The healthy way of life is home cooked food. It does require some effort, but no doubt, it is worth it all. Most people find it difficult to cope up with cooking at the end of hard day at work. But, with the option of the slow cooker, it is not so much of a worry. And with most urban cities of the country getting the piped gas connection, one does not have to worry about the consumption of gas. Another option is the electronic cookers.
Actually, vegetarian cooking does not need much time, and the longer the vegetables are placed in the cooker the more delicious and healthy they are. In fact, in our age-old cooking methods where the open lid method has been used, the vegetables tend to lose their original nutrients. But, where slow cooker method is concerned, the lid is closed and it seals the original flavor and nutrients within.
Most slow cooker recipes are non-spicy, which is a good health option. In fact, ayurveda promotes non-spicy food, as a healthy option for people of all ages. The spices in Indian cooking were only added as a preservative. It was only to prevent the food from going stale. However, people over a period of time developed a taste for spicy food and thereby making it a characteristic of all recipes.
But today, people are realizing the need to look after their health and so are ready to return to the actual prescribed ways of cooking. And so to speak slow cooking is not really a new concept, but an age-old one, used by the ladies who would sit for hours in front of the slow fire stove and watch the meals get cooked.
Using the brisk methods of cooking tends to call for accidents in the kitchen sometimes. And not only that; in our hurry to cook we sometimes tend to skip on vital ingredients. But, when it’s the slow cooking option, its more a matter of slow and steady wins the race.
In most Indian households where the dinner meal is usually served between 9.30pm and 10pm., one returning home by six can leisurely cook and complete all other pending household chores. In fact, even run a few errands without worrying about the food in the cooker. This is because the cooking time ranges anywhere from an hour to three hours.
Those with children do not have to worry about their safety, having left the food to cook while they step out. Not to worry about cooker blasts, or any other accidents in the kitchen. In fact, the children need not know something is cooking.
A prime advantage of slow cooking is that one can cook at their own pace and serve a freshly prepared meal without having to heat it. It just needs to be served straight out of the cooker. This is an advantage for both the career-wife and the full time homemaker.
Here are some slow cooker recipes one could try out:
Tomato Sauce recipe
· 10 tomatoes – peeled and crushed
· 1/2 chopped onion
· 1 teaspoon grounded garlic
· 1/4 cup of olive oil
· 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
· 1 teaspoon of dried basil
· 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
· Salt to taste
Blend the above ingredients together in a slow cooker and leave it to cook on low for 10 to 15 hours.
Vegetable Minestrone recipe
· 4 cups of vegetable stock (Maggi vegetable stock cubes)
· 4 cups of tomato puree
· 1 tablespoon of dried basil
· Salt to taste
· 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
· Black pepper to taste
· 2 sliced carrots
· Chopped celery
· 1 chopped onion
· 2 cloves of grounded garlic
· Sliced mushrooms
· 2 diced tomatoes
· 1-1/2 cups of uncooked pasta
· Shredded cooking cheese or cottage cheese
Blend all the ingredients in the cooker, except the cheese and pasta. Cover the cooker and let the ingredients cook for 7 to 8 hours. Then add the pasta, stir the blend and set the cooking on high flame. Wait for 15-25 minutes. When serving garnish the dish with the shredded cheese.