Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Why I Love Slow Cookers

Slow cooker meatloaf    -- photos by Maria Q

I am not a good cook by any means but the the slow cooker has been great at helping me trick people into thinking that I know what I am doing in the kitchen. So far I have made stews, chili, soup and meat loaf. Of course there is a learning curve and some trial and error, but overall everything has been delicious and easy. Basically you just need to follow the recipe, plug in the slow cooker and select the time/heat setting.

Another thing I really love about slow cooking is that you cook and eat the food in it's own juices. This means that you get to consume all of the nutrients of the broth. Many people don't realize that boiling veggies isn't as nutritious as slow cooking them since boiling since removes the vitamins and minerals.

Here is an easy meatloaf recipe I found in Chrissy Gower's cookbook.

You will need the following ingredients:

-1/2 head of cauliflower
-1 garlic clove
-1/4 yellow onion
-1 pound of grass-feed ground beef
-1 egg
-1/2 of fire roasted salsa (I used regular salsa and it was fine)
-1 small can of Ortega fired roasted diced green chiles (I couldn't find these so I used regular diced chilis)
-1/2 cup of Ammin Nut Almond Flour (I used the same amount of brown rice flour)
2 1/2 tsps of chili powder
3/4 tsp of cumin
3/4 tsp of oregano
1/4 tsp of basil
5 tablespoons of organic tomato paste
salt & pepper to taste (I used none)

Step one

1. Using a food processor, finely chop the cauliflower, garlic and onion.

2. Combine the ground beef, salsa, chilis and egg in a large bowl.

3. Add the garlic, onion and cauliflower mix to the beef mixture

4. Next add the flour and spices. Use your hands to kneed it all together

5. Evenly spread the mixture in the slow cooker and top with the tomato paste spread

Step 5 before adding the tomato paste
6. Cover and cook for 4 hours on high or until the internal temp of the meatloaf has reached 160ºF
Salt and pepper to taste.

**I found that the meatloaf needed just a bit longer to cook and that replacing Ammin Nut flour with brown rice flour worked fine. This dish is delicious. I served it with a big colorful salad. This recipe makes about 4-6 servings. Prep time was about 15 minutes.

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