Saturday, January 2, 2010

Slow cookerama

I'm trying to plan ahead and make lunch/dinner for the upcoming week. Working long days doesn't leave much energy to come home and prepare a healthy meal and, although it is very affordable, the cafeteria at work doesn't offer much when it comes to gluten-free.

I checked in with one of my favorite blogs,, and learned how to cook up some beans in my slow cooker. I took half a bag of dried pinto and half a bag of black beans, rinsed them in a colander, drained them, then poured them into the slow cooker. I then added one large, crushed clove of garlic and covered the beans with filtered water (plus two inches, as instructed). I added the garlic because I remember my mom telling me that garlic reduces the gas from the beans. I crushed it because crushing, chopping, or mincing actually activates the properties of the garlic. They soaked overnight, this morning I rinsed them and returned them to the slow cooker to cook on low for about 6 hours. I had a small helping for lunch, with some salsa, grated cheese and cilantro. Will need to make some rice tonight so I can have bean and rice bowls for lunch this week.
When the beans were almost done, I referred to crockpot365 for a chicken and dumplings recipe. The best (and only) chicken and dumplings I've ever had were at Tad's in Troutdale, Oregon. Those dumplings were so huge...they were painfully delicious. Literally. Glutaginous balls of death. I will be using Bob's Red Mill gluten-free biscuit mix, so my version should be a bit more intestine friendly.

My favorite part of using a slow cooker is throwing frozen ingredients into the crock, no thawing necessary, step away, and let it do it's thing. I inherited another, larger slow cooker (I actually think this one is an official crockpot), so I took it off the shelf, grabbed some open packages of frozen peas and green beans, chopped an onion, and added boneless chicken breasts all into the crock. Covered with two cans of gluten-free, organic cream of chicken soup, turned the slow cooker on high and in four hours will drop in globs of gluten-free biscuit dough. One more hour of cooking and, fingers crossed, I hope to have a scrumptious, stick-to-your-ribs dinner of comfort food! Perfect for a snowy, 4° winter day (and lunch this week!).

(I just added some rosemary to the crockpot, along with the biscuit dough. Felt like it was missing something. Almost done, picture to come!)


  1. I love my crockpot! I have one that's a bit too big though (other one cracked), so it's hard to leave it all day. I haven't used it in a while. Thanks for the reminder! I LOVE chicken and dumplings :)

  2. They are truly an unappreciated kitchen tool. Slow cookers use less electricity than an electric stove! I just 'inherited' my second one, which is slightly larger than my original. This weekend I'm making beef stock for lentil soup and a big batch of chili. Tandem crockpotting rocks!