My poor husband has to go back into the office tomorrow. He was worried about what he was going to have for lunch, and I decided I was going to roll up my culinary sleeves and give him the meal of a lifetime.
I grew up eating Chicken Cordon Bleu. My mother made it from scratch. She hand breaded, stuffed, and baked the chicken herself. After discovering Instacart last night, I found Quorn, a vegan chicken-style meat substitute, in cutlets. However in what I would find was typical Instacart fashion these days, they substituted it for cubes of Quorn.
Because of new doctor’s orders, I am now a vegetarian, though I prefer to be a vegan. With this new turn of events I turned to my fridge and found my vegan Chao Greek-Vietnamese cheez. Below it was a small box of mushrooms. In the pantry I had a can of cream of asparagus and some veggie broth.
Hmm, I thought. How can I make a man’s meal out of this without wasting my spoons?
In a crock pot, dump the Quorn and place to one side.
Dump the cream of asparagus to one side.
Mix the mushrooms into the cream of asparagus.
Sprinkle the spices over all of the ingredients in the crock pot.
Cover the Quorn with as many Chao slices as you need.
Pour in the veggie broth.
Cook on low for 5 hours.
Please note that this was inspired by my mother’s Chicken Cordon Bleu, and is obviously nowhere near that! As your Quorn cooks, your cheese will melt. The broth is to add flavor and to keep the food from burning.
If you read my Mission page, you’ll find that I want to make hobbies accessible for those with disabilities and chronic illnesses (however you may identify). Before my whopping 6 diagnoses (RA, fibro, lupus, gout, and hypothyroidism) in the past year, I loved to cook and bake. As I became progressively sicker, I found myself ordering more takeout. Then I married, and as newlyweds on a budget, I discovered the magic of crockpots.
Let me tell you, crockpots are magical. I will eventually come up with a list of kitchen hacks I’ve come up with for this blog.
The number one rule of crockpots is thatanything you can make on the oven or stove, you can adapt to a crockpot.
For this recipe, I am especially proud because I came up with a genius hack (that I forgot to take pictures of) that I hope will help you in your cooking endeavors.
I used a vegetable steamer to cook plantains separately inside the slow cooker at the same time as the rest of the recipe.
I am not a meat eater, but let’s say you need to make a dish that isn’t a stew and has something cooked separately, like tofu for my fellow vegans, or chicken for my meat eaters.
Put all of your other ingredients below, place the vegetable steamer in the middle, and put your separate ingredient on the vegetable steamer. Let the slow cooker cook as usual. Et voila!
Vegan Costa Rican Casados
There are two types of Costa Rican food that come to mind for me – Gallo Pinto and Casados. The difference is in Casados, you don’t mix your rice and beans together.
– 1 can of black beans, not drained
– 1 cup brown rice
– 2 cups water
– 1 pack of Goya frozen yellow plantains
– 1 medium avocado
– 2 tsp garlic powder, divided
– 2 tsp paprika, divided
– 2 tsp adobo seasoning, divided
– 2 tsp cilantro, divided
– 1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
– 1/4 tsp salt, divided
1. Pour the black beans into one side of the crock pot. Remember we are trying not to mix our rice and beans!
2. Place vegetable steamer in the middle of the crock pot.
3. Pour the rice into the far other side of the crock pot opposite of the black beans.
3. Slowly pour water on top of rice.
4. Evenly sprinkle seasonings on the rice and beans (so there’s 2 tsp adobo, sprinkle 1 tsp adobo on rice and 1 tsp adobo on beans).
5. Take the frozen plantains out of their packaging. Don’t try to break them apart. Put them in the steamer. It’s okay if they lean to one side.
6. Set the slow cooker to low. Because of the plantains, you don’t want to set to high. Set to low for no more than 5 hours, preferably less.
7. In the end, your plantains will be dark, a dark brown that is almost black, which is not traditionally Costa Rican, but they will taste delicious and not be burned.
8. At the end of your 5 hours, find your avocado. Take the avocado and slice it in the number of how many persons are eating. Each person gets a slice. I made this for my husband and myself, so we each got half an avocado. Traditionally the avocados are cut up into thin long slices, but this is for people who have limitations. If you have wrist problems (like me) try using an avocado slicer or a handy friend or family member. I merely sliced the avocado in half with a plastic chefs knife and scooped the avocado out with a spoon. Do not put the avocado in the slow cooker! Keep fresh by storing it on your cutting board or plate.
9. Grab a plate and oven mitts. Take the vegetable steamer with the plantains out of the slow cooker and dump the plantains on the plate.
10. Scoop some rice, beans, plantains, and avocado on your plate and enjoy!
It’s the final countdown to the wedding, and my pain flare won’t go away. All I’m doing is laying on the couch or hiding under a glacier of ice packs on the bed. Bear is doing everything. Thankfully the semester has been over for graduate school so I don’t have to worry about anything too serious, however, I do have a website I need to attend to for a nonprofit. This is no where near my radar.
I have begun experiencing electric shock throughout my body throughout the day starting last week, beginning in my hand joints. Bear and I tried going out to celebrate my getting published for real by going to a plant nursery, and the electricity jolted me up and down the left side of my body. We turned around and had a day in bed. But before I retreated to my sheets, I threw together this “imagination recipe” that Bear loved.
Imagination recipes are recipes that you dream up on the spot. Bear has told me repeatedly that he thinks it’s super cool I can do that, and I concur. It’s not as cool as getting published, flying an airplane, or being able to use magic, but it does make me feel productive and proud of myself when I can at least throw something in the slow cooker.
Vegetarian Slow Cooker Potato Soup
I did all of this at once, threw it in the crock pot all day, and zapped it with an immersion blender at the end. If you lack less spoons than me I will add in an accommodation.
You may notice that I typically do vegan recipes, and I identify as vegan, however, I could not make my own cream of celery soup so I tried to find the closest thing I could to a vegan cream of vegetable soup on the internet due to my spoon shortage. Don’t @ me. If you’ve got an easy recipe to share lemme know.
9 full size baking potatoes (adaptation – small bag of mini golden potatoes)
1 cup of Gardein grilled “chikin” cutlets (or any other vegan grilled chicken substitute like Quorn, however, do NOT use tofu as it will disintegrate and to prevent it from disintegrating would cost you too many spoons)
2 Tbsp Rosemary
1 Tbsp Garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup vegan cheese (I used Go Veggie)
Decide whether you are using mini potatoes (fits inside the palm of your hand, is circular) or the brown potatoes. If you are using the brown potatoes, chop them vertically into somewhat thin strips but not too thin, about an inch, but do not peel. If you have the mini potatoes, simply rinse and dump the whole bag into the crockpot. The mini potatoes route will save you lots of spoons if you have electric hands.
Add in all ingredients, including the chicken substitute.
Top with vegan cheese.
Set the crock pot on low for 5 hours.
When the crock pot is done, use an immersion blender and cream the mixture inside the crockpot. Leave it a little chunky but still creamy.
Enjoy your crockpots, and may the spoons be with you!