NEW! Google Custom Search


Cookbook for Slow Cooker

Lee's picture

I need help in another area.  Can any of you recommend a cookbook for simple, crock pot meals?  It's for a widower who is totally (and I mean totally) devoid of kitchen skills, not very interested in learning how to actually cook, and whose poor eating habits since losing his DW are contributing to existing health issues.  I'm afraid if I buy one of the "healthy eating" books available, or one for diabetics, he will dismiss it out of hand, so I thought I'd try and get him started with a regular book and see what he does.  I'm hoping he will be willing to toss some simple ingredients into a crock pot (which I'm also buying for him) and turn it on, at least occasionally.  There are a lot of books out there, and I don't have the time to really do research on them.


Gretchen's picture

(post #46617, reply #1 of 18)

There is a good one in paperback that would be very adequate. I'll look when I'm home.


msm-s's picture

(post #46617, reply #2 of 18)

i can't think of the name, but i recently (this week) browsed an excellent magazine devoted to slow cooking. recipes, guidelines, how-tos and helpful hints. possibly it was simply called "Slow Cooking". that issue alone would get anyone off to a good start. i don't know if it's monthly or a special edition. it was either at davis-kidd or bookstar.
i bought a crockpot last year and found it difficult to find cookbooks on the subject. they are out there, but i just didn't care for many of them.

this is a very thoughful gift; you are dear to do it. good luck finding a good book. maybe if people post some favorite recipes here, you could compile them and give as an extra gift.
My contribution: crockpot breakfast: night before, put 1 part dry oats and 3 parts water into the pot and set on low overnight. (adjust liquid amount depending on how you like your oatmeal, thick or soupy).
optional- add some raisins, apricots or other dried fruit the night before. wake up to a homey smell and a hot healthy breakfast.

Edited 12/4/2006 12:08 pm ET by msm-s

Edited 12/4/2006 12:21 pm ET by msm-s

Iguana's picture

(post #46617, reply #3 of 18)

I agree-- a very thoughtful present. I like Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker by Beth Hensperger or Slow Cooker Ready and Waiting by Rick Rogers. Does he have a slow cooker? I wonder about the activation energy of shopping, getting out the cooker, prepping ingredients, etc. Maybe you could include the prepped ingredients for one of the simpler recipes (split pea soup anyone?) to get him started the first time. Otherwise the book might just sit on the shelf. Sarah Moulton recommends buying chopped ingredients from the salad bar-- you might do this to show how easy it is.

Good luck!

Lee's picture

(post #46617, reply #5 of 18)

That's a great idea, and it will be fun to put some "starters" together.  The books you mention are 2 that I have on my list as good possibilities.  I intend to buy the slow cooker for him.  I'm thinking a 4 qt. would be a good size as he would have leftovers for later in the week, and/or to freeze.  Thanks!

mer's picture

(post #46617, reply #6 of 18)

what a thoughtful and nice friend you are!  I think the idea of a few starter recipes that he has to throw together are great ideas.  Split pea is one of my favorite uses for the crock pot.  DH loves to eat it.  I love it because I have everything ready and waiting in the pantry/freezer from the ham bones in the freezer to the peas and chix broth in the pantry.  Very yummy and easy to do. 

Lee's picture

(post #46617, reply #7 of 18)

LOL -- I'm going to end up buying a couple for myself!

msm-s's picture

(post #46617, reply #9 of 18)

and this thread has reminded me to make that breakfast for myself!

re the stone cut oats- i use rolled oat flakes, and they cook fine this way. the stone cut may require higher temp to come out right. try cooking high for a while then turn it down low befoer you go to bed.
obviously, you can doctor it up even more with butter, spices, etc for an even better smell and taste in the a.m.
i just started a pot of oatmeal and added a bit of brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and a diced granny smith apple (it was getting old; i hate to throw things out. which reminds me of another krockpot klassic: leftoverS stew, LOL)

Edited 12/4/2006 6:58 pm ET by msm-s

Iguana's picture

(post #46617, reply #8 of 18)

I don't know where you are in Chicago, but the A&G supermarket at Belmont and Central has great ham for cooking in the meat section-- it's boneless so he wouldn't have to mess with a yecchy ham bone. If salt/fat are issues, you could just use a small hunk.

Lee's picture

(post #46617, reply #4 of 18)

T&T recipes is a great idea.  I'm beginning to think perhaps I should buy a small pot just for the oatmeal you posted.  DH loves steel cut oatmeal, and this would be an easy way to have it ready for him in the morning.  I'll look for the magazine, too.  Thanks!

jaq's picture

(post #46617, reply #10 of 18)

I like  Fix it and Forget it for Entertaining.  I have Fix it and Forget it, as well as Fix it and Forget it Lgiht, but I think the enertaining one has the best recipes.   Easy, too!

Gretchen's picture

(post #46617, reply #11 of 18)

Lee, maybe you could pull some recipes off of this site (or another) and make him a little sampler cookbook.
Oh, and a shortcut for prepping veggies is 1) frozen ones and 2) the salad bar.

And there is that crockpot liner that we have poo pooed but might be a very good thing for his situation.


Edited 12/5/2006 12:01 pm ET by Gretchen

Lee's picture

(post #46617, reply #12 of 18)

Thank you!  It's very thoughtful of you to find that site.  I had already decided to buy some of the pot liners since I know how much he loathes doing dishes.  I hadn't thought about frozen veggies or the salad bar, but those are great suggestions.   

Gretchen's picture

(post #46617, reply #13 of 18)

You're doing a nice thing, as others have said. With just a little push, he'll do fine, I'll bet.  And a 8 1/2 X 10 piece of paper with a recipe might seem more personal and less daunting than page 22 in a cookbook.


msm-s's picture

(post #46617, reply #14 of 18)

i was thinking the same thing. around 10 recipes and tips compiled by you personally will be plenty to start him off, and will impart a very personal feel that will ease his new sense of being alone.

Heather's picture

(post #46617, reply #15 of 18)

I agree with the idea of the personal recipes. I've looked through several slow-cooker books and usually about 90% of the recipes in each one are unappealing. Lasagna in the crock-pot? Why??? It makes more sense to take a braise recipe that you already know and love and convert it.

Lee's picture

(post #46617, reply #16 of 18)

Thank you all for your suggestions and input.  I ordered one of Beth Hensperger's cookbooks and will look through it when it arrives.  If it doesn't fill the bill, I'll send it back.  Meanwhile I'm compiling a list of recipes that sound good and look easy and will put together a little booklet as well as a few "starter" mixes.  Hopefully, it'll encourage him to at least try! 

mer's picture

(post #46617, reply #17 of 18)

I think that three- four well selected recipes and starter kits would be much easier for a reluctant cook to deal with. 

If he ends up enjoying what he is doing and interested in more recipes, then I would give him the cookbook later.  As much as we all here are cookbook addicts, I doubt that he would find it inspiring- more likely he would find it intimidating.

msm-s's picture

(post #46617, reply #18 of 18)

nice idea to wait and still give a cookbook later if he takes to using the crockpot. but i am so into the psychology of this gift, LOL, that i still feel around 10ish recipes is inspiring whereas 3-4 recipes implies a limited culinary existance with his wife gone. yes, i'm nuts and putting too much energy in this thread :-)
But it remains a wise and sweet idea that i can't leave alone.

to get him started, your customized recipe file could include some easy standards plus a few surprises to get his curiosity up:
- breakfast fruit and oatmeal (having tried it again this week, i'd revise it to 1 part oatmeal to 2 parts water for cooking; in morning milk or water can be added if desired)
- a good chili
- a hearty winter stew / chowder
- a veggie soup
- pot roast
- chicken (rotelle chicken?)
- a hot dip for having guests in (maybe that bizarre thing that everyone else loves at parties with weenies in a sauce made from jelly and mustard or something like that). you know, food to watch sports by.
- a mulled wine / cider / hot beverage
- desert; baked apples, pears in wine, or one of those cakes you can bake in the crockpot? (no, he probably won't jump into making a cake but i'm thinking of the widower realizing he could if he wanted to)-- brown betty or fruit crumble.

others? something mexican or otherwise exotic maybe

in my whole 50 years, i've only made pot roast, vegan chili and the oatmeal in a crockpot.