Slow-cooked dishes are going out of fashion with the kind of lives we lead we want instant, quick, something that satisfies us immediately. But slow-cooked dishes have a charm of their own. Slow cooking helps tenderise the less expensive meat cuts. Many slow cooker recipes also rely heavily on the flavour and nutritional value of the ingredients. Once I started using Wonderchef Nutri pot slow cooker, the game changed for me. The protective coating ensures that it doesn’t tear and contaminate the food when I’m making slow-cooked dishes that need to simmer for longer hours.
Benefits Of Slow Cooked Meals.
Below are some of the benefits of slow-cooked meals.
- Convenient – Slow cooking is perfect for lazy days as slow-cooked meals don’t need constant attention. You can put all ingredients together and continue your work.
- Better Flavour – The extended cooking time allows a better distribution of flavours. The food gets more time for absorption of flavour, which is why slow-cooked meals are flavourful and delicious.
- Healthy and Nutritious – Cooking at high temperatures causes food to lose its nutrients and release harmful chemicals. Slow cooking allows food to retain its nutrients while preserving its freshness and flavour.
- No Burning – Slow cooker operates at a stable temperature and is consistent, which significantly decreases the likelihood of burning food.
Below are some recipes of my favourite slow-cooked dishes. Do try these recipes, and hope you will like them.
Slow-cooked vegetable lasagna
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, sliced
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 large courgettes, diced (400g)
- 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and roughly sliced
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 2 tsp vegetable bouillon
- 15g fresh basil, chopped plus a few leaves
- 1 large aubergine, sliced across length or width for maximum surface area
- 6 wholewheat lasagne sheets (105g)
- 125g vegetarian buffalo mozzarella, chopped
- Heat 1 tbsp rapeseed oil in a large non-stick pan and fry 2 sliced onions and 2 chopped large garlic cloves for 5 mins, stirring frequently until softened.
- Tip in 2 diced large courgettes, 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, both roughly sliced, and 400g chopped tomatoes with 2 tbsp tomato purée, 2 tsp vegetable bouillon and 15g chopped basil.
- Stir well, cover and cook for 5 mins. Don’t be tempted to add more liquid as plenty of moisture will come from the vegetables once they start cooking.
- Slice 1 large aubergine. Lay half the slices of aubergine in the base of the slow cooker and top with 3 sheets of lasagne.
- Add a third of the ratatouille mixture, then the remaining aubergine slices, 3 more lasagne sheets, then the remaining ratatouille mixture.
- Cover and cook on High for 2½ – 3 hours until the pasta and vegetables are tender.
- Scatter 125g vegetarian buffalo mozzarella over the vegetables then cover and leave for 10 mins to settle and melt the cheese.
- Scatter with extra basil and serve with a handful of rockets.
Slow Cooked Chicken Korma
- 2 garlic cloves
- thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 6 skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ¼-½ tsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp sugar
- 300ml chicken stock
- 150ml double cream
- 6 tbsp ground almonds
- toasted flaked almonds , coriander, basmati rice and naan breads, to serve (optional)
- Put the cast iron pan on the gas. Put the garlic, ginger and onions in a small blender with a splash of water and whizz to a paste. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat and sear the chicken all over. Remove from the pan and set aside, then add the onion paste. Fry over medium heat for 10 mins until lightly golden.
- Stir in the tomato purée, spices, 1 tsp salt and the sugar, fry for 1 min until aromatic, then put the chicken back into the pan (with any resting juices) and add the stock. Stir and bring to a simmer, then spoon into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 5-6 hrs until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
- Stir through the cream and the ground almonds and bubble for 10 mins to reduce, if needed. Scatter with flaked almonds and coriander, if using, then serve with rice and naans, if you like.
Author : Alina Gufran, writer and film-maker, who loves the outdoors and reading.