Slow Cooker = Life Saver

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This is the stove currently residing in the Quantum Vegan household.

dead stove

Note the distinct lack of life.

This is the slow cooker that usually sits on the shelf and gets ignored, except for the rare occasions when (blech) stew meat appears in the house.

slow cooker

You may be able to guess where this is going.

On Saturday, I did some canning and had a few incidents with water boiling over.  Thus when an odd smell started coming from the stove, I figured it was just some of the water and omnipresent stuck-on food (you know, the kind that never comes off no matter how hard you scrub?) reacting to the heat.  But at around 2pm, hours after I’d finished canning, my mom and I noticed that the stove felt oddly warm.

Turns out the oven was running.  While it was turned off.  Thinking it might just be a glitch, I turned the oven knob to broil.  There was a pop, a flash, and then…nothing.  Dead stove, blown breaker in the basement.

Of course the first thing I did was panic.  No stove, no cooking, right?  No cooking, relegated to microwaved food and takeout!  Until my mom reminded me that we do, in fact, have the slow cooker pictured above.

(As a side note, literally everyone we told the stove story to asked if we were sure it was the stove.  We had an electrician come and check just in case…yes.  It was the stove.  Specifically, a mouse that had gotten into the stove.  Mouse tunnels in your oven are not good things!)

By a fortuitous twist of devine intervention, I also happen to have Robin Robertson’s Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker out of the library.  Flipping through it turned up a neat recipe for slow cooker pot pie, which I put together for last night’s dinner.

pot pie in slow cooker

I haven’t cooked much with slow cookers or Crock Pots in the past, and before this I’d never made a recipe written specifically for a slow cooker.  But it turned out to be as easy as, well, pie!

pot pie 01

The flavor was decidedly richer and deeper than something cooked in the oven.  I never would have thought that you could slow-cook something with a biscuit topping, but it turned out delicious and moist.  The filling was pretty traditional: onions, carrots, peas, potatoes, and some chickpeas for bulk and protein.

pot pie 02

It was definitely a lifesaver, and I’ll probably be pulling out the slow cooker again before our new stove is delivered.  It’s supposed to come tomorrow, but you never know what time the delivery service will announce they’re coming!  I think I’ll plan some chili, just in case…

Question for the comments: Do you cook with a slow cooker?  If so, what’s your favorite dish to make?


About the Author:

Sam has been eating a plant-based diet since summer of 2009 and has spent the subsequent years experimenting with all manner of plant-based food. She holds a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and is a graduate of the Bauman College Nutrition Consultant Program. She is a former member of Toastmasters International and was awarded a Competent Communicator designation for public speaking. When she's not blogging or cooking, Sam likes to read and study the Bible, play silly card games and knit socks.
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  1. Helena  October 26, 2010

    Bummer about your oven. That pot pie looks delish! I like to use my slow cooker on days when I know I won’t have time to cook. Tomorrow I’m making a black bean soup. I like to make chili in it too. There are tons of great vegan slow cooker recipes out there that I want to try.