Kate Williams, RD, LD
Carrie Welt, CCC
Did you know the slow cookers, used in kitchens around the world, hit the marketplace over four decades ago? Originally intended as a simple bean cooker1, it quickly became a kitchen staple in the modern household. Simple preparation results in a family meal that tastes like someone spent the better part of their day in the kitchen which makes the slow cooker a magic hat of sorts.
After a long day at work and school, no one wants to enter the house with bags of greasy takeout food. Instead, allow a few extra minutes in the morning. Choose and combine a few simple ingredients like chicken breast, brown rice, mushrooms, and peppers. Campbell's® Slow Cooker Sauces can be the answer to the flavor conundrum. Now the slow cooker can greet the family with the waft of a perfectly seasoned, nutritious meal. Poof - like that family dinner time has been transformed! It really can be this simple.
Sneak in Factor
Slow cooker recipes are a great way to sneak in nutritious ingredients that are sometimes met with a disapproving eye. Hide veggies, beans, lentils, whole grains and more in your one pot creation. Or let coarsely chopped, colorful veggies take center stage that provides taste, texture and color!
Steaming Hot Pot – Slows the Conversation
As the family sits at the table and wait for their bowl of Slow Cooker Simple Beef Bourguignonne or Slow Cooker Chipotle Chili to cool, let the conversation flow! Discuss hot topics of the day and stay connected with your crew.
Upgrade Your Skills
Would you love to expand your slow cooker section in the recipe box? Here are some questions I posed to Campbell’s Chef Carrie to enhance our slow cooker skills.
1. What are some of your favorite meats to use in the slow cooker?
Chef Carrie suggests “Brisket, chuck and round are desired cuts because they are naturally tougher and become tender from the long cooking progress of a slow cooker”
2. Do you have any fish or shell fish suggestions?
Chef Carrie recommends “If you want to make fish or shell fish in a slow cooker, my recommendation is that you use a very flavorful broth, set the slow cooker on low (approximately 200) and leave the fish in only for a very short period of time, so that you are in fact poaching the fish, not braising it”
3. Some kids SEE the vegetables, they turn away. What about pureeing veggies to sneak in a wider variety into my kids’ diets? Any thought on this?
Chef Carrie notes “I prefer to celebrate vegetables by throwing them into the slow cooker at the end of the cooking process, the last hour or so. But if hide them you must, I would cook them with the meat until completely soft and puree them into the sauce that the meat is served with.”
4. What spices, if any, really shine in slow cooker meals? Dried herbs from your garden maybe?
Seasoning suggestions from Chef Carrie “Hearty herbs, like rosemary, do better. But it really depends what protein you are cooking.”
5. What are your favorite Campbell’s products to use in the slow cooker?
"I love the whole line of Slow Cooker Sauces. I use the Korean BBQ variety on brisket to make bahn mi sandwiches (This version of a Vietnamese-inspired sandwich, includes other ingredients like cilantro, carrots, cucumber, and kimchee) for my sister."
While I haven’t tried many desserts, like cobblers, in my slow cooker, Campbell’s Kitchen® has us covered. I may need to invest in ANOTHER slow cooker, one for dinner, one for dessert! Here are some I have my eye on:
Blueberry Compote with Lemon Dumplings – made with V8 V-Fusion® Pomegranate Blueberry
Brown Sugar Spice Cake – made with Campbell’s® Condensed Tomato Soup
Dust off your slow cooker,
Kate received her bachelor's degree in dietetics from the University of Delaware and completed her dietetic internship at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. She has over ten years of experience in a variety of nutrition-related practice areas including clinical nutrition, weight management counseling, health and wellness and nutrition education. Kate has worked as a nutrition consultant to the Campbell Soup Company since 2005.
Chef Carrie’s Bio
Chef Carrie earned her A.O.S. degree from The Culinary Institute of America and her master of management degree in hospitality from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. Carrie is a Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC) by the American Culinary Federation. Carrie Welt joined Campbell as Senior Chef, managing Campbell’s Culinary and Baking Institute (CCBI) and works with the global network of chefs to build passion for food throughout Campbell Soup Company. Among her responsibilities are culinary education, planning internal and external events, business and innovation support, and building the CCBI global network of chefs.
- http://www.crock-pot.com/about-us/about-us.html. Acessed August 13th, 2015