Slow-Cooker Cookbooks

There's been some discussion of crock-pot recipes in the comments section recently. Here are a few sources of ideas for making maximum use of your slow-cooker.

Saving Dinner (Leanne Ely) This is NOT exclusively a crock-pot cookbook, but it does include a number of such meals. This book has grown on me in the several years I've had it, and I continue to find new inspiration here. I like the healthy recipes and the fact that they are quick but use *real* ingredients and not lots of canned soups, etc. Menus are seasonally arranged, a nice feature.

Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook (Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann)     

This comes from a recommendation from my friend, Heather, and I currently have it checked out from the library. If you think crock-pots can only be used for roasts and stews, this book will convince you otherwise. I'm particularly intrigued by the grains and porridge chapters as years ago we had an out-of-the-world oatmeal concoction at a B & B in Sedona, AZ that I've been trying (unsuccessfully) to recreate since. Filled with both traditional American and ethnic cuisine, this book has tons of interesting looking recipes. I think I'm going to need my own copy of this one.

Make it Fast, Cook it Slow (Stephanie O'Dea)

 This is the other cookbook my bookmobile librarian has recently brought me. Stephanie O'Dea, neither a nutritionist like the author of the first book, or an experienced food writer like the authors of the second, made a New Year's resolution to use her slow cooker every single day for an entire year (2008). Mrs. O'Dea blogged about her family's crock-pot adventures, both the hits and the flops, at A Year of Slow Cooking. With an endearing and entertaining writing style, the site became a huge success and resulted in a book deal for Mrs. O'Dea. Some reviewers think that Mrs. O'Dea is a better writer than cook, so the recipes may be somewhat uneven. I've not made anything from the book, though I have taken some ideas from her blog from time to time.

A special note for Emily B. or anyone else with gluten-intolerant family members:
All the recipes in Make it Fast, Cook it Slow are gluten-free!


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