In the summer we have a lot of BBQ's, in fact often every night. It keeps the heat out of the house if I want to cook something. I also use the crock pot lots. I am just not going to turn the oven on in the heat!
One handy use of the crock pot especially when I am having visitors is to fill it with potatoes and let them go all day on low. Then in the evening they can be served with whatever is on the BBQ or made into a quick potato salad. I love warm potato salad so this only means throwing over a handful of chopped onion, some mayo and herbs. It looks wonderful too. This has a lot of food ready to go and is really filling.
Other possibilities are filling the crock pot with corn on the cob. At serving time I just put them all into a serving dish, add dobs of butter and sprinkle with pepper. It is yum and so very easy.
If I have a pie thawing for dinner or meat to cook I might put a mix of vegies in the crock pot to be ready when I need them. Mainly to make the evening easy if I know I will be in late. It is just done!
Other really good crock pot vegies are potato bake. The easiest one I do is Hilde's recipe. Grease the crock pot. Fill with sliced potato, sprinkle with dried french onion soup mix (about half a packet for a large potato bake) and pour over a small carton of cream or half a tin of evaporated milk. Let cook all afternoon. This is yummy.
Another is to cook a whole cauliflower. If it won't fit then cut it up into big bits. I sprinkle it with grated cheese and pepper in the last hour or so.
In all of these vegie dishes I would put about two tablespoons of water in the crock pot first. That's it.
However you could fill your crock pot with carrots and pour over some honey for honey glazed carrots.
Or fill it with baby onions. Or half baby butternuts and serve them along side a roast. Or fill with carrots and parsnips and drizzle with a balsamic glaze. It is just endless! When you are feeding a crowd a big serving of something like this just makes it so easy.
For the family a crock pot full of vegies will make you meat portions go a long way. Any left over vegies could become a soup. Left over onion, pumpkin, sweet potato etc become pizza topping.
BBQ nights are really easy nights! If Andy cooks the meat I will bring out corn on the cob, potatoes, honey carrots etc that have all been cooking and there is basically nothing to do but serve them in the evening. I really like those days!
So think of any side dish that you really love and seldom actually do. Pop it into the crock pot in the morning instead! Growing up my favorite vegetable dishes were bakes ie Nan's tomato bake, scalloped potatoes, cauliflower cheese, baked baby onions.... all of these are perfect for crock pot cooking and they produce so much good food!
This is just another way my crock pot is wonderful. Winter or summer it is a help. So many times I have something that is a potential meal (ie a meat pie from the freezer) and I will think to put on some potatoes and carrots or something to go with it. This turns my little meal into a big healthy feast usually for very little.
Writing this up has made me think of making some kind of vegetable bake for tonight as it is cold and wintery! I will see what is on special as I am shopping this morning. I would say cauliflower cheese but cauli's have been almost $8 each. So it might be Hilde's Potato Bake.
Here we are in a new week! The last few days of July! I am heading out to get as much done as possible and get my week going. I try to run most of my errands on a Monday all at once so that I can mostly stay home later in the week. My number one enemy for getting things done is being out too much. This week I want to get some sewing done. I have a lovely little project (easy sewing) that I will feature next Monday as it is something useful and something that would make lovely gifts. Also it costs a few cents each to make!
Have a wonderful week! xxx