Delicious Meatless Dishes the Entire Family Will Love
A Crock-Pot is a must-have when it comes to cutting down on mealtime stress. Although it's great for slow-cooking meat-based meals, it also works well for vegan dishes. These four vegan recipes are bound to have the entire family begging for seconds.
1. Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Macaroni
If you've ever wondered about how to make a tasty vegan version of macaroni and cheese, you've come to the right place. This version's cheese-like sauce gets its color from butternut squash. Place butternut squash cubes, tomatoes, water, garlic and herbs in the Crock-Pot in the morning, and let the mixture cook all day. Afterward, blend the ingredients, and return them to the slow cooker along with nondairy milk, nutritional yeast and uncooked macaroni. Once the noodles cook, your kids' new favorite vegan dish is ready.
2) Crock-Pot Vegan Tacos
Transform taco night into a make-ahead Crock-Pot meal and you'll save tons of time. Whip up a batch of vegan tacos by adding chopped sweet potatoes, cooked black beans and canned spicy tomatoes to a Crock-Pot, along with garlic, taco-seasoning spices and a little lime juice. Cook your tasty taco dish on low all day, and then mash up some of the beans to thicken the mixture. Add lettuce, fresh tomato slices and even vegan cheese to your favorite tortillas or taco shells along with your black-bean taco filling. Super-size the recipe to make enough for seconds--or even another night's taco salad.
3) Crock-Pot Spaghetti Squash Thai Noodle Bowl
The aptly named spaghetti squash is the perfect healthy substitute for spaghetti noodles, and it's also great for Thai dishes. Take the wait and headache out of cooking spaghetti squash by piercing it and popping it into the Crock-Pot along with some water. Cook it on low for 7 or 8 hours; discard the water, and then slice the squash. Use a fork to tear the squash innards into "noodles," and top it with steamed or raw broccoli florets, a spicy peanut sauce and a sesame-seed garnish.
4) Vegan Jambalaya
Fans of spicy foods will love this vegan slow-cooker version of jambalaya. Get the Crock-Pot party started by adding vegetable broth, hot sauce, olive oil, peppers, onions and assorted spices to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 or 5 hours. Then turn it up to high, and add rice. After 90 minutes or whenever the rice is soft, add diced vegan sausage and canned red beans. Once the latest additions are warm, your jambalaya is ready to devour.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.