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Lentil-Rice HappinessNovember 17, 2009

I made the best... something in the slow-cooker last night, and I'm putting the recipe here so I don't forget it, and I thought you might like it, too. IT WAS SOOOO GOOD. It's a kind of stew/soup/dal, I think. Inspired by a recipe given to me by my friend Camilla, I just started throwing things in the pot, and then ran off to an Alcatraz night tour while it cooked. (It was the best tour ever by the way -- we made friends with the guy who was giving the tour who turned out to be a writer, WHO TOOK US BEHIND THE SCENES after his tour. Bethany and I got to up in the chapel! Into the gun gallery! Down into the dungeon of the original 1860s citadel to see the moat. We saw graffiti no one ever sees, left over from prisoners and from Indians. I got to turn the keys of Alcatraz. The real keys. We climbed ladders. It was freaking amazing.)


Rachael's Alcatraz Lentil Rice

1 cup lentils

1/2 cup brown jasmine rice

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 onion, chopped

6 cups water

1 tbs crushed ginger (I had it in the jar, fresh would be better)

1 bag frozen spinach

1/2 bag frozen corn

any other veggies left lying around

1 tbs curry powder

1 tsp cayenne

1 tbs salt

dash to taste of cumin and turmeric

Throw all in the crock pot, turn to low, cook for 8ish hours, and YUM. It made a bunch, and it was so good. What's your favorite slow-cooker recipe? I just got this thing, and I'm loving it. 


That sounds delicious, and I bet my midwives would LOVE it if I made it and ate a bunch. Thanks for the recipe.

PS how big were your bags of frozen veggies?

OMG that sounds great, if only I could get my kids to eat lentils....

Best slow cooker recipe:
Lasagne--it's so easy it's crazy
you just layer your ingredients in (no cooking the noodles) and set to high for four hours-the edges get a little crispy on mine but it's still really, really good. I can email you the whole recipe if you want.

Frozen spinach was BIG - corn was small, but anything would work. :)

I haven't been very adventurous with my crockpot, despite owning one for ages. Over the weekend I made pulled pork in it. Usually I throw some drumsticks and BBQ sauce in it before I go to work. Whenever I try a crockpot recipe, my family ends up hating it.

sounds like something similar to what I had planned for the stovetop tonight. Thank you for the crockpot tip. I used the same proportion of lentils/rice/water (1/2 and 1/2 with chicken stock) and added:
1 sweet potato
a bit of frozen corn
a carrot
a bunch of kale

and less cayenne, because I have a five year old who would object.

Corned beef is dead simple in a crock pot, cover with water, add spice pack, cook 8ish hours, yum! Pot roast is also dead simple as well.

hmmmm... do you think you could make this in a regular pan if you had a giant stash of lentils but were crockpot deprived?

I am a little addicted to cooking in my crockpot. And I'm especially fond of recipes where you just dump all the ingredients in and leave it. My favorite is beef stroganoff. Easy and good!

I got a little obsessed with this site last year because she has a lot of great tips and ideas, crockpot365.blogspot.com/

Did you use dry lentils?

My favorite crock pot recipe:

Turkey Chili

ground turkey
one yellow onion
2 cans black beans
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can corn
some diced green chilis
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
a bunch of fresh cilantro

I sautee the onions in a little bit of olive oil (in a big skillet), then add the turkey to break up and brown. Add salt, pepper, bunch of oregano. Put in crock pot. Add the other ingredients and cook for six hours or more.

Dress with sour cream, avocado, cheese, cilantro or whatever (but it's great plain, too!). And I recommend serving it with margaritas.

Thanks for posting this! I'm determined to start using my slow cooker more, and this sounds yummy. Best wishes.

I really like our slow cooker. I used it yesterday to make pea soup and it was very good. The hardest part for me is finding vegan or vegetarian recipes. Will definitely try your recipe, it sounds great.

I always make pinto beans in the slow cooker. Beans to very hot water in a 1:2 ratio, lots of cumin and garlic on high for about 3hrs. Then I use the beans for taco/burrito fixings.

That sounds yummo. I'm going to try it. My FAVORITE crockpot recipe is this: 1 beef brisket, 2 oninion, 1 jar of bone suckin' bbq sauce. Slice the onions thinly and put on bottom. Put brisket on top and cover the whole thing with sauce. Cook on low for 8 hours.

I'd love to know more about this Alcatraz tour. I'm coming to San Francisco this month, and this sounds like something I'd love!

I made split pea soup in the crockpot last night -- it's a community favorite (with cornbread, of course!).

7 cups water
1 pound (~2.25 cups) dried split peas, rinsed/sorted
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
3 carrots cubed
2 stalks celery chopped
1 onion chopped
1 lb ham shanks/smoked pork hocks (nitrate free is less salty and tastes better)

Throw it all in the crockpot, and cook on high for 4-5 hrs, or low 8-10.

My crockpot is my best friend. I make a vegetable beef soup that my family loves although it's really not soupy, it's kind of thick and goulashie maybe. But my kids hate broth. Anyway here's how I make it.

Put in the crockpot in this order:

2-3 potatoes cut in chunks
2-3 carrots sliced or diced however you like them
1 onion chopped
2 lbs beef stew meat
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes kind of broken up a bit.
A little sugar just to take away the bitter from the tomatoes
2-3 bags frozen vegetables for soup or a mix of your favorite vegetables for soup.
If you like your soup soupy add some water, like a cup or so.
salt and pepper to taste.
Crank up on high and let cook all day.

For pork BBQ:
1 Boston butt
6-8 whole cloves
2 onions quartered
1/2 cup water
Set on high, let cook 8 hours.
Shred with two forks, serve with your favorite BBQ sauce. You can also place the meat back in the crockpot on low and stir in your favorite BBQ sauce after shredding the meat, and let it cook just a bit longer if you want to. We like to just add the sauce to our sandwiches.

Oooh, that sounds good! We crock-potted yeasterday, too:

3-4 boneless skinless chicken boobs
1 jar salsa

Cook on low 6-8 hours

We shredded it with a fork and folded into fresh flour tortillas with avocado and jalapeno and cheese. YUM!

Yum, that sounds delicious! I've been meaning to use my slow-cooker more since I don't have much time for real cooking lately, and I love lentils (plus I'm trying to find new ways to eat more veggies and legumes to help lose the last of the baby weight). I am definitely going to give this a try!

You should try a pressure cooker, too. Mel's garbanzo stew is very good. You could probably make it in the crock pot if you wanted to.

The easiest crock pot recipe? Put chicken breasts in, pour salsa all over them and maybe 1/4 C of water. Sprinkle with cumin and coriander. Do on low or high depending on timing.

Slice it all up, grate some cheddar on it and let it melt while the rice cooks. Pour over rice.

Mine is something that my (now) husband created or discovered when we were in college. Good comfort food!

about 1 lb. chicken breasts (can be left whole or cut into about 3/4 inch pieces)
small onion, chopped
package fresh mushrooms (canned will work in a pinch - 2 cans)
1 can cream of (mushroom, roasted garlic, chicken or your other favorite flavor)
8 oz. sour cream
generous splash of white wine (optional)

Place chicken in crockpot. Layer onions and mushrooms on top. Mix soup, sour cream and wine, and pour over the onions and mushrooms. Cook on high about 3-4 hours, or on low about 6 hours. Good with steamed broccoli, or mashed potatoes, or egg noodles, and a side of good crusty bread.

Corned beef - big yum. Or lentil soup - easy recipe here.

Rachel-I meant to ask, did you squeeze any water out of the spinach or just toss it in straight from the freezer? Your recipe sounds great lentils and spinach, yum!

Ooh, slow cooking! Yay! Did you know you can use a Crock-Pot as a rice cooker? The recipe is ridiculously simple:

2 c. water
1 c. rice
pinch of salt

Rub a little butter or margarine inside the crock, then pour in the water, rice and salt. Cook on high for 2 to 3 hours. You can stir it once in a while if you like. That's it! I make a couple of batches of this a week on average. My husband and I prefer to take our own homemade dinner to our respective offices (we work evenings), and having the rice ready to go saves a lot of time.

I got this from the book "Make It Fast, Cook It Slow" by Stephanie O'Dea. She also has a blog with tons of recipes, with honest reviews:


(I swear, I don't know O'Dea or work for her. But her blog and book have changed the way I cook!)

How fun- how lucky you were to see the "other" side of Alcatraz. We did the tour during the day (back in 2001) and would have loved the night tour.

Thanks everybody for the crockpot recipes!

I'm printing out all these recipes -- yum!
I'm a huge crockpot fan, too. My easiest recipe (and it's so good that we nibble on the leftovers cold right from the frig):

1. a big piece of pork (or beef)
2. jar pepperoncini peppers with tops cut off. Pour peppers and juice over meat and cook low for a long time til done. That's it!

(Got the recipe on Ravelry from the crockpot group.)

Hey. I recognize that recipe! Kind of! You know the cormorant rookery on the West side of the island holds more cormorants than any other spot except the Farallon islands (which i can never seem to spell despite the fact that I visit the surrounding waters once a month during the summer). If I may ask an unrelated question... Rachael, have you ever made tomato sauce in a slow cooker--and if so, is it possible to put too much garlic in it? Camilla's out and I'm trying to surprise her with a rare Kirk-cooked dinner... isn't it impossible to add too much garlic to home made tomato sauce? Tell me it is. Please?

Totally not crock-pot related, but there was a conference on Georgette Heyer (UK romance writer from 1900s - so last century, dahhling!) at Cambridge University earlier in November. http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/news/dp/2009102604

So one day, you could even inspire a conference. :)

sounds fabooooo! what size is your crock pot? i have a 2 quart - and have recently been doing a lot of brussel sprout soupy rifs ( great stalks of srouts at trader joe's).

on another note, the bride on monk from the most recent episode looks like she could be your sister? cousin? amazing!

mmmmmmmm. I love slow cookers and rice cookers.

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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