I didn't quite realize what a rut I'd gotten into with my slow cooker until settling down with this cookbook. I have my usual repertoire of seasonal soups and braises, and I'll pull it out for my semi-regular pulled pork cravings. But it would have never occurred to me to make, say, Scrambled Tofu Breakfast Burritos for my overnight guests. Or, say, an All-In-One Vegan Thanksgiving. (Seriously. It looks amazing.) If your slow cooker has been gathering dust lately, Vegan Slow Cooking is just the thing to get you back in the groove.
• Who wrote it: Kathy Hester
• Who published it: Fairwinds Press
• Number of recipes: Over 100
• Recipes for right now: Pumpkin Caramel Breakfast Barley, Scrambled Tofu Breakfast Burrito, Almond and Great Northern Bean Fondue, Indian Sambar, White Bean Quinoa Gumbo, Cheezy Butternut Squash Macaroni, All-In-One Thanksgiving Dinner
• Other highlights: As you probably gathered from my pulled pork reference, I am not a vegan, but that certainly didn't stop me from falling head over heels for the recipes in this cookbook. These recipes look good. Really good. Slow cooker dishes have a reputation for being bland and boring — especially veggie ones — but these recipes are a testament to the contrary. They are packed with spices and seasonings and all sorts of delicious tidbits. Kathy Hester is an expert at layering on flavors and finding ways to ensure that dishes emerge from the slow cooker tasting and looking their best.
Most of the recipes in this book cook for 7 to 9 hours — another surprise for me since most vegetarian recipes I've made cook for a much shorter time and I have always assumed that cooking them longer would result in mushy, overcooked food. But Hester assures us that she specifically designed these recipes to be cooked overnight or during the workday with minimal fuss. The majority of the recipes are also dump-and-cook, meaning that there is very little prep work and very little to be done at the end of cooking.
I love that the recipes are tailored down to just a few servings. They're perfect for couples or folks living on their own. I also feel that the recipes would easily scale up if you want to adapt one for a dinner party or a potluck (or just to have leftovers to freeze!).
• Who would enjoy this book? Vegans, for sure, but also eaters of all kinds; busy cooks working long hours (or, heck, just busy cooks in general); members of the slow cooker fan club
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just For You by Kathy Hester
• Visit the author's website: Kathy Hester
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Emma Christensen)