The Vegan Slow Cooker

Slow cookers are great for people on the go. Just load the cooker up, turn it on, and 8 hours later food is ready. Mine is a 3.3 l Rival. It doesn't matter if you are delayed in your return, nothing will get burned. Preparation can be done the night before, with the cooker pot kept in the frig overnight. Any leftovers can be left in the cooker pot and returned to the frig for healthy snacks over the next few days, or of course transferred to a suitable container and frozen.

These are my favourites. They use a wide variety of vegetable foods, variety being not just the spice of life, but also the basis of sound nutrition. Each has a flavour focusing on the principal ingredients rather than blending many flavours.

Ingredients that need the most cooking are best put on the bottom where the liquid is. I normally cook until the pot reaches simmer (8 hours with my cooker on low when full), stir everything together, then let it sit in the cooker with power off for an hour more to finish cooking. Some, as noted, are best mixed before cooking. And, no, I didn't 'forget' to add salt, it's already there. For example, the corn-beans-squash dish has a full teaspoon of salt per 100 g serving, mostly in the beans.

Mexican Corn-Beans-Squash
garbanzo beans2 cup The traditional three vegetables grown together since the beginning of agriculture in the north Americas. Cook beans overnight on low in lots of water, drain, rinse, return to cooker. (This reduces the amount of raffinose sugars in the beans that cause gas.) Add corn (I use frozen). Remove seeds from a flavourful medium pepper such as jalapeño, chop finely and add, add water. Butternut squash can be peeled and diced, others are most easily cooked in a microwave until soft enough to scoop out of the rind; fill rest of cooker. A non-Mexican Portabello mushroom or two adds a meaty flavour for variety.
kernel corn3 cup
chopped chili pepper2 Tbsp
water2 cup
winter squashto fill
Mediterranean Eggplant
eggplant2 Add diced eggplant, sliced tomatos, raisins and water. Heat pressed garlic and spices in the oil until fragrant, pour over top.
Roma tomatos4
raisins1 cup
water1 cup
olive oil1 cup
garlic6 cloves
coriander2 tsp
white pepper1 tsp
cinnamon1/2 tsp
Potatos Kurma
red potatosto fill Cube potatos, add mustard to coconut milk to develop its flavour, cook ginger root, pepper and spices in oil until fragrant, pour everything over potatos, cook 9-10 hours on low. Check the label of your coconut milk - undiluted milk is 220 calories per 1/2 cup/125 ml. If you can only get diluted milk, add a Tbsp flour to the spice mix to thicken the sauce. (Coconut cream isn't thick milk, it's a different product.)
ground black mustard1¼ tsp
coconut milk14 oz can
olive oil1/2 cup
grated ginger root2 Tbsp
chopped chili pepper1 Tbsp
coriander1 Tbsp
turmeric1/2 tsp
Pineapple-glazed Beets
beetsto almost fill Boil beets until the skins slide off (about an hour with fall field beets), cube. Drain pineapple, mix 1/2 cup of the juice with the vinegar and flour, mix together before cooking.
pineapple20 oz can
vinegar1/4 cup
flour2 Tbsp
Moroccan Turnip
turnipto 3/4 fill Dice turnip, dice and add other vegetables and apricot, add grated ginger root, spices, chopped herb and water. Use 1/4 tsp powdered ginger if you don't have fresh root. This improves the day after cooking, when the spices have fully permeated the turnip.
dried apricots1 cup
grated ginger root1 Tbsp
turmeric1 tsp
cumin1 tsp
cinnamon1/2 tsp
chopped cilantro1 Tbsp
water3 cup
Ginger-glazed Carrots
carrotsto fill Peel and cube carrots, mix flour, ginger and sugar with juice, toss to coat carrots before cooking.
orange juice2 cup
flour4 Tbsp
powdered ginger1 Tbsp
brown sugar1/4 cup
Savoury Parsnip
parsnipto fill Peel and slice parsnip, add oil, summer savoury, nutmeg, pepper and water.
olive oil1/4 cup
powdered savoury1 tsp
grated nutmeg1/8 tsp
white pepper1/8 tsp
water2-1/2 cup
Sweet&Sour Red Cabbage
red cabbageto fill Cube cabbage, combine everything else and pour over top. If you can only get presweetened applesauce, skip the sugar.
applesauce1 cup
brown sugar1/4 cup
cider vinegar1/4 cup
white pepper1/8 tsp
Lima Beans with Peanut Sauce
dry lima beans4 cup Cook beans overnight in lots of water, drain, rinse, return to pot. Mix peanut butter, sugar, lemon juice and water together, pour over beans, cook on low 4 more hours.
peanut butter1/4 cup
brown sugar1/2 cup
lemon juice2 Tbsp
water1 cup
'Baked' Beans
dry navy beans4 cup Cook beans overnight in lots of water, drain, rinse, return to pot. Scrape gills off the mushrooms (the pork replacement) and cube, mix everything together, cook 4 more hours. If you are used to salt-pork beans, add salt. Replace the water by crushed tomato if you usually add ketchup to your beans. Canned beans use more sugar then here; add more if you are used to them.
portabello mushroom2 large caps
molasses1/2 cup
brown sugar1 Tbsp
dry mustard2 tsp
water1 cup

John Sankey
other notes on food