Another school year has begun and the rush of new classes, book purchases, and deadlines are here to remind us of what little time we have in a day. No matter how you look at it one thing is for sure: we all have to eat. We also shouldn’t have to settle for terrible meals or high prices in order to save on time. For this reason I like to turn to my slow cooker in my time of need. Slow cookers are wonderful, underrated tools that can allow you to come home to a delicious hot meal and enough leftovers to package and freeze for several lunches. Among the many recipes that are go-to’s, these are some of the least expensive and easiest to prep. These recipes are also incredibly diverse in that they can be altered to suit a vegan diet.
The first recipe is a very simple, though I will mention not traditional, curry. This recipe makes eight to 10 servings and runs at about $2.75 per serving. It can be made vegan by simply omitting the chicken and adding more vegetables.
The second meal is an easy to prepare vegan chili that anyone can modify to include a meat protein. Just choose your favourite ground meat and add away. This recipe makes between six and eight servings and runs at about $3.10 per serving. If meat is added to this recipe the cost will go up slightly, however, so will the number of portions you can get out of the chili.
A simple curry with rice
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, diced
3 carrots, sliced
1 small zucchini, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 small red onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 cups potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 can (400ml) of coconut milk
2 tbsp curry paste (I use mild, but if you like more heat choose your level)
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups of your favourite rice
Put all ingredients, minus the rice, into the slow cooker and set it to low for eight hours or high for four hours. Once the curry is about half an hour away from being done, cook your chosen rice as per the package directions. Serve curry over rice.
A slow cooker vegan chili
2 cups white mushrooms, sliced
2 cups celery, diced
2 cups carrots, sliced
1 small zucchini, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
1 small white or red onion, diced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 jar (650ml) of your favourite salsa
1 can (550ml) red kidney beans
2 cans (550ml) white kidney beans (the ratio of beans can be reversed if you prefer red over white)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tsp garlic powder
3 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp curry powder
Directions: Toss all ingredients into the slow cooker and set to low for eight hours or on high for four hours. If the spices are not something you normally keep, you can also, for ease of use, purchase a packet of taco seasoning and use that instead. When it is ready, enjoy it on its own or sprinkled with your favourite topping, such as cheese, green onions, or even sour cream.