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I am thinking of getting a slow cooker and a (vegetarian) slow cook book to accompany it. I don't usually do the cooking around here but I'm a SAHM and it seems like something I could handle - *in theory*.

When I read book reviews on Amazon they all seem to have equal pros and cons - some people hate doing any pre-sauteing, or sometimes they hate the recipes.

So for those of you who have tried it, or use it regularly/ (or hate it!) please can you share a) what's your fave slow cooker book and b) what type of slow cooker do you have/would you get if you didn't already have one. c) how often do you make stuff with it.

I guess I am trying to work out if it's worth the time and investment to start from scratch with this and also whether the food that comes out is edible?!

TIA!
 

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I love my slow-cooker and Robin Robertson's "Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker" is awesome! I highly recommend that cookbook.

The one advice about buying slow-cookers I will give is to avoid at all costs the Rival brand, especially the programmable kind. I owned two and both ran so HOT even on low, that they burned all the food. I read somewhere that certain slow-cooker manufacturers were making their cookers run extra hot out of concerns about cooking meat at too low of a temperature to kill food bacteria. Obviously not a concern for vegetarians.

Rival seems to be the most common brand, but I would go out of my way to get a different brand. I own a West Bend that works great. The "Low" setting is actually Low, unlike the Rivals I owned. I only tried the programmable Rivals, so it could be just those. But after going through two, I checked the reviews on Amazon and found many people complaining about the same thing with that brand.
 

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I have the same book as the PP, and I also like it. Pretty much in my slow cooker I do beans or soup. Anything you would make on the stove you can make in a slow cooker, and some things you do in the oven. We like different soups (minestrone, orange, bean, veggie, pea, lentil), and baked beans. I think it's worth it. They aren't expensive investments, and I use mine a couple of times a week. You can also just google recipes.
 

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A third
for the Robin Robertson book. I checked several different slow cooker books out of the library (looked for cookbooks on amazon and then requested them through the library system) and we definitely preferred that one, so I bought it. You might check your library since it's good to see if *you* like recipes before investing in a cookbook. I do find that my slow cooker runs hotter than the ones she used so I need less time than the recipes say (maybe that's because I have a Rival!)

My crockpot is nothing special. It cost $15 on sale, but it gets the job done. I do use it a lot so maybe I will invest in a nicer one eventually that doesn't run as hot-- I haven't had problems with burning, but I do have to shorten the times.

I also do all my beans in the crockpot; I cook a pound at a time (just rinse, add water and salt, cook for several hours, checking till they're done) and then freeze whatever we're not using immediately. I freeze 1.5 cups beans at a time plus cooking liquid to cover-- this substitutes for 1 can in a recipe calling for canned beans.
 

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I have the same cookbook as everyone else mentioned. I like it. There are lots of different stews which are really easy to make. Its also easy to cook dried beans in. I use my crockpot more in the wintertime, just because i don't tend to eat as many warm meals in the summer. I have a 15$ rival i think, bought it at target and have had it for 4 years now, still works great. I think it does cook faster, but that has never been a problem for me.
 

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I have the Robin Robertson book and i use it more for ideas then recipes. it calls for too many special ingredients not available or too expensive for me. Still I like it.

I have tended to do soup, beans and cassarole type dishes, but lately have been using my homemade seitan to do do 'chicken' recipes i find for the slowcooker- did a sweet and curry seitan, bbq seitan, and if i can get the ingredients i want to do a slowcooker jerk seitan.

My slowcooker is from the thrift store, i had to pay an extra 25 cents for a lid. It works great!
 
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