My husband left some frozen chicken on the counter before he left for work early this morning. I think he was trying to tell me something. If you are like me, you are a vegan (or thinking of becoming a vegan) who lives with meat-eaters. As much as I would like my family to fully adopt a plant-based lifestyle, I can’t make the decision for them.
We’ve actually come a long way. When I first decided to try a plant-based diet I admit I was a little overzealous. I announced my plan and immediately crammed the fridge will all kinds of green things. I recall hearing my teenage son’s friend exclaim, “Dude, you’re so screwed” when he observed my stash. Needless to say my family panicked and tried to hold an impromptu intervention. We made a deal. I would eat what I wanted to eat and they would eat what they wanted to eat.
This is where things got tricky. How could two busy working parents make dinners that would meet everyone’s needs? My growing son had a voracious appetite, my daughter was recently diagnosed with a wheat allergy and I was the only one interested in giving up animal protein. We found the answer (and family harmony) in a slow cooker I received as a wedding gift in the early 90s. The fix-it-in-the-morning and forget about it approach is just what we needed.
How We Use Our Slow Cooker
We not only make delicious plant based recipes in the slow cooker, we also cook meat a few times a week for meat-eating family members to enjoy with otherwise vegan meals:
Plants in the Slow Cooker
- Pasta Sauce
- Spaghetti squash
- Sweet potatoes
Meats in the slow cooker
- Whole chicken & chicken cuts
- Turkey breast
- Pork loin & chops
Again, I’d prefer my loved-ones were not meat-eaters, but I can only lead by example. They have become supportive of my lifestyle because I do not preach or vigorously try to persuade them to make different choices. (I may be guilty of gentle nudging on occasion, but they understand it’s because I love them and they will freely admit to my positive influence.) While my family does eat meat, they eat less meat, very few processed food and more fruits and vegetables compared to the Standard American Diet – and to me that’s a win.
Our original 4 quart Cock Pot (yes, it’s the actual Crock Pot brand – and it’s still going strong after all these years) is perfect of soups and stews, but we found we needed a larger slow cooker for big family meals and certain cuts of meat. We added a Hamilton Beach 7-Quart Slow Cooker to our kitchen appliance arsenal and have been very pleased with its performance. My husband can have his meat and eat it too with minimal effort on my part.
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