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Monday, September 26, 2011

In love- with a crock-pot

I am head over heels in love, I feel in like on Thursday when I bought a slow cooker. I was thinking: who has time to cook. The slow cooker sat in my car all weekend. I wasn't convinced; I have limited counter space and the slow cooker isn't mini-sized.  The dilemma was short lived and easily compromised. I want hot meals, and I don't want to cook after a stress full day. 

I set up the slow cooker and followed the directions. Seriously, I'm in shock at the simplicity of the appliance. To complement my new appliance I purchased, "The Vegan Slow Cooker," by Kathy Hester. I am amazed at the variety of foods you can make in a slow cooker and am excited to expand my culinary comfort zone. 

For my first slow cooked meal, I decided to make my own Seitan ( a meat substitute). Seitan is uber tasty and freakishly easy to make. 

In the Crock-Pot on low combine:
- 4 cups vegetable broth
-3 cups water
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 sliced jalapeno
- some cilantro
- 1 lime juiced

To make the seitan, first get a big mixing bowl out, and combine:
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
-1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder, onion powder, and or whatever you feel like (Rosemary is a tasty add in)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

mix it all together and knead the dough for a few minutes, and then let it rest for 10minutes.
Roll out the dough and shape it however you like. Put the "strips" in the slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours (the seitan will float on top of the broth once their cooked).

This recipe makes a fair amount. You can use some of it ASAP mix it into stir-fry's, pasta, whatever... and  freeze the rest. Enjoy. 

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