I have to confess I have been feeling very lazy the last week and have been exploring recipes using my slow cooker. I live in Christchurch and this week there has been a slight nip in the air, hence the stew. There a quite a few advantages for using a slow cooker. I can cut, chop and assemble the meal in the morning turn the button on low and then do absolutely nothing to it (maybe a quick stir) let it do its thing for 8-9 hours. With a one year old it is fantastic I can sneak a bit of the meal at 5.30pm to feed to Lucia and then finish getting her ready for bed and then we have ours at 7pm. The smell when you arrive home is fabulous, slow cooked meat & veges cooked in red wine & fresh herbs, It is like having your absentee Grandma cook you a hot senior citizen casserole.
My slow cooker on my kitchen bench
My husband went through a stage where every time I sent him to the supermarket to buy a few things sugar, milk etc he would come home with random impulse purchases. I am talking about household goods and appliances on sale at Woolworth’s supermarket!. They all had the same things in common, they were fairly cheap imports from China which were badly made. Firstly he came home with a microwave. Shortly after owning it the light stopped working and the tray stopped spinning at that point I thought it was a health hazard and retired it to the shed in the garden .It has put me off microwaves forever. Next he came home with an electric guitar!, this I made him promptly return. Next time he came home with the slow cooker and it only cost him about $40 yet I have had so much use from it over the last 4 years!. So my point is these are not expensive and probably a worthwhile kitchen appliance to own, especially for lazy or “smart” cooks.
Recently I got up at 3am in the morning to put on some porridge for us, the cinnamon made it really sweet tasting without the need to add too much sugar. This is the most tasty, nutritious porridge ever. I found the recipe in a Annabel White recipe book for Healthy Eating. If you’re wondering why you would go to all this effort. well firstly it takes about 3 minutes to prep. Then when you wake up on that cold autumn morning and enter your kitchen to the smell of cinnamon and all you need to do it fill your bowl and add dollops of creamy yoghurt. You need to make sure it is the best yogurt in New Zealand http://www.piakoyoghurt.co.nz/
You can buy this yogurt from Petrinis in Ferrymead or New World in Redcliffs. You could put your slow cooker on a timer to switch on. It takes about 3-4 hours on high. I believe every slow cooker is slightly different you will get a feel for how hot yours is the more you cook in it.
Slow cooker Cinnamon & fruit Porridge
1 Cup of rolled Oats
2 Cups Milk
1/4 cup dried fruit eg:sultanas, apricots
1 Teaspoon or cinnamon
1/4 Tsp salt
This week I have been really been enjoying Chicken or Turkey Stew. This is the recipe I have been using quite successfully. This meal is a bit like an old-fashioned classic kiwi dinner…. Meat and 3 vege!. I like serving it over steamed rice but you could have it over couscous or just on its own with some crusty buttered bread to mop up the juices.
CHICKEN STEW SLOW COOKER RECIPE
3-4 Potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
1-2 Kumara peeled and cut into chunks
3 carrots peeled and cut into chunks
850gm-1kg Chicken, Turkey Thighs (free range is the best, email me if you are unsure where to buy and I will advise)
Lamb and Pork work well too
1 onion peeled and finely chopped (for really “smart cooks” you can chop this finely in your food processor)
2-3 fresh cloves of garlic finely chopped or minced
2-3 tbsp fresh herbs rosemary,parsley or thyme
(if you don’t have herbs growing in your garden, get some from the roadside)
salt and pepper to taste
410 g tin of Campbell’s condensed cream of chicken soup
A slurp of red wine
1:Place first three ingredients in slow cooker first, then add onion and garlic.
2:place meat on top and the remaining ingredients.
How easy is this! I hope you give it a try to let me know what you think.
And Chicken Stew another night with steamed spinach
Ok I admit this is not quite restaurant fare but real earnest home cooking and still it ticks all the boxes for good general nutrition. The veg, carb & meat box!. I also recommend a glass of red wine to enjoy with it!.
These are only two examples of things you can do with your slow cooker, it really is endless.
Maybe you should give yourself the night off cooking for Mothers Day and why don’t you pop your slow cooker on in the morning and enjoy this recipe!.
Lucia & Mummy
It has been thirteen months and 6 days since I become a mother and it is the busiest yet rewarding job in the world!. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL THE HARD WORKING MUMS!
Bonnie Brown x