I picked up a slow cooker for an incredibly low price recently. It seems they are the media favorite right now. Everywhere you look, (from the supermarket check-out magazines, to emails from Sunset, to the latest cookbooks) someone is touting the virtues of the slow cooker. And then my friends and colleagues were all glowing when I asked them about their slow cooker experiences.
Well, I'm still early in on my journey but so far I've been pretty underwhelmed by the vegetarian slow cooker recipes I've seen and tried. They seem fairly bland and unimaginative. It seems that someone found the recipe book from the 1970s and put those recipes online. Haven't we learned some things since then?
Of course, I realize that I've added the extra challenge of trying fit the slow cooker into a vegetarian/pescetarian household. So I always have to be thinking about the substitute for the meat in recipes.
But I shall continue on my slow cooker journey and report out the worthy ones here. I have a few recipes on deck to try out in the near future. I've added a "slow cooker" label over to the right. too.This slow cooker recipe was actually pretty good. Definitely a great starting point. I might add some additional seasonings next time to make it bolder.
I was also drawn to how this recipe used unusual beans which I have been wanting to explore. The recipe calls for Borlotti beans which I made here for the first time. I was surprised to find them at my local Whole Foods. If you are looking for a good mail order store for rare or heirloom beans then be sure to check out Rancho Gordo.
This recipe was adapted from an article in the San Francisco Chronicle and instead of chicken I used Soyrizo. Enjoy!
Slow Cooker Tuscan Bean Stew
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Parmesan rind
- 1 14 oz. bag dried borlotti beans, soaked overnight in water
- 1 14 oz. bag dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight in water
- 5 cups of veggie broth
- About 10-12 crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 Soyrizo, squeeze it out of the casing
- 1 28 oz. can San Marzano tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place the onion, tomatoes, carrots, garlic, rosemary, oregano, bay leaf, Parmesan rind, beans, and broth into the pot of a slow cooker. Turn the cooker on low for 6 hours
- Remove bay leaf, rosemary sprig, and Parmesan rind. Add the mushrooms and cook for 1 more hour
- Add the Soyrizo and cook another hour
- Season with salt and pepper to taste