Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Flavorful Crock Pot Recipes

Everyone I know loves their crockpots.  They love the idea of putting everything in a pot, leaving to cook, and coming back in the evening to a prepared meal!  I love this idea!  

BUT, I've tried so many crock pot cookbooks over the years.  They always seem to produce the same results--palatable, but bland meals.  So, you can imagine my hope when I saw 150 best Indian, Thai, Vietnamese & more Slow Cooker recipes by Sunil Vijayakar.  When the cookbook arrived and I opened it up, I was pleased.  The formatting was so easy to read and follow.  There was a heat rating for each recipe.  The pictures were appealing, though I noticed that they photographed ingredients as well as dishes.  Curries strike me as not the most photogenic of dishes.  Several of the recipes do require various curry pastes.  I chose to fix several recipes which did not use them.  

The first recipe I tried was The Bombay Chicken Curry.  My mom, who came to live with us last October, has told me before that she doesn't like curries.  But, I knew my husband loves them, so I hoped she would enjoy it.  Before I go any farther, my whole family (husband, me, my mom, 3 kids...) all loved it!  The curry powder I use is mild and it was a very mild curry, but my husband was able to spice it up with cayenne.  If your whole family loves spicy food, just add more spice while you're putting the recipe together.

So, the my first recipe I tried was a great success!

My mother in law happens to be a vegan who loves curries, so I invited her over for lunch after church and tried two more recipes--a sweet potato curry and a cauliflower curry.  These two curries were well liked by all of the adults in the room, though not as favored by my children.  I think it was the looks of the curries that put them off a bit.  The cauliflower curry looked unusual and children are quick to judge foods by how they look.  I did make some small substitutions on these recipes.  I wanted the sweet potato curry to be milder, so I substituted some Ancho Chile powder for the 2 hot chiles that the recipe calls for.  I didn't make any alterations to the other recipe.

I would make both of them again.  My husband felt very good about eating so many vegetables.  

There is only one caveat I want to mention--I read another reader's review of this cookbook and it mentioned sticking to the cooking times for the recipes.  I took this advice and I'm glad that I did.  I did modify the cooking temp (high/low) and time based on what I know of my crockpots--I do not have a medium sized one. I have a large and a small.  My small cooks fast and the large one cooks slower.  I would recommend doing the same for your crockpot.  Notice how they cook--fast or slow--is the food mushy for the time in the recipes?  Then decrease the time or switch the temp to low from high.  

It is rare to find flavorful crock pot recipes, but I believe this cookbook contains some!  I feel like a schoolgirl who wants to stand up and yell, "Yippee!  Yippee!"  I am so thankful to add this cookbook to my collection.  It has refueled my hope that I can find even more truly flavorful crock pot recipes.  This cookbook by Sunil Vijayakar is a great find!

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this cookbook from Robert Rose Publishing for review.


  1. Both these posts are exciting to me! I'm going to be hunting for that cookbook now! What kind of binding machine will you use for your schedules?

  2. Becky, it's good to see your comment! :) I received a Fellowes Star Manual Comb Binding Machine (52173)for reviewing on Amazon. I do like it, but I'm not sure I would purchase one at $72 for personal use unless I knew I was going to use it a lot. I think I would probably have tried one from Kinkos first to see how it worked for the kids and then invest in it if I was going to be making them for years :) I'm going to use 3/4" combs because the smaller ones just don't hold as many pages as they're supposed to and still allow the pages to easily turn. If I hadn't gotten it for free, I would have looked at garage sales or thrift stores for one. My friend Dawn designs hers and takes them to Kinkos to be bound with a coil or comb binding. I think the coil might actually turn easier than the comb. :) Have you used planners with your kids?

  3. I haven't. I write out a family plan- 1 page for each day of school(1-180). The older kids can find their column and easily get their assignments and work from it daily. It helps me keep track of everyone. I slide a new page in the vinyl sleeve in the front of the binder each day. Or I put a stack of 5 days at a time in the front of the binder. I've divided each year into 36 weeks and have 36 hanging file folders in a milk crate to hold the weekly schedules and assignment papers, but I've often thought of making individual student schedule books the same way and binding them together. Also, Tapestry has student pages that I've thought of assembling at the first of the year and binding. Right now I just slip them in the file folders and take them out as needed. The folders are great for storing the curriculum- but after the assignments are completed they seem to multiply in volume. I can't decide how to store it after that (or even if I need to bother storing it).
    I've never used a planner because I can't find one with enough writing space to satisfy me. And I want enough space for 5 students and 6-8 subjects. I'm a little too picky :)

  4. No! You're not too picky! What a great idea for organizing the lesson plans. That was my issue with The Well-planned Day. It wouldn't work for more than 2 students and not well for multiple subjects when you use more than one text/material for each subject. :)