Slow Cooker Cabbage Roll Soup

Cabbage Roll Soup

September is almost upon us and the shortening of the Summer’s daylight hours is just starting to get more noticeable. So in honor of the impending Fall weather I thought I would make a hearty slow cooker soup to celebrate. This soup’s humble ingredients go perfectly together and create a delicious and satisfying dish. This soup is pretty much a deconstructed cabbage roll recipe and the broth is flavored with herbs, Worcestershire and paprika. The cabbage and beef becomes fall apart tender after slow cooking it for hours. Garnish with grated cheese and parsley.
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Beef & Guinness Hand Pies

Beef & Guinness Hand Pies

I never knew how diverse hand pies could be until I started looking around for them. Turns out hand pies can be made savory or sweet, depending on what you fancy. In theory, you could have hand pies for dinner AND dessert if you so desired. You can definitely get creative with these recipes, but hopefully not as creative as Sweeney Todd (sorry). These are actually a lot of fun to make though they are a bit labor intensive. Probably best for a weekend project since it will take you a couple hours assembling the dough and pies together. The process of making the filling made the kitchen smell amazing and after this I resolved to start cooking with Guinness more often! The alcohol burns off and what you’re left with is a wonderful flavor from the Guinness. The filling is also flavored with Worcestershire, thyme and aged white cheddar. The outside of the crust is made with pastry dough which gets nice and flaky after baking.
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Southwest Green Chile and Sweet Corn Black Bean Burger

Southwest Black Bean Burger

It’s high summer and what could be more summery than black bean burgers? Don’t give the ‘bean’ part the side eye yet, carnivores. I promise this recipe is delicious and full of flavor. I’ve made similar black bean burgers in the past and this one also did not disappoint. While I’m a big fan of regular beef burgers, bean burgers are a great change of pace. You can do all kinds of things with these burgers; the possibilities are pretty much endless. Since fresh corn on the cob is in season I used that as part of the bean filling and it provided fresh bursts of sweetness in the burger. I used pepper jack for the cheese but you can use any that suits your fancy. This recipe makes about 8 large patties but they can be stored for 2 days in the refrigerator before cooking. I served mine with a batch of baked chipotle fries and it made a fantastic side!
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Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken Stew

Moroccan Chicken Stew

It goes without saying that slow cookers are an excellent way to get a great meal together without a lot of time and effort. I’ve made all sorts of Moroccan inspired food but I had never tried using a slow cooker to cook them. This recipe combines a whole chicken, fragrant chili paste, chickpeas and spices together in one flavorful dish. If a whole chicken isn’t on hand, you can always use about 4 lbs of bone-in thighs, drumsticks, etc. I would recommend using bone-in varieties, that way you can make a flavorful stock later! I’ve found that some of my best stocks come from Indian and Moroccan spiced dishes. The slow cooker really allowed the flavors from the chili paste, preserved lemons, garlic and spices to merge together. You can make the Harissa paste a while in advance before you get started and that will help save time. If you don’t have chickpeas on hand, you can easily substitute potatoes in for them. Serve with rice and plain yogurt to cool things down. Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro.
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Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

I tend to go in phases with meals and lately I’ve been really into using my slow cooker. Even though it’s almost July and not exactly slow cooker season, I’ve been enjoying the convenience of letting it do most of the work! Luckily there hasn’t been a heat wave yet to suppress my use of it yet. This recipe is a lovely combination of slow cooked chicken, white beans, peppers and spicy tex-mex flavors. I love the way slow cookers treat all kinds of meat–it just falls apart so nicely! And this recipe is no exception, the chicken turned out perfectly cooked and fall apart tender. As usual, slow cookers can vary by model so feel free to adjust cook time depending on how hot your cooker runs. This recipe can be adjusted based on your timing needs as well: cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours. I used chicken breasts for the meat but feel free to mix it up and add dark meat–thighs, wings, etc. It all gets shredded in the end anyways and that is about all the work that is required for this recipe. It doesn’t get much better than that!
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Slow Cooker Beef & Vegetable Soup

Slowcooker Beef and Vegetable Soup

I used to eat alphabet soup with beef and veggies all the time as a kid. This recipe brings me back to those days. Even though this soup knocks anything canned out of the park, the flavors remind me just a bit of the soup I used to have back in the day. This recipe is easy to throw together, and then the slow cooker does the rest of the work for you. Something about the slow cooker really brings together the flavors of the beef, the vegetables and the herbs. I used high quality ground beef for the meat and fresh oregano and thyme for seasoning. While this soup is great for winter time, it also works perfectly year round as an easy weeknight meal.
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Cauliflower and Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Goat Cheese

Roasted Red Pepper and Cauliflower Soup

I love roasted red peppers. They go so well with so many things whether you add them on sandwiches, salads, soups or sauces–they are a lovely ingredient to work with. I hadn’t tried roasted red peppers in a soup but I was dying to try out this soup with cauliflower and goat cheese. Diced pancetta, fresh thyme and paprika flavor this soup while the goat cheese and heavy cream give it some tangy richness. It’s fairly low in carbs but surprisingly rich and filling. Even the cauliflower puree alone is rich in flavor and has a creamy texture, almost like creamed mashed potatoes. I served it with a dash of paprika and sprinkled with extra goat cheese. Serve with crusty french bread or croutons.
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Pimento Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Pimento Grilled Cheese Sandwich 3

Messy, gooey, hot grilled cheeses are one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Who can say ‘no’ to one of these babies? This sandwich comes from the South so you know it’s going to be healthy. Each sandwich is loaded with Pimento cream cheese (also known as the “Caviar of the South”) and smoked Gouda. Obviously, the sandwich is very rich and filled with delicious flavors.┬áThe red pimentos are the same pickled peppers found in green olives. You can find these sold in separate jars by the olives and condiments section in your grocery store. The pimento cream cheese can be served as a condiment as well, with crackers, chips or celery. This recipe pairs perfectly with a simple tomato soup and salad.
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Double Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Muffins

Buttermilk Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

Who says you can’t have chocolate for breakfast? These buttermilk muffins are the perfect excuse to have chocolate in the morning. They are full of chocolate flavor but won’t make you feel like you ate a heavy dessert. I reduced the amount of all purpose flour by half and subbed in a cup of whole wheat flour. If you’re out of buttermilk you can easily make “acidified milk” which is just milk with a dash of white vinegar mixed in. The milk curdles slightly and overall I’ve found it to be a good substitute for buttermilk. If going this route make sure to use at least 2% or whole milk as it does help with the flavor. While this is optional, you can add a little espresso powder to bring out even more of that chocolate flavor and give it some complexity. The texture was fluffy, delicate and perfect with tea and coffee!
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Tofu and Chickpea Massaman Curry

Tofu and Chickpea Massaman Curry

I love the flavors of Massaman curry. This recipe is a take on those flavors but with a twist. Traditionally Massaman curry is made with chicken, beef, or tofu. I chose the tofu version for this recipe and added chickpeas for protein instead of potatoes and peas for more veggies. You can make the red curry paste from scratch or go to a local Thai or Asian market and pick up a pre-made version. I like to buy a few cans of the Maesri brand curry pastes on hand for busier nights. Surprisingly, I haven’t found a huge discrepancy in quality or flavor of the dish. I was pleased with how quickly the recipe came together and how flavorful the dish turned out to be. If you make a large batch of the curry paste before hand it makes for a perfect week day dinner that comes together quickly and easily.
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