Slow Cooker Sunday: Mushroom Spinach Tortellini

This is one of my favorite type of slow cooker recipes… set it and forget it. I actually made it overnight and then woke up in the morning and finished it. Granted, the one downfall of making something in a slow cooker overnight is that you are awoken by the smell of something delicious cooking. The downfall isn’t the deliciousness, but, the interrupted sleep of course. Especially on the weekend when you are trying to get the few extra minutes you can’t afford to get during the week because of work, school, life, etc.

To start, cook mushrooms and onions in a greased slow cooker insert (I sprayed mine with cooking spray) along with butter, vegetable broth and spices for about 7 to 8 hours, until the veggies are tender. Next, stir in refrigerated tortellini and cubed cream cheese and cook, covered, for an additional 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Stir in the spinach and let it stand (covered) for an additional 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes, stir in parmesan cheese and fresh parsley and enjoy!

If you plan on reheating this, add some vegetable broth to it prior to doing so. Doing so will give you a creamier sauce. The first time I heated it up I didn’t and while it was delicious, it didn’t have the same creaminess it did when it was done cooking initially. So, the second time I added a little broth and that did the trick.

Slow Cooker Mushroom-Spinach Tortellini

Ingredients:

8 oz. Mushrooms (I used baby bella)

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 1/2  teaspoons salt

3/4 teaspoons onion powder

3/4 teaspoons garlic powder

3/4 teaspoons dried parsley

1/4 teaspoon black powder

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 cups vegetable broth

20 oz. package refrigerated tortellini (I used Buitoni three-cheese)

8 oz. package cream cheese cubed, at room temperature

6 oz. bag of baby spinach

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

 

*Original recipe called for 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of Garlic & Herb Seasoning (Mrs. Dash)

 

Directions:

Spray the insert of a slow cooker with cooking spray. Add the mushrooms, onion, spices, butter and vegetable broth. Give everything a good stir and cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the tortellini and cream cheese and continue to cook on low, covered, for an additional 30 minutes. Stirring once halfway through.

Stir in the spinach and let stand for an additional 5 minutes, covered. Sprinkle with the cheese and parsley then serve.

Recipe slightly modified from Tiny Kitchen Capers

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Cauliflower has become the rage in recent years. People have been using it to make pizza crust, rice, and it’s a great substitute for pasta, especially in Mac and Cheese. Hence the recipe I am sharing with you today.

I’ll go out on a limb and say that I actually enjoyed this Cauliflower Mac and Cheese more so than the traditional Mac and Cheese I normally make. Using cauliflower as opposed to pasta makes the dish a lot lighter and the cheese sauce was much lighter as well since the base is heavy cream and cream cheese as opposed to milk and flour.

I began by cutting a large head of cauliflower into small florets. I then boiled them in salted boiling water for 5 minutes until the cauliflower was crisp tender. You don’t want to boil them too long as you don’t want your Mac and Cheese to become mushy. After draining the cauliflower I patted it dry with a few paper towels and then transferred it to a greased 8 x 8 baking dish. You could use frozen cauliflower and steam it in your microwave oven. Once again, don’t overcook it.

Next, I made the cheese sauce. In a small saucepan I simmered heavy cream and then added in cream cheese and mustard, whisking it until it was smooth. I then stirred in cup of cheddar cheese, salt, pepper and garlic powder until the cheese melted. Not a fan of cheddar, try mozzarella, Monterey jack cheese for a little kick, or a combination of your favorite cheeses. I then poured the cheese sauce over the cauliflower, stirred it together and then topped it with more shredded cheddar cheese. I baked it in a preheated 375 oven for about 15 minutes and it was ready to enjoy.

This recipe would also be delicious with broccoli!

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets

1 cup heavy cream

2 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Kosher salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter an 8 x 8 baking dish with butter, or spray with cooking spray.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and season with salt.

Cook the cauliflower in the boiling water until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and then pat dry between paper towels. Transfer the cauliflower to the prepared baking dish.

In a small saucepan bring the heavy cream to a simmer and then whisk in the cream cheese and mustard until smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, salt, pepper and garlic powder and continue whisking until the cheese melts. Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower and stir to combine.

Bake in the preheated oven until browned and bubbly, about 15 minutes.

Recipe from Food Network

Slow Cooker Sunday: Vegetarian Chili

For today’s Slow Cooker Sunday dish I bring you one that is great for all you vegetarians who like a little kick to your dishes and also for you meat lovers who want the heartiness of your typical beef chili but want to take a break from the meat… A Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili that has butternut squash, beans and corn as its main ingredients.

To begin I diced a red bell pepper and yellow onion. I opted to go the easy route and bought the butternut squash already chopped. You really don’t want your butternut squash to be chopped too small as it will break apart while in the slow cooker.

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Next, I added the diced vegetables along with kidney beans, vegetable broth, corn, fire roasted diced tomatoes, garlic and the following spices; cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. I also added in two minced chipotle peppers in adobo. If you want to turn down the heat on this dish you can omit the chipotle peppers.

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I set my slow cooker to low for 8 hours. Truthfully this chili was probably done closer to 7 hours, but, I didn’t mind the texture of the veggies due to the extra cooking time.

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Can I just say I love butternut squash and how sweet it gets once cooked. In this dish the sweetness was a perfect balance to the heat!

 

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

Ingredients:

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 red pepper, diced

14 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes

14 oz. kidney beans, drain and rinsed

4 cups (2 lbs.) butternut squash, peel and diced

2 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth

1 cup corn, fresh or frozen

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 chipotle pepper in adobo, minced (remove the seeds to lower the heat)

2 tablespoons cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon oregano

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a 5 -to- 6 quart slow cooker and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Recipe from The Lemon Bowl