I have been battling with my slow cooker for about a month now. I’ve made a couple items in it that turned out (chili and a soup) but everything else has not only been not blog-worthy, it’s been downright inedible. I could not figure out what was going on. I mean, the whole point to a slow cooker is for it to make life easier, not harder! My cousin (who is a meat eater) gave me the great idea to prepare all the ingredients for slow cooker meals in advance. She freezes weeks worth of ingredients and then when she wants them, they’re already to go. I thought this was a genius idea, and as things are picking back up at work I thought I really could use some nights without having to think about prepping dinner. But with my recent track record, I decided I needed to turn to a professional for help. I started doing my fair share of research. I figured there had to be at least one person out there who is the vegan slow cooker aficionado. And I found her. Kathy Hester has 3 cookbooks on vegan slow cooking, her most recent one, Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just For You, is perfect for little slow cookers, like mine.
I contacted Kathy to see if I could have her permission to post one of her recipes, and she surprised me by offering to send a copy of her latest book for my review – and a copy to giveaway to Girl Eats Green readers! I have to say, this is my first giveaway, and I’m so excited to be able to share this book with one lucky reader. So far I’ve been able to try out a couple different recipes, and today I’m sharing Kathy’s Cheezy Butternut Squash Macaroni with you all. Details to sign up for the giveaway below.
I must say, I still had a bit of a learning curve with my first two tries at Kathy’s recipes. Then I figured out that my slow cooker cooks on the hot side. And that I was spending too much time at the office for things to turn out exactly perfect. But R, being the genius he is, went online and found me a timer for the outlet. Now I can put everything in the slow cooker before work, set the timer and have it not be cooked to oblivion by the time I get home. And that’s the technique I used with the macaroni – and it turned out perfectly! Even my dear Fatman enjoyed it!
What you’ll need: Recipe by Kathy Hester and reprinted with permission from Fair Winds Press.
- 1 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 to 1 cup unsweetened milk (I used almond)
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat macaroni (uncooked)
- salt and pepper to taste
In the morning, add all the ingredients except for the milk, macaroni, and nutritional yeast to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 7-9 hours.
Thirty to 45 minutes before serving, puree the contents of the slow cooker in a blender with the milk and nutritional yeast.
Add the mixture back to the slow cooker and turn on high. Add the macaroni, cover, and let cook for 20 minutes. Stir well and add more milk if the sauce is getting too thick. (I didn’t have to add anymore) Cook for 15-25 more minutes or until noodles are al dente. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I topped with a little paprika for color and served with sauteed kale and avocado since there were actually three of us eating the macaroni, and I needed to get some greens in us. R added the kale right to the macaroni and said it was great that way. (I kept mine separate). This was a delicious and hearty meal that was total comfort food but without the guilt. Luckily for me, I’ve got ingredients left over and in the freezer to make this again soon!
And now – for the giveaway! It’s super easy to put your name in. All you have to do is comment on the post below and let me know how you’re following me – (Blog email list, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) and you’ll be entered! You’ll have until NEXT Saturday, February 1st to enter. I’ll be doing some super high-tech random way of picking the winner (like writing everyone’s names down and pulling out of a hat) and the winner will be announced Tuesday, February 3rd. Good luck everyone!!