10 summer slow-cooker recipes
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By Robin Shreeves, Mother Nature Network
Posted Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:44am PDT
No one likes to heat up the oven or the stove-top when it’s hot outside. Your house gets hotter, your air conditioning kicks up a notch, and your energy usage spikes. Grilling is one answer to keeping your kitchen cool in the summer, but another great option is using the slow cooker.
Surprisingly, slow cookers can be as useful in the summertime as they are in the winter when they're typically used for making hearty stews and soups. In fact, using a slow cooker allows you to stay out of the kitchen and still enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal.
All it requires is gathering some ingredients, chopping them up, and throwing them into a slow cooker (also commonly referred to as a Crock-Pot after one maker of slow cookers). At the end of the day, you'll come home to a satisfying meal.
Don't let your slow cooker hibernate over the summer. Pull it out of your cupboard (or borrow one from a friend), and try out a couple of recipes this summer:
* BBQ pork for sandwiches – It doesn’t get easier than three ingredients and a slow cooker. Check out the organic aisle for a BBQ sauce with ingredients you can trust or if you want to put a little extra work into it.
* Slow cooker Southern pulled pork with coleslaw -- This is one of my own recipes that I posted on my South Jersey locavore blog. Instead of BBQ sauce, the shredded pork is topped with coleslaw. This is a favorite summer recipe around my house.
* Sloppy chicken joes -- Chicken is substituted for beef in this sloppy recipe with a homemade sauce where you control the ingredients. In summer, I’d opt for fresh peppers and onions from the garden or farmers market instead of the frozen ones in the recipe.
Dishes from your garden
* Ratatouille in the Crock-Pot -- Eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and peppers fresh from the garden (or the farmers market or grocery store) are combined with other traditional ratatouille ingredients and simmered slowly all day.
* Fresh tomato sauce -- Four cups of chopped tomatoes right from your garden go into this easy slow-cooker recipe.
* Boston baked beans -- Baked beans are a great side dish for burgers and dogs. This recipe slow-cooks for 10 hours, so start it the night before if you’re having an early afternoon BBQ.
* Slow-cooked collard greens – This recipe calls for frozen greens, but you can use fresh along with fresh green onion and bell pepper for this Southern side dish.
* Cantonese dinner -- A sweet-and-sour-pork recipe that kids love and that can be doubled so you can freeze half. Check out the suggestions that the reviewers added to change the recipe up a bit.
* Melt-in-your-mouth barbecued ribs -- Sure, ribs done on the grill are one of summer’s treats, but on a weeknight, there isn’t always time to do it that way. These ribs will be done the minute you walk in from work.
* Slow-cooker lemon garlic chicken -- A whole chicken is browned before putting it in the slow cooker, then cooked on high for four hours.
Recipes here: hXXp://green.yahoo.com/blog/guest_bloggers/54/10-summer-slow-cooker-recipes.html