with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and other warm spices. Let it cook through the afternoon. For a seasonal variety, substitute pears for the apples.