Slow cooking

I’ve tweaked the type of blogs that I read – I still read knitting, crafting and gardening blogs, but now I read parenting ones too! 😉 This has led me to find various recipe ideas which I’ve been enjoying exploring. I’d like to use my slow cooker more, so have been trying out some recipes from the Organised Mum blog. My slow cooker is small (1.5 litre capacity) so tends to make enough for 2-3 portions. This works fine for my family, as we are a veggie, a meat eater who doesn’t eat rice or anything spicy and a toddler who eats everything but in toddler-size portions. So, I quite often only want 1 -2 adult portions of anything, and then have an extra portion or two to put in the freezer. I also don’t have a huge freezer – just four freezer drawers, so producing huge quantities of batch cooked meals wouldn’t work for us. This way, we get a couple of batch cooked portions of a variety of things. As the days I work end up being rather time limited in terms of cooking (I start cooking at about 7.45pm on these days, and would prefer it if we started eating by about 8.15pm!) batch cooking is the perfect solution.

This was my first attempt at an Organised Mum recipe – slow cooker lentil bolognaise. Before:

And after:

The bolognaise was really tasty and made enough to freeze a portion too so I’ll definitely be making this again.

One of my Christmas presents was a book about slow cooking – not just with a slow cooker, but the sort of recipes you can bung in the oven for a while whilst you do something else!

This is my first recipe from this book – Turkish halloumi bake (meant to be served with ciabatta but I did garlic bread instead). It is basically roast vegetables (I did sweet potato, peppers, aubergine and courgette), then add 150g lentils and a pint of stock to the roasting tin and cook for another 25 mins, then put halloumi slices on top and grill. This was so tasty and I’ll definitely be making it again.

It made enough for a meal for the three of us, with some lentil/veg mixture leftover. I added some stock to this and turned it into two portions of soup to use in packed lunches.

Last week I tried this veggie chilli recipe, also from the Organised Mum blog. I halved the ingredients and it fitted perfectly in my slow cooker. Because there is so little prep (you literally pour all the ingredients into the pot, stir and turn it on) I actually got this one going before going out for a play date with LO and left it cooking for eight hours. First time I’ve done that.

Again, this one was easy to make and tasty, although, for our family, I’d put less chilli in next time. I really liked the way there was so little prep and that it cooked for a long time – I’ve never really understood how slow cookers are meant to help when you’re at work all day as I don’t have time to start chopping and frying before going out in the morning, and, in the recipe book that came with the cooker, all the recipes take 4-6 hours, whereas a day at work means being out of the house for at least 11 hours.

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