Monday, April 5, 2010

Cookbook Review: The Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Judith Finlayson

For something a little different for us, I accepted to review The Vegetarian Slow Cooker book. This book is a packed full of recipes that you can make using your slow cooker! Have to love easy cooking!

“To me, there’s more to using a slow cooker than just putting food on the table. In my opinion, the meals it allows you to prepare nourish both body and soul. There are few experiences more pleasurable than coming home to be greeted by the appetizing aroma of a meal simmering in the kitchen.” Judith Finlayson

Home cooks have come to trust Judith Finlayson with their dietary needs. Her previous vegetarian slow cooker cookbook, 125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes, sold over 60,000 copies, and combined, her slow cooker books have sold more than 750,000 copies worldwide. Judith strongly believes that eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures and has spent significant parts of her adult life searching out memorable food experiences. She is a well-respected food writer, journalist, and best-selling author. Using her recipes, thousands of people have discovered not only how delicious and convenient food prepared in the slow cooker can be, but also how this handy appliance can be used to create an extraordinary range of dishes not typically associated with a slow cooker. She is also the author of 125 Best Rotisserie Oven Recipes, The Convenience Cook, and The Complete Whole Grains Cookbook. In addition to cookbooks, Judith is the author of four other books including The New Woman’s Diary: A Journal for Women in Search of Themselves.

“In my new book, like those I’ve previously written, I’ve tried to include a wide range of recipes that will appeal to many tastes and requirements,” Finlayson explains. “As enjoyable as it is to recreate many traditional recipes, in developing this book I had great fun experimenting with more exotic dishes that reflect our expanding global view of food. I particularly enjoy using herbs and spices to create unique taste sensations.”

The Vegetarian Slow Cooker contains tantalizing and foolproof recipes in chapters including: Bread and Breakfast, Starters and Snacks, Soups, Fondues and Savories, Mostly Veggies, Pasta and Grains, and Desserts.

Some include:
-Banana Walnut Oat Bread
-Spicy Black Bean Dip
-Turkish-Style Barley Soup
-Louisiana Ratatouille
-Mushroom and Artichoke Lasagna
-Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
-Vegetable Biriyani
-Eggplant Lentil Ragoƻt
-Parsnip and Coconut Curry
-Double Chocolate Mousse Cake
-Blackberry Peach Cobbler

Over 200 Delicious Recipes
by Judith Finlayson
Robert Rose; February 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7788-0239-6

I decided to make the Butternut Apple Soup with Swiss Cheese and Buttermilk Lemon Sponge dessert. The soup makes a lot, so you could easily half it, wish I did. I made this one for lunch but only my 6 yr old and I would try it. She liked it enough to have seconds, but I think she really wanted to eat all the gooey cheese! I thought it was ok, I am not a fan of rosemary but other than that it was good. I too loved the swiss cheese with this.
The lemon sponge dessert sounded like a great idea. Dessert in a crock pot?! Well after the cooking time was up, I could tell it didn't rise very much but looked done, and I could see a lemony custard peeking out from the bottom. Well, it was very shallow, and not cake like looking (like their photo), and it looked all curdled once spooned on the plate. It did taste lemony though! Total disappointment.
Even though we are not vegetarians, I did find a couple other recipes in here I'd like to try maybe the Cannelloni with tomato eggplant sauce (shh, maybe even add some chicken too so others will eat it). This book is full of everything, great colorful glossy pages of photos, tips, I would recommend it to those looking for more vegetarian recipes.

Butternut Apple Soup with Swiss Cheese
Serves 6 to 8
Entertaining Worthy
Can Be Halved
Tips: To save time, you can use pre-cut squash (often available in the produce section) or frozen diced squash. You will need 2 lbs (1 kg) or 7 cups (1.75 L).
If you are halving this recipe, be sure to use a small (approx. 2 quart) slow cooker.
Make Ahead: Complete Step 1. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to cook, complete the recipe.

Topped with melted cheese, this creamy and delicious soup makes a light main course, accompanied by a green salad. It can also be served as a starter to a more substantial meal.

• Medium to large (31⁄2 to 5 quart) slow cooker • 6 to 8 ovenproof bowls
1 tbsp olive oil 15 mL
2 onions, chopped 2
4 cloves garlic, minced 4
2 tsp dried rosemary, crumbled, or 1 tbsp (15 mL) 10 mL chopped fresh
1⁄2 tsp cracked black peppercorns 2 mL
5 cups vegetable broth 1.25 L
2 tart apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled 2 and coarsely chopped
1 butternut squash (about 21⁄2 lbs/1.25 kg), 1 peeled and cubed (1 inch/2.5 cm) (see Tip, left)
Salt, optional
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese 250 mL
1⁄2 cup finely chopped walnuts, optional 125 mL

1. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, rosemary and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer to
slow cooker stoneware. Stir in broth.
2. Add apples and squash and stir well. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours, until squash is tender. Preheat broiler.
3. Puree soup using an immersion blender. (You can also do this in batches in a food processor or stand blender.) Season to taste with salt, if using.
4. Preheat broiler. Ladle into ovenproof bowls. Sprinkle with cheese and broil until cheese melts, about 2 minutes. (You can also do this in batches in a microwave oven on High, about 1 minute per batch.) Sprinkle with walnuts, if using. Serve immediately.

Buttermilk Lemon Sponge
Serves 4 to 6
Entertaining Worthy
Tip: Because you are using the zest of a lemon as well as its juice, I strongly recommend using organic produce.

Here’s the perfect dessert: creamy yet light, with just a hint of lemon. As it cooks, the egg whites separate into a “sponge” layer, leaving a velvety version of lemon curd on the bottom. Serve this warm, with a mound of fresh berries on the side. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries — whatever is in season — make an ideal finish.

• Large (minimum 5 quart) oval slow cooker • 4-cup (1 L) baking dish, greased
1⁄2 cup granulated sugar 125 mL
2 eggs, separated 2
2⁄3 cup buttermilk 150 mL
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest 15 mL
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 45 mL
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour 50 mL
1⁄4 tsp salt 1 mL

1. In a bowl, whisk sugar and egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in buttermilk, lemon zest and lemon juice. Whisk in flour and salt until blended.
2. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Gently fold into lemon mixture to make a smooth batter. Spoon into prepared dish. Cover with foil and secure with string.
3. Place dish in slow cooker stoneware and pour in enough boiling water to reach 1 inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the dish. Cover and cook on High for 21⁄2 hours, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pudding comes out clean.

I wrote this review for "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" about The Vegetarian Slow Cooker. I received free product for my review. All opinions for this review are that of myself & family. Info & recipes provided by PR.


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4 Lovely Comments:

camille said...

You don't like rosemary?? To quote the internets, "WHAT IS THAT I DON'T EVEN..."

Grumpy & HoneyB said...

This looks like a good book to get for myself and my mom (who is vegetarian!).

Sam said...

Hi, did I tell you that you are correct with your answser to the Hitchcock/Psycho trivia answer? Sorry if I forgot to tell you that. My computer is soooo slow sometimes, I forget what I'm writing about by the time the page opens. If you would like me to send your winning prize, just write with your address. Thanks for playing and come again soon. Keri

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