Cornbread-topped Southwestern Pot Pie

Slow cookers are awesome in the summer time because they don’t heat up the house like the oven. And, I know it freaks some people out to leave the house with an appliance on, but they are made for that purpose so I don’t worry about it.

This is the Cornbread-topped Southwestern Pot Pie from Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson. Yeah, the title says “vegetarian” but I think all the recipes are actually vegan. Oh wait, she does say “milk or soy milk” in the ingredient list for this recipe, but just forget she said milk, okay?

The pintos I used here were previously dry ones I slow cooked and then squirreled away in the freezer. Cook them off a pound at a time, then you’ll have several recipe’s worth. And it’s way cheaper than buying canned ones.

This was good. The cornbread topping was a little simpler than the ones I make baked alone. There was no sweetness added and it didn’t have any added all purpose flour, just the cornmeal. And I was wondering if it was really going to set up in the crock pot, but it did. It was almost more like a polenta crust than cornbread. No complaints though. Just for fun, I tossed in a fresh jalapeño along with the canned for a little more heat.

Chipotle-kissed Red Beans and Sweet Potato Chili

No, I’m not done with the bowls but I did save some other posts to break them up a bit so it wasn’t bowl, bowl, bowl, bowl, bowl….

Slow cookers are awesome if you don’t know that already. You can turn dried beans into a big pile of mouth-watering bits to eat as is or freeze in batches to use in recipes. All without pot watching. Nothing better than getting home from work to find your kitchen already smells delicious.

This one is Chipotle-kissed Red Beans and Sweet Potato Chili from Robin Robertson’s Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. Look at that color! If you follow the recipe it’s pretty mild, so punch up the hot stuff if you like to feel the burn. And there’s only a little bit of oil in the whole pot so it’s pretty much just a bowl of goodness. Not pictured: unhealthy bread or corn bread slathered with Earth Balance.



Spicy Black Bean Chili

A slow cooker is one of those fairly inexpensive kitchen appliances that can make life so much easier. If you’re the busy sort that doesn’t want to resort to pre-packaged foods, you want one. If you endure hot summers and don’t want to turn on your stove or oven, you want one. If you like cooking up batches of dried beans, you want one.

Here’s how easy it is. I decided I was going to make the Spicy Black Bean Chili from Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson. So one evening I put the beans on to soak. Next morning, I tossed them in the slow cooker, covered them with water, added a piece of kombu (I always do this with beans. It’s supposed to make them, uh, more butt friendly.) While I was at work, they cooked up perfectly. That evening, I did the minimal prep work, filled the cooker crock with the ingredients, and tossed it in the fridge overnight. Next morning, it came out of the fridge, cooked on low all day, and then became dinner that night. Helpful hint: putting it in the fridge is a good way to buy you another hour or so if you’re going to be gone longer than the maximum cook time.

I like this recipe but it is fairly mildly flavored. I usually just start tossing some extra stuff in there. It’s different every time. This time I think I just used cumin and cayenne. Sometimes I use chipotle powder or even a bit of chipotle in adobo.  What makes this even better is melting some Daiya vegan cheese on top and sprinkling on chunks of avocado.

Now, if you want to get really crazy, you can make the polenta fries from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton. Thanks to the 50% polenta tubes we found a few weeks back. Instead of cutting them in planks as the recipe calls for, I cut them in cubes. Also, instead of rosemary I seasoned them with a little chili powder. Oh, and I don’t bother peeling the polenta tube. That seems…unnecessary. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, you’ll know if you see the recipe. Now that I’ve actually made polenta, I need to just make and use my own. Okay, so it isn’t corn bread, but it’s similar, right? This had to work…and it did! Tell me you don’t want to eat this:

Stuff cooked but not documented

Over the past few weeks I’ve been really bad about taking pictures of food. There are various reasons: laziness, forgetfulness, ugly food, repeats, and so on. Anyway, here’s a list of stuff I’ve cooked lately but haven’t blogged:

  •  Mole Posole: This is one of those recipes I go back to again and again. It’s easy and made up of mostly pantry food. And it tastes amazing. By “prepared mole sauce” they mean the paste you normally find in that jar you can’t re-close rather than the aseptic box of sauce I used on the enchilada stack.
  • Rice Vermicelli with Soya Mince & Peas: This is from A Vegan Taste of Thailand. Another one that’s pretty quick and easy and I make on a regular basis. It’s basically rice noodles, tvp, peas and thai red curry sauce. 
  • Cumin Lime Tofu with smashed sweet potatoes & broccoli: The tofu came from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan. It tasted wonderful but was a little bit too juicy. I probably could have cooked a bit longer to dry it out more, but I was hungry. As leftovers, it seemed to dry out a bit more and be about perfect. 
  • Gemelli with Asparagus and Pine Nuts: Another book I keep going back to for easy, tasty recipes is Vegan Italiano. This one was a perfect use of new spring asparagus. And what is it about toasted pine nuts that totally makes my mouth water? 
  • Savory Vegetable Pot Pie: This one is another go to recipe and comes from The Candle Cafe Cookbook. Use chicken style seitan instead of tofu and even picky omnis will enjoy it. 
  • Linguine with Broccoli Sauce and Garlic: This one is also from Vegan Italiano. It came out a touch dry so I ended up adding a bit more olive oil at the end. Still tasty and easy.
  • Three-Bean Chili with Chive-Flecked Cornmeal Dumplings: Seriously, how can this be bad? From Fresh From The Vegetarian Slow Cooker. I love coming home to dinner all ready and waiting. Okay, I did still have to make the dumplings, but it was mostly all ready.