Sweet butternut squash is a perfect vegetable to braise in the slow cooker because it becomes caramelized and tender when cooked low and slow.  The addition of thyme and apple cider gives this squash lots of personality.

½ c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

¼ c. firmly packed light brown sugar

1 c. apple cider

2 tsp. dried thyme

4 c. 1-inch chunks peeled and seed butternut squash

Combine all the ingredients in 5- to 7-qt. Slow cooker.  Cover and cook on high for 3 ½ to 4 hrs., until squash is tender.  Serve squash from cooker set on warm.  Also excellent pureed.  Serves 6-8.  Found in Slow Cooker: The Best Cookbook Ever by Diane Phillips.


Berry Yam Bake

Bake and mash the sweet potatoes (whatever quantity is sufficient for your meal; 1 large sweet potato=1 c. mashed).  Add butter, honey, cinnamon, and salt and pepper, according to your tastes.  Mix in a few Tbsps. Wheat flour to thicken (optional).  Mix in cranberries and oats (as much as you like).  Serve warm.

Taken from Outpost Natural Foods in Milwaukee.


Makes: 4 servings

Time: 40 min.

A substantial dish from Russia, very good  in winter, when canned tomatoes will do just fine.  I like it with cumin seeds, though caraway seeds are a bit more traditional. 

2 Tbsp. butter

1 med. onion, chopped

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

6 c. shredded cabbage (about 1 head)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 c. chopped tomatoes (drained canned are fine)

1 Tbsp. caraway or cumin seeds (optional)

½ c. sour cream

Put the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat.  When it melts, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5 min.  Add the cabbage and raise the heat a bit.  Cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat so the cabbage cooks without browning, until it softens, about 10 min.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add the tomatoes, with the seeds if you’re using them, and cook over lively heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture becomes saucy but thick, 10 to 15 min.  Lower the heat to a minimum, then taste and adjust the seasoning.  Stir in the sour cream and cook for another couple minute, stirring; serve hot.  Taken from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, by Mark Bittman.


Serves 12

Cooker: Large Round

Setting and cook time: HIGH for about 5 hrs; butter, half-and-half, sour cream, salt and pepper added during last 30 min.

– 5 # russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

– Broth to cover potatoes

– ½ c. (1 stick) butter

– 1 c. half-and-half

– ½ c. sour cream (don’t use nonfat)

– Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

– 8 oz. Bacon, cooked until crisp, drained on paper towels, and crumbled

– 6 green onions (white and green parts), sliced, or 3 Tbsp. Minced fresh chives


Put the potatoes in the slow cooker and add broth to cover.  Cover and cook on HIGH until the potatoes are cooked and falling apart, about 5 hrs.  Turn the cooker to LOW, add the butter, half-and-half, and sour cream, and season with plenty of salt and pepper.  Cover and cook until hot, about 20 min.  Place soup in batches and blend, reserving about 1 c. of potato chunks.  After soup is blended, stir in reserved potato chunks, crumbled bacon, and sliced green onions.  Serve immediately, or keep warm on LOW, adding water or milk to thin if necessary.

Taken from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker by Beth Hensperger.

Cheese Ravioli With Kale Pesto and Roasted Carrots

1 pound carrots (about 6), sliced

6 tablespoons olive oil

kosher salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons roasted almonds, plus more, chopped, for serving

1 clove garlic

1/2 small bunch kale, stems discarded and leaves torn (about 31/2 cups)

1 1/2 ounces grated Parmesan (1/3 cup), plus more for serving

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

16 to 18 ounces fresh or frozen cheese ravioli


Heat oven to 450° F. Toss the carrots, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet and roast, tossing once, until tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, pulse the almonds and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the kale, Parmesan, lemon zest, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper; pulse until finely chopped. With the machine running, add the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil. Process until smooth.

Cook the ravioli according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water; drain the ravioli and return them to the pot.

Add the carrots, pesto, and ¼ cup of the reserved cooking water and toss gently to coat (adding more cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce). Serve warm, sprinkled with the chopped almonds and Parmesan.


Recipe from RealSimple.com

Pumpkin Soup in its own Shell

1 five lb. pumpkin (if smaller or larger, adjust the amount of liquid)

1 quart chicken or vegetable stock

1 quart milk or soy milk

½ cup fresh sage leaves (use less if dried)

3 tbsp chopped garlic

2 tsp. sea salt

Pepper to taste

Cut a lid off the top, scoop out the seeds and stringy parts, and rub the inside flesh with salt. Set the pumpkin on a large roasting pan. Roast garlic cloves whole in oven or covered pan on low heat, until soft. Combine with liquid and spices in a large pot, mashing the cloves and heating carefully so as not to burn the milk.

When the pumpkin is ready, fill with the liquid and replace the lid, putting a sheet of foil between the pumpkin and its top so it doesn’t fall in. (If you accidentally destroyed the lid while hollowing the pumpkin, just cover with foil.) Bake the filled pumpkin at 375° for 1-2 hours, depending on the thickness of your pumpkin.

Occasionally open lid and check with a spoon, carefully scraping some inside flesh into the hot liquid. If the pumpkin collapses or if the flesh is stringy, remove liquid and flesh to a blender and puree. With luck, you can serve the soup in the pumpkin tureen.

Recipe from Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Sweet Corn Cake

A Mexican sweet corn cake with a spoon bread consistency.

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup masa harina

1/4 cup water

1 1/2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/3 cup white sugar

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  1. In a medium bowl beat butter until it is creamy. Add the Mexican corn flour and water and beat until well mixed.
  2. Using a food processor, process thawed corn, but leave chunky. Stir into the butter mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix cornmeal, sugar, cream, salt, and baking powder. Add to corn flour mixture and stir to combine. Pour batter into an ungreased 8×8 inch baking pan. Smooth batter and cover with aluminum foil. Place pan into a 9×13 inch baking dish that is filled a third of the way with water.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven F (175 degrees C) oven for 50 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Use an ice cream scoop for easy removal from pan.

Recipe from AllRecipes.com