Slow Cooker Recipes

No-Chop No-Fuss Spinach Split Pea Soup

split pea spinach soup

On these wintry days, there is nothing like a hot bowl of soup.

This soup takes the bowl! It uses a few simple wholesome ingredients with no chopping and no mess.  Just take a few minutes to toss all the ingredients in the crockpot in the morning and come home to a finished delicious soup in the evening.  The pot does all the work, no dicing. no sauteing, no prep mess.

INGREDIENTS
one 16 ounce bag (2 cups) of yellow split peas
one bag of fresh or frozen baby spinach (see kosher notes)
one tablespoon salt
dash of pepper
water

SUPPLIES

6 quart crockpot

 

DIRECTIONS
Fill crockpot two-thirds to the top with water. Toss split peas, spinach, salt and pepper into the crockpot and stir. Cook on high from morning to evening, at least six hours.

KOSHER NOTES
Kosher laws disallow the eating of any whole insects and therefore most greens require a process of soaking, rinsing and in some cases, pureeing. I have found that flat-leafed greens like baby spinach are much easier to check for insects than their curly-leaf counterparts. Kashrut authorities differ on the proper checking of leafy vegetables and some disallow the use of spinach altogether. This blog was not designed to be your kosher authority, so please consult your local rabbinic authority regarding using leafy greens such as spinach.

TIPS
This soup freezes extremely well. Cool soup and decant into freezer-safe containers or freezer-type zipper bags. Just defrost and reheat. Add fresh herbs and water if necessary to freshen it up.

 

Please Note: This post contains affiliate links from Amazon, which means I earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase.

A Bottlebrush Arrangement

 

20170728_181652

My favorite floral arrangements are those that bring the outdoors inside.  This weekend, we are visiting the Upper Galilee and we are always amazed by the beautiful varieties of plants and trees that are native to this gorgeous part of Northern Israel.  One of my favorite shrubs found is this part of the world  is the Callisteon, affectionately known as a bottlebrush plant.  The flowers of this shrub resemble a bottlebrush and are unique and stunning.

For this Shabbos, I designed an arrangements using three branches of a bottlebrush shrub and two Monstera leaves brought in from the outdoors.

Shabbat Shalom (peaceful Shabbos)!

Crockpot Pumpkin-Sweet Potato Soup

This is one of our family favorites.  In fact, when I offer to bring soup to a party or dinner, this soup and my Simply the best chicken soup…ever! are the two most popular favorites.   There is something about the natural sweetness of this soup paired with the velvety smoothness of its texture that is divine.

It is best made in a crockpot and can be adapted to incorporate butternut or acorn squash and carrots as well.  Just roast those ingredients until they are soft and beginning to caramelize and then add to the crockpot with seasonings and water.  The key to the soup is the unique combination of sweet and savory spices.  Cream can be added to the recipe for a delicious dairy version of this soup.

When I prepare this soup with butternut squash or pumpkin, I reserve the seeds and roast them for 20-30 minutes.  They are delicious served on top as a garnish.

pumpkin-soup-with-seeds

INGREDIENTS

1 small whole pumpkin
2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1-2 whole onions, peeled

2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon minced garlic or garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon powdered or freshly grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

Scrub and rinse unpeeled sweet potatoes and pumpkin.  Remove any paper tags.   Place whole vegetables on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees F. Remove sweet potatoes and onions from oven after 45-60 minutes and pumpkin after 90 minutes.

Place onions in crockpot.  Once cool, carefully remove stem and peel skin from pumpkin and discard.  Carefully,  place clean pulp in crockpot. Carefully peel skin from sweet potatoes and place sweet potato pulp in crockpot.

Add seasonings and fill crockpot two-thirds of the way to the top.  Place crockpot on high setting and cook for 3-6 hours.  Adjust seasonings to taste.

Puree with a stick blender before serving.

Reserve seeds and place in separate pan for roasting.  Roast at 425 Degrees F for 20-30 minutes, checking often to make sure that the seeds are not burning.

SIMPLE SHORTCUT
Skip the roasting of the vegetables. Instead, use 1-2 cans of sweet potatoes or yams and use shredded carrots and raw onions or scallions. Place all ingredients and seasonings directly into crockpot. Allow 5-6 hours to cook in crockpot with seasonings. Puree before serving.

MY FAVORITE AMAZON SUPPLIES FOR THIS RECIPE

Cuisinart Stick Blender

Stainless Steel 6 Quart Manual Crockpot

Lazy CrockPot Chicken with Dumplings

 

Now that the weather has started to get colder, my crockpot is busy most days.  I have been making soup, stews and all in one dinners in the crockpot.  Crockpot cooking is simple and requires very little attention during the cooking process. The only thing different about crockpot cooking is getting all the ingredients into the crock early in the day, so that they will have enough lazy time to cook and be ready in time for dinner.

This recipe for chicken with dumplings is one of those comfort dishes that never fails to impress.  It warms the soul on those cold, dark wintry evenings.  It is simple, but really packs a satisfying bite. The chicken can be cooked with the vegetables and served without the dumplings. The dumplings soak up much of the liquid and make this dish extra hearty.

 

INGREDIENTS

1-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, uncooked
2-3 cups chicken broth or water
1 onion
carrots
3-4 cloves garlic or garlic powder
4 stalks celery
mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Dumplings

1 eggs
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cups water
1 cup all-purpose flour

 

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in the crockpot and gently stir to combine.  Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours.

chicken-and-dumplings

One to two hours before serving, prepare dumplings:
In a medium bowl, stir water, egg, oil, salt, and pepper. Gradually add flour, and stir until thick. Drop dumplings into the crockpot using a spoon or a fork. Do not stir until ready to serve. Gently ladle out portions.

chicken-and-dumplings-on-plate

NOTES
Know your crockpot and which settings to use. I cook my soup on the high setting of my six quart crockpot for about 6 hours and only turn it down to low or auto once the soup has been completed. Your crockpot may need to be set to auto for the duration of the cooking. If you are not sure, start your soup at high. Check on the soup after 3 hours. If it tastes ready, then turn it down to auto or low until serving. If not, cook the soup for longer, checking every hour.

This recipe can easily be made with bone-in chicken and can be adapted to incorporate your favorite vegetables.

TIPS

When I anticipate preparing something in the crockpot, but know that my morning will be hectic,  I prepare the ingredients (including seasonings and liquid) in the crock the night before.  I store the crock filled with ingredients in the refrigerator overnight.  To be safe, I usually keep the poultry ingredients separate until ready to cook.  Then, all I have to do is place the crock into the pot and plug in the next morning.  It eliminates the stressful morning rush and offers me a hearty cooked dinner several hours later. This recipe will require you to prepare the dumplings 1-2 hours before serving. The dumpling dough is very forgiving and can be prepared the night before and just added to the crock 1-2 hours before serving.

Simple Crockpot Broccoli Soup

We returned home from our trip to Israel and found that Autumn has arrived in New Jersey.  Gone are the eighty-degree sunny Fall days in Israel.  Instead, we returned to crisp Fall days in the Northeast.

These cold mornings have me preparing crockpot soups.  This soup is so simple to prepare and makes for a delicious and hearty lunchtime broccoli soup.  It is flavorful, nutritious and low-carb.

broccoli soup unblended.jpgAfter lunch, I puree what is left in the crockpot for a smooth and filling dinner soup-two divine soups from one recipe with minimal effort.

broccoli-soup-in-purple-bowl

INGREDIENTS
2 pounds broccoli, fresh or frozen (see kosher notes)
1 onion or shallot, cut into chunks
4-6 cups water or  vegetable broth
1 tablespoon salt
4 cloves garlic or 1 tablespoons granulated garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse ground pepper

DIRECTIONS

Fill crockpot with broccoli, onion and/or shallot and seasonings. Fill crockpot 3/4 to top with water and/or stock.  Cook on high for at least 4 hours. For a smooth texture, blend with a stick blender before serving.

VARIATIONS
Replace broccoli with cauliflower for another flavor alternative.

Saute onion or shallot before adding for more depth of flavor.

KOSHER NOTES

Kosher laws disallow the eating of  any whole insects and therefore broccoli and cauliflower require a process of soaking, rinsing and in some cases, pureeing.   Kashrut authorities differ on the proper checking of  broccoli and cauliflower and some disallow the use of these altogether.  This blog was not designed to be your  kosher authority, so please consult your local rabbinic authority regarding using and preparing broccoli and cauliflower.

Crockpot Drunken Mushroom Soup

drunken mushroom soup ready to eat

I love the heartiness and depth of a wine-based mushroom soup.  Mushrooms and wine are a combination made in heaven, with the wine adding depth to the earthiness of this soup. Made in a crockpot, this drunken mushroom soup is a cinch to prepare and is simply divine.

drunken mushroom soup-preparation

INGREDIENTS

2-3 packages whole or sliced mushrooms
1 small onion or shallot, cut into chunks
1-2 zucchini, cup into 1 inch chunks
4 cups water or  vegetable broth
1 cup wine
1 tablespoon salt
4 cloves garlic or 1 tablespoons granulated garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse ground pepper
dash ginger (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Fill crockpot with mushrooms, onion and/or shallot, zucchini, wine and seasonings. Fill crockpot 3/4 to top with water and/or stock.  Cook on high for at least 5 hours. For a smooth texture, blend with a stick blender before serving.  Garnish with fresh herbs.

drunken musroom soup-under glass liddrunken mushroom soup ready to eat

NOTES

Know your crockpot and which settings to use.  I cook my soup
on the high setting of my six quart crockpot for about 6 hours and only turn it down to low or auto once the soup has been completed.  Your crockpot may need to be set to auto for the duration of the cooking. If you are not sure, start your soup at high.  Check on the soup after 4 hours.  If it tastes ready, then turn it down to auto or low until serving. If not, cook the soup for longer, checking every hour.
For a creamy dairy variation, add 1/2 cup heavy cream to soup ingredients.
Use your favorite mushrooms.  For this  soup, I used a combination of baby bella and white mushrooms.  You can add them to the crockpot whole or sliced.Use your favorite wine.  For my soup, I used the rest of a bottle of  Merlot that was left over from Shabbos.  You can use white, red or any combination of wine.

MY FAVORITE AMAZON SUPPLIES FOR THIS RECIPE
Cuisinart Stick Blender

Stainless Steel 6 Quart Manual Crockpot

Simply the best cholent…with low-carb ingredients

Tzippy Respler


Don and I are still on a low-carb diet.  During the week, we try to eliminate carbs almost completely.  On Shabbos, we allow ourselves to enjoy a small amount of challah at each meal, but still try to adhere to the low-carb protocol as much as possible.  Cholent is a challenge, because it is generally prepared using high-carb ingredients like potatoes and barley.  Over the past few months, I have experimented with lots of different ingredients, until I finally have an option that tastes great and is mostly low-carb.

To satisfy the rest of the family, I often put in lentils, barley and some potatoes, but Don and I only choose the vegetables that conform to our diet.  When I do that, I try to leave most of the low-carb vegetables whole or in large chunks, so that Don and I can easily find them.

low-carb cholent

I like to cook a well-marbled roast right in the cholent.  The fat content is important, so that the meat stays moist and does not dry out during the long cooking process. I take the roast out right before serving and place it on a separate plate.  I use two forks to shred the beef, putting them facing each other at the center of the roast and pulling toward the edges.  I  serve the meat on a separate platter from the cholent.

INGREDIENTS

1 zucchini, scrubbed and cut into large slices
1 turnip or kohlrabi, cut into cubes
2 cups whole mushrooms
3 stalks of celery, scrubbed and cut into large slices
2-3 garlic garlic cloves, whole or minced
2 Potatoes, peeled or scrubbed and cut into large pieces (optional)
1-2 cups of cauliflower, riced in food processor (see kosher notes)
1 cup beans, soaked overnight or canned and drained (may omit for gluten-free)
2 small whole onions, peeled
1/2 cup barley (optional)
1/2 cup lentils (optional)

1 generous squirt ketchup  (optional)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
paprika

kishke, wrapped in parchment paper
small brisket, deckel or brick roast

DIRECTIONS

Place vegetables in crockpot Friday morning.  Add rest of ingredients and combine gently.

 Fill crockpot with water until ingredients are completely covered plus 1 inch more of water.  Make sure to leave at least one inch of space between top of water level and top of pot.

Place small brisket on top of cholent, submerging only slightly in cholent liquid.
low-carb cholent with meat
Cover crockpot and turn crockpot on high until right before Shabbos begins (Friday at sundown).  Then, lower crockpot to your favorite Shabbos setting (see notes).  My crockpot stays on high, perhaps yours will need to be on auto or medium setting.
Enjoy this delicious cholent Shabbos morning for lunch.   I remove the meat from the top of the cholent,  placing it on a separate platter.  I take two karge forks and place them with the tines facing each other at the center of the roast.  I pull the meat toward the edges, creaing a shredded beef dish.  I them serve the rest of the cholent in a serving bowl, taking acre to keep the low-carb vegetables whole and esy to find.

VARIATIONS

To create a gluten-free version, replace the barley with brown sushi rice

Add onion powder, zatar, garlic powder, or your favorite spice for a zestier alternative

KOSHER NOTES

Kosher laws disallow the eating of  any whole insects and therefore cauliflower require a process of soaking, rinsing and in some cases, grinding.  Kashrut authorities differ somewhat on the proper checking of cauliflower.  This blog was not designed to be your kosher authority, so please consult your local rabbinic authority regarding using cauliflower.

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Simple Celery and Mushroom Crockpot Soup

My kids have been getting tired of all the pureed soups that I have been preparing over the past few months.   I have decided to surprise them with a vegetable soup that is not pureed, so that they can enjoy all the different textures of the vegetables.

mushroom celery soup

Here is the simple, delicious and low carb recipe, suitable for Passover:

 

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Crockpot Orange Root Vegetable Soup

orange soup before cooking in crockpot

This is one of the simplest soups to prepare and it is a favorite soup classic at my dinner table.   It is easily adaptable to any combination of orange vegetables, but the key is the seasoning.  It has a unique flavor, thanks to the combination of sweet and savory ingredients.

 

INGREDIENTS

4 sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1-2 whole onions, scrubbed
1 pound of carrots, peeled
1 whole butternut or acorn squash (optional)

2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon minced garlic or garlic powder
1 teaspoon powdered or freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon black pepper
dash of cinnamon

 

DIRECTIONS

Scrub and rinse unpeeled sweet potatoes and squash.  Place whole sweet potatoes, onion, peeled carrots and halved squash cut-side down on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees F.

Remove carrots after 20 minutes.  Bake sweet potatoes, onion and squash for an additional 40 minutes or until soft.  Once cool, remove peels of onion, sweet potatoes and squash. Carefully remove squash seeds.  Discard seeds or clean and toast for use as a soup garnish.

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Low-Carb Cauliflower Onion Soup

Don and I are still on a high-protein, low carb diet. We are finding that soup is very nourishing and satisfying, helping us to curb carb-cravings. For these reasons, I try to start a soup in the crockpot just about every morning. I eat the soup as my afternoon snack and Don usually enjoys it when he comes home as an early dinner meal.  Today’s soup is a take-off on potato leek soup.  I have created a cauliflower-onion soup,  so similar in color, texture and flavor to potato-leek, but truly low in carbs. (more…)

Bubby’s Gedemfte Chicken: Stewed Chicken for the Pesach Seder

Every year for the Pesach (Passover) seder, my mother-in-law a’H would prepare her famous Gedemfte Chicken. We all could barely pronounce its name, but we would all so look forward to this delicacy. There was nothing fussy about it. It was simple, it was delicious and it was falling-off-the-bone succulent.

During the  year, the kids would ask me to make it for them and I would refuse, saying that it was Bubby’s Pesach secret. The truth is…that it is a very simple recipe, so similar to the roasted chicken that I prepare almost every Friday night. The only true difference is that it is prepared in a crockpot and stewed until the chicken is so soft.

I wanted it to remain Bubby’s famous dish.  Even though my mother-in-law a’H is no longer with us, it has remained and will forever remain as Bubby’s Gedemfte Chicken recipe, prepared exclusively for our seder.

 

gedemste chicken (more…)

Simply the Best Low-Carb Zucchini Soup

zucchini soup-ingredients

On my low-carb diet, I often eat soup for lunch. They are filling, hearty and warm the soul. One of the things that I am enjoying and hope to retain once I complete the diet is the idea of making regular times for meals and snacks. I find that I am more satiated by meals and snacks that I anticipate and actively prepare in advance.

I have never made a zucchini soup before and decided to try and create a low-carb one for lunch. The only zucchini soup that I have enjoyed in the past is one made by my friend, Malka, and it is delicious. I hope that this low-carb variety comes close to hers.

Zucchini is a rather bland vegetable, comprised of 95% water. Believe it or not, a whole zucchini has more potassium than a banana and is only about 33 calories. This soup will need sauteed onions and garlic, a rich broth and some fresh herbs to wake up the bland, but nutritious zucchini.  Since zucchini and herbs take very little time to cook, the added benefit of this soup is that it does not take long to prepare, even in a crockpot. (more…)

Crockpot Lentil Soup with Optional Parsnip and Kale

My daughter, Michelle, moved to California after getting married last June. She is a newly-inspired cook and it is so exciting for me to learn new recipes and plating ideas from her. A few weeks ago, when the weather was very cold on both coasts, she asked me to share some crockpot soup recipes with her. A crockpot soup would allow her to quickly start the soup before leaving to school in the morning and enjoy it for dinner with her husband, Scotty. (more…)

Simple Crockpot Mushroom Soup: Low Carb

Don and I just started a high-protein, low carb diet.  I have to admit that I’ve never been on an official diet before and I’m excited for the challenge. I visited my local market today and spent hours perusing the aisles for ingredients that will work for this new diet. I bought items that I never thought that I would use, items like soy flour and sugar-free caramel syrup. Now the challenge will be to create exceptional flavor with new ingredients. I thought that I would start by modifying some of my favorite recipes to meet the parameters of this new diet. To keep the blog updated with these diet-friendly recipes, I have created a new category on the blog menu for low-carb recipes. (more…)

Simply the best pareve cholent…ever (with optional pulled beef brisket)

Tzippy Respler


Cholent is a traditional Jewish dish served on Shabbos.  Since cooking is prohibited on Shabbos, the cholent is prepared before the Shabbos and left to cook on an even temperature during Shabbos.

Over the past twenty plus years of marriage, I have tweaked my cholent recipe.  It started out as my father’s recipe and it still has the basic flavor of his cholent.  I have simplified and enhanced the recipe to suit the tastes of the ones closest to me.

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