Take a crack at these Crock-Pot recipes

Smoky Chickpea Tofu Pasta, from Carla Kelly's Quick and Easy Vegan Slow Cooking."
Smoky Chickpea Tofu Pasta, from Carla Kelly's Quick and Easy Vegan Slow Cooking."
Posted: January 10, 2013

This recipe will make a thick and chewy pizza similar to a deep-dish pie. It will serve two as a main dish or four as a side dish.

PIZZA PUTTANESCA

DOUGH

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons instant-rise yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup warm water, or as needed

SAUCE

1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced

1/4 cup pitted green olives, sliced

1 tablespoon capers

1 tablespoon chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

Salt and fresh-ground black pepper

1/2 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese (optional)

Lightly oil the inside of a large bowl and set aside. In a food processor, combine the flour, yeast, salt and Italian seasoning. With the machine running, add the tablespoon of olive oil through the feed tube, then slowly add as much water as needed to form a slightly sticky dough ball.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for 1 to 2 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to the prepared bowl, turning the dough to coat it with oil. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

While the dough is resting, make the sauce. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic powder, olives, capers, parsley, basil, oregano, sugar, red pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Generously oil the insert of a 5- to 7-quart slow cooker. Punch down the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Flatten the dough, then shape it to fit inside the slow cooker and place it inside. Spread the dough with the reserved sauce. To prevent water condensation from dripping onto the pizza, drape a clean kitchen towel over the top of the cooker, then put on the lid. Cook on high for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

If using vegan mozzarella, sprinkle it on the pizza after an hour and 15 minutes, then cook for 30 minutes longer to allow it to melt.

Makes 1 pizza.

This colorful and flavorful soup, with its subtle heat and light coconut broth, is a delicious change from the usual vegetable soup. Like many of the recipes in Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker, it's gluten-free.

CROCKPOT CALLALOO SOUP

2 teaspoons olive oil (optional)

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 medium-size sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (2 cups)

1 medium-size red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 to 2 jalapeños or other hot chilies, seeded and minced

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

1 1/2 cups cooked dark red kidney beans or other red beans or 1 (15-ounce) can beans, rinsed and drained

4 cups vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Salt and fresh-ground black pepper

8 ounces baby spinach

1 (13.5-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk

For the best flavor, heat the oil in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Alternatively, omit the oil and sauté these ingredients in a few tablespoons of water or combine them in a microwave-safe bowl with a little water, cover and microwave for 2 minutes.

Transfer the onion mixture to a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add the sweet potatoes, bell pepper, jalapeño, tomatoes and beans. Stir in the broth, thyme and allspice, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and cook low for 5 1/2 hours, or until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the spinach and coconut milk. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Cover and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 30 minutes. Serve hot. Serves 4.


Source: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson.

This pasta bake is not your usual pasta dish. It's not overly saucy, just moist and full of smoky flavor.

It tastes great hot or cold but has a tendency to get dry after it cools. If you want to serve it cold, moisten it with a little extra olive oil or stock.

If you end up with extra liquid at the end of the cooking time after removing the pasta, tofu and chickpeas from the slow cooker, mix a slurry (flour and water), add to the liquid and stir for a few minutes while it thickens.

SMOKY CHICKPEA TOFU PASTA

1 cup dry chickpeas, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed

4 cups vegetable stock

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 teaspoons liquid smoke

1 teaspoon ancho chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon chili flakes, optional

2 cups uncooked rotini pasta

8 ounces smoked tofu, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and black pepper

Combine chickpeas through the chili flakes in the slow cooker. Cover, set heat to low and cook for 8 hours, or until the chickpeas are tender.

Just before the mixture is done, cook the pasta according to package directions until just al dente. Dry-sauté the tofu cubes in a nonstick skillet until golden on all sides, about 8 minutes.

Add the pasta, tofu and oil to the slow cooker; stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 15 minutes, or until the flavors have melded. Taste and season with salt and pepper as required. Serves 4 to 6.


Source: Quick and Easy Vegan Slow Cooking: More Than 150 Nourishing Recipes That Practically Make Themselves by Carla Kelly.

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