Monday, October 12, 2015

Meal Plan • 10/12/15

Last week's little slow-cooker experiment kind of blew my mind.  I had my doubts (so many doubts), and thought the best-case scenario would be that the dinner would be edible, but it turned out to be absolutely delicious.  I made this Spinach & Ricotta Lasagna from Real Simple and set the borrowed Crockpot to cook on high for four hours when I left the house at 8:30 am.

I had a list of concerns: whether crockpot lasagna would be worth eating in the first place, what would happen after the four-hour cooking cycle was over (would another four hours on the 'Keep Warm' setting totally kill the lasagna?), and would it matter that the Crockpot was a little less than half full (most of the online articles I read suggested filling it to about 2/3 full for best results).

When we arrived home at 4:30, I opened the door expecting to either smell the mouth-watering aroma of cooking lasagna or the horrifying smell of burned tomato sauce.  Instead, I smelled nothing.

That was disconcerting.

But then I opened the Crockpot, dipped in a wooden spoon, and hesitantly, suspiciously, fearfully eased a lilliputian bite into my mouth.

It was splendid.  The noodles (I used the no-boil kind) were perfectly cooked, the top cheese layer had cooked into a nice crust, and the edges of the casserole were crispy and the tiniest bit charred.  I was amazed at how well it worked, but what knocked me flat was that the whole family loved it.

Princess Hazelnut, who claims to not like any tomato-based sauce, ate two helpings for dinner, another for a pre-bedtime snack, and then finished it off for breakfast.


So now I'm on the hunt for more vegetarian slow-cooker recipes.  It was genius to have a hot dinner waiting on me after being gone all day and before needing to leave the house again for another few hours in the evening.  Prep was minimal, cleanup was easy-peasy, and it was far more nutritious and tasty than take-out pizza.  Most of the recipes I have found so far, alas, have resembled bean mush though, so the jury is still out on whether it would be worth it for us to buy one of these contraptions.  I just can't bring myself to devote real estate to a gadget unless it will be used consistently.

Do you have any favorite vegetarian crockpot recipes?  Please, please share if you do...

No comments: