the vegan crockpot

Rice Pudding

This recipe is really good if you have a lot of milk you need to get rid of before it goes bad. For example, if you bought milk for another recipe or to put in your tea or coffee, but you can’t use all of it before it goes bad, or if you’re going on vacation soon, or whatever.

Can be made in a crockpot, probably, and only uses one pot. This recipe is really easily doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled - just make sure the pot you’re using is big enough to hold everything with room left over for the milk to bubble up.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups milk (can be any kind of milk, even rice/soy/almond/coconut/whatever, and you can substitute water for up to half of it if you need to)
  • ½ cup rice (ideally white, short-grain, but long-grain works too)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • any other add-ins you want (nuts, raisins, chocolate chips, other spices, etc)

Instructions:

  1. Rinse your rice well. That will help it cook faster.
  2. Put all of your ingredients (except add-ins like nuts/raisins/chocolate chips) in your pot and put it on high heat until the milk boils.
  3. Turn the heat down to a simmer and let it sit for a while, stirring occasionally to make sure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  4. Your pudding is done when the rice is soft and cooked through, practically dissolving, and the pudding is thick and gooey. If it gets too thick before the rice is done, you can add more milk or water.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir in any add-ins that you didn’t add already.
  6. If you don’t eat all of it at once, refrigerate the leftovers.
Simple Brown Lentils

Lentils are the best. Brown lentils, like most lentils, are really healthy, but unlike some other kinds, they don’t dissolve and they don’t need soaking.

Benefits:

High in protein, fiber, and minerals like iron

Cook fast

Versatile- go with most flavors

Easy to find (grocery stores- dried beans isle or goya isle, in latin american/south asian groceries)

Free of virtually all allergens

Easy to cook in a pot, rice cooker, slow cooker, probably even the microwave

Very very cheap

Freeze/Keep well once cooked, keep forever dried

You need:

  • Brown lentils (aka marrow lentils, aka lots of other names), which look like this:
  • Water (about 2.5x the amount of lentils)
  • Any flavorings, broth, herbs, garlic, spices etc (I use better than bullion vegetable broth, garlic, miso, and mushroom granules usually. They’re good with sriracha once they’re cooked.)

How to make:

Put lentils in pot. Put water in pot. Put flavorings in pot. If you use garlic you can just peel it and dump it in, or crush it a bit. You don’t need to cut it.

Bring them to a boil, turn the heat down, cover them.

They’re done when the water is gone and they’re soft, about 20-30 mins depending on how much is in there, maybe a little longer. The skins will slide off a little. If you like them a little chewy, take them of earlier. If not, cook them longer and they’re easier to chew. You can cook as long as you want. If they’re not done but the water is gone, add more water. If they’re done but the water isn’t gone, just take the lid off and let it steam off.

Bonus:

Add extra water and seasoning, dump in carrots, onions, potatoes, whatever. Even easier, just add mixed frozen veggies. Lentil soup! Super healthy, warm, tasty.

Easy building block for a very healthy, balanced meal: Dump on a boiled/baked sweet potato, eat with bread or some spinach/broccoli or whatever you want. Mix in veggies, rice or other grains, etc for healthy lentil salad. Add to soups/curries/pasta etc- very good in tomato sauce. These are a lifesaver for me as an athlete who doesn’t eat animal products, often needs to cook on my own, and generally doesn’t have the energy for fancy things.

Easy "Teriyaki" Sauce

Now, according to wikipedia traditional teriyaki sauce includes mirin but sometimes that can be kinda hard to find in the states so here’s a way to make a basic glaze that tastes pretty similar to traditional teriyaki sauce, is pretty lot on spoons, and can be used with just about any type of meat or meat substitute.

What you’ll need to make the sauce:

- 1 cup hot water

- 1 cup white sugar

- 1 cup soy sauce*

- ¼ cup minced garlic*

- ¼ cup minced ginger*

To make variations:

- pinch of red pepper flakes

- a couple dashes of rice wine vinegar

*low-sodium soy sauce can be used

*you can buy pre-minced garlic and ginger (normally they’re located in the produce dept of most grocery stores), or you can easily used ground ginger or garlic if you don’t have any fresh stuff on hand 

Cooking Instructions

- Mix hot water and sugar together until all the sugar is dissolved (this mixture is called a “simple syrup”)

- Add soy sauce, ginger, garlic (if you are adding vinegar or red pepper flakes do so now) and mix well

- Take meat product or meat-substitute and place in a large skillet or pot, pour sauce over this and turn on medium heat until it starts to boil (start to bubble)

- Cook on medium heat, moving meat/substitute every five minutes) until meat product or meat substitute is fully cooked and sauce has reduced into a syrup

- Tada! You’re done. Serve this over rice with some veggies (either cooked with the sauce or steamed on the side) and you’ve got a nice meal that can make quite a few leftovers.

Bean Dip (or Soup or Casserole)

I’m a big fan of recipes that just involve opening cans, and I’ve discovered that most of the ingredients that go into burritos and Taco Bell-type foods can be recombined into a variety of meals. The format depends on how much juice is in your mix– low moisture, baked in a glass dish, you’ve got casserole; high moisture makes soup; somewhere in the middle is a great chip dip. You can control the moisture by draining off the juice from your canned goods but saving it in bowls until you know you decide if you want it or not. Here are some possible ingredients:

  • refried beans
  • whole black or pinto beans
  • ground beef
  • shredded chicken
  • taco seasoning
  • canned tomatoes like Rotel
  • canned corn
  • jalapenos
  • onions
  • shredded cheese
  • sour cream
  • fritos or crushed doritos make a good topping but probably shouldn’t be mixed in.

If you’re gonna use meat, cook that first. Mix everything together in a pot on low heat. If you want casserole, transfer your goop to a glass baking dish and bake for 30-45 minutes at around 350 Fahrenheit (since everything is technically cooked ahead of time your baking time doesn’t matter all that much). If you accidentally add too much liquid, let the pot simmer uncovered for a while to reduce it.

Hazelnut Soup

What you need:
chopped hazelnuts (about a cup)
3 cans kidney beans
1 can white beans
1 can tomato juice
vegetable broth (beef works too if you like, but I’m vegetarian)
chopped (or ringed) onions
minced garlic
vegetable or olive oil
spices (I usually use oregano, marjoram, and sage)

Method:
sautee onions and garlic in 3 Tbsp of oil. Add spices and hazelnuts, cook on medium heat until softened. Add vegetable broth and beans. Bring to a boil, add tomato juice. Remove 2c of soup and blend, then return to pot and simmer for 20 mins. Serve hot, makes a lot.

You can also make this in a crock pot. After softening the hazelnuts, just throw all the ingredients into the pot and cook on med heat for 4-8 hours. The soup won’t be as thick, but it’ll still be yummy.

(I know this recipe requires a lot of spoons, but it’s one of my favorite soups of all time - it’s thick and warm and comforting like stew, but it’s vegan and actually really filling)