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Judge Slow Cooker
24th Sep 2015

Slow cooker season

3 quick and tasty recipes

The nights are drawing in and as the seasons change we find that our eating habits alter too, and rather than salads we start craving warm and tasty dinners in the evenings. It's time to say hello to slow cooker season with delicious recipes that will tickle your taste buds.

A slow cooker offers convenience and is economical, with just a few minutes of time prepping time invested in the morning you'll come home to a comforting, hearty dinner, ideal for the busiest weeknights. 

Slow cooking is great for anyone on a budget, as you can use cheaper cuts of meat, and it will come out of your slow cooker tender and flavorsome, but there's more to slow cooking than curries and stews. 

Whether you are new to slow cookers or want some fresh ideas for slow cooker recipes then here's 3 quick and tasty recipes to kick off with. 

Slow Cooker Ribs

Slow cooking is the perfect way to get tender melt-in-the-mouth pork ribs, simply throw everything in the slow cooker.  Try this finger licking recipe….ideal to serve with chunky potato wedges or a simple baked potato. 

  • 1½ kg meaty pork ribs
  • 1 bottle barbecue sauce (350g approx)
  • 2 pork stock cubes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp coriander seed
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 1 tsp peppercorn

Italian Vegetable Bake

This vibrant dish for slow cookers, layers courgettes, tomatoes and aubergine with bread and mozzarella – simply irresistible!  You'll need:- 

  • 4 garlic cloves, 3 crushed, 1 left whole
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • bunch oregano, leaves chopped
  • large pinch chilli flakes
  • about 300g/11oz baby or normal aubergines, sliced
  • 2 courgettes, sliced
  • ½ large jar roasted red peppers
  • 3 beef tomatoes, sliced
  • bunch basil, torn (save a few leaves for sprinkling over)
  • small baguette, sliced and toasted
  • 2 x 125g balls mozzarella, torn
  • green salad, to serve

Put the slow cooker onto the High or the browning setting if it has one and tip in the crushed garlic, canned tomatoes, half the oregano leaves, chilli and some seasoning. Cook, covered, while you chop the rest of the vegetables.

Tip out most of the sauce and start layering up half the vegetables and herbs with seasoning – the aubergines, courgettes, red peppers, tomatoes, basil and remaining oregano. Layer in half the bread, rubbed with the whole garlic clove, half the mozzarella and half the tipped-out tomato sauce. Repeat vegetable, herb and tomato sauce layers, followed by the bread and mozzarella. Push everything down well to compress, then cook on high for 5-6 hrs or until you get home.

Spiced Carrot & Lentil Soup

Yes you can make soup in your slow cooker, this delicious, spicy soup is packed full of iron and low fat.  You'll need:-

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 600g carrots, washed and coarsely grated (no need to peel)
  • 140g split red lentils
  • 1l hot vegetable stock (from a cube is fine)
  • 125ml milk
  • plain yogurt and naan bread, to serve

Simply add the ingredients to your slow cooker, turn on to auto and when you get home just whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth (or leave it chunky if you prefer). Season to taste and finish with a dollop of yogurt and serve with warmed naan breads.

When cooking with a slow cooker, you'll come home to a kitchen full amazing aromas when you walk through the door, that's something to look forward to even the darkest of winter evenings. 

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