Crock-pots, or slow cookers, as they are also known have always been a ying and yang kind of affair with me. They cook some recipes well, while destroying others. Over the years I’ve learned that other forms of cooking all have their purposes for being. Whether it’s a hot oven, indirect heat or searing flame; each works to best effect and is dependent on the nature of the food you are preparing. Experience counts!
As far as the slow cooker goes, one recipe that does work well is a combo of hamburger, potatoes, carrots, onions and zucchini. The picture above is the end result of just such a meal that was cooked for six hours on high in a crock-pot that is at least as old as I am. What makes this fun, for me, is that very little preparation has to be done. Just peel the carrots and the potato, cut everything else up into chunks and toss in a hamburger patty. Pretty simple actually!
After you get back from work or a day of shopping or whatever, this meal is ready to be served when you are ready to eat. I like that! Another advantage is the amount of power consumed is rather lean also. I hooked up a Kill-A-Watt meter when I made this and it informed me that the pot had used about .41 kWh (kilowatt hours) of electricity to cook everything over 3.5 hours of time. That’s about $.04 in money spent. Not bad. Here are some more figures for a meal that serves two:
As you might have guessed, the more veggies you grow yourself, the cheaper this meal becomes. It also gets cheaper if you make up a larger batch. Since I’m currently on my own, I made up just enough this time for two separate meals. The actual calories, sodium and cholesterol per serving were:
So, for a meal that is modest in size and full of flavor; four hundred calories is not a bad trade. If you can do without the meat altogether (not me) it’s positively nutritious!