Plant-Based Crock Pot Week

It’s Back to School month at My Plant-Based Family! This month we are focusing on packing lunch boxes, easy dinner time meals and getting ready for school. Make sure you check out my Back to School Community Board on Pinterest for more ideas.

I’ll be talking about lunch packing throughout the month (I’m also sharing my son’s lunch boxes on Instagram). Today my focus in on easy dinners, specifically Crock Pot dinners! My kindergartener starts baseball this week so it will be great to have an easy dinner planned.

I love my Crock Pot! I wish I had two but I don’t really have room for another one. I love cooking in it though. Many of my recipes are designed specifically for the Crock Pot but that doesn’t stop me from making my normal stove to recipes in it too.

Meal Plan Monday Plant-Based Crock Pot dinners

Plant-Based Crock Pot Dinners

Tomato Soup with a side salad and toast

Easy Crock Pot Broccoli and Rice Casserole, this is my husbands favorite recipe!

Taco Soup with Baked Potatoes

Spaghetti Squash with Marinara and a side salad

Pinto Beans in the Crock Pot to use in Bean Burritos or Bean and Potato Burritos.

These meals assure us a delicious homemade dinner no matter how busy we get. Another way to save time is though batch cooking. I hope you read last weeks Batch Cooking Meal Plan for additional time savers and meal ideas.

Don’t forget to get your $2.00 coupon code for The Plant-Based Diet Starter Guide.

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Secret Ingredient Vegan BBQ Sandwich

Shhh…I have a secret.

Any guesses?

Spaghetti Squash is the secret ingredient in my BBQ Sandwich. I know, you thought I was going to use jack fruit like lots of other bloggers. While I hear it is delicious I’ve never seen it or tried it. I’m all about easy to find, inexpensive ingredients. Of course if I ever see jack fruit in the store I’ll be sure to try it too!

Vegan BBQ Sandwich...You'll never guess the secret ingredient!

We have tried, and I mean really tried to enjoy Spaghetti Squash. I recently took a poll on Facebook to find out how everyone else makes it and it seemed like most people saute theirs butter or oil. While neither of those appeal to me I decided to try a little saute myself, except I’m using Barbecue Sauce.

Vegan BBQ Sandwich...You'll never guess the secret ingredient

Vegan BBQ Sandwich

Ingredients

Do

  1. Prepare Spaghetti Squash as mentioned HERE.
  2. Carefully remove squash from the Crock Pot and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Use a fork to rake out the spaghetti squash and put it in a small skillet.
  4. Pour you favorite barbecue sauce over the squash and mix well.
  5. All the sauce to mix well with the squash then scoop it onto buns.

Serve

These BBQ Sandwiches are perfect for a pot luck. You could even return the BBQ Spaghetti Squash to the Crock Pot for transport and to keep it warm. Serve leftover on top of baked potatoes. We enjoyed these sandwiches with pasta salad. I’ll share that recipe soon!

While Spaghetti Squash will never be our family’s favorite thing to eat this recipe is certainly our favorite way to eat it so far. My 3 year old loved it the most. He finished his in record time.

Do you like Spaghetti Squash? 

If you are taking this to a pot luck I recommend taking Potato Salad! Follow me on Pinterest for more ideas!

Creamy Tomato Soup: Never Eat Condensed Soup Again!

Sometimes I create a recipe that is so good we are completely surprised. I’m a pretty good cook, but I don’t expect to be able to recreate some foods, especially with all of the food sensitivities in our house.

Unlike the big name condensed soups (you know who I’m talking about) that use tomato paste, corn syrup, wheat and plenty of chemicals, this recipe uses only real vegetables. I am in love with this vegan, gluten-free, and sodium-free Creamy Tomato Soup. I have a feeling you will probably love it too.creamy tomato soup It is perfect for spring and summer time when you can get garden fresh tomatoes AND it doesn’t require the use of a stove! I made this with the help of my Crock-Pot and my Blendtec! Easiest. Soup. Ever! If you are not in the mood for a warm soup you can also drink this cold! creamy tomato soup

Creamy Tomato Soup

Vegan and Gluten-Free

Ingredients

  • 9 tomatoes (these were vine ripened tomatoes and between Roma and Beefsteak tomatoes in size)
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 ribs of celery
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 to 2 cups of water

Do

  1. Wash all produce well and remove and discard any leafy ends.
  2. Put all veggies in a Crock-Pot. Veggies can be cut if needed. I cut the celery, carrots and onions so they would fit better but left the tomatoes whole. My Crock-Pot was almost overflowing.
  3. Cook on low all day.
  4. Allow to cool slightly then blend in a Blendtec or high-powered blender. I let mine cool all the way. Don’t burn yourself. 🙂
  5. Add salt if needed.

Serve The soup is perfect as is or with a light dusting of salt. You could eat it with crackers, toast or a grilled Faux Cheesy Snack. I also love it cold! It’s a perfect quick snack that I can drink easily in a cup when I’m on the go and it tastes a lot like V-8.

A few months ago we bought a Blendtec and have been loving it! It has made a lot of new recipes possible like my Green Chili White Bean Dip and my Creamy Italian Salad Dressing. I recently became a Blendtec affiliate! Did you know you can get $100 Off + Free Shipping on Blendtec Factory Recertified Blenders

TIP! I store this soup in a pitcher so I can easily pour it into a bowl or a cup and it takes up less room in the fridge than a bowl.

Do you love Tomato Soup? Next time I’m going to make a spicy version!

This post contains affiliate links.

The Easy Mexican Casserole Just Got Easier

Could it be? You bet! The Easy Mexican Rice & Bean Casserole just got a lot easier!

crockpotmexicancasserole

I assumed the Mexican Rice and Black Bean Casserole would be easy to adapt for the slow cooker and I was right. In fact, it tastes better than the oven and stove top versions. I made it twice last week! [Read more…]

Extended Family July…week 4

Don’t forget to check out my Review and Giveaway for North Coast Organics All Natural Deodorant Death By Lavender! You still have a few days to enter!

July is coming to a close, have you made the most of summer vacation? There is still time. Make plans now to spend some time with your family this weekend, maybe visit a pool or lake. Better yet, host a family BBQ at your house and invite all of your friends; ask each family to bring a different veggie to be grilled.

This week we check in with the Extended Family and found out if they use a grill or slow cooker to beat the heat.

Becky  Jan pic

Becky

Do you cook outside? What are your favorite foods to grill?

We actually do not cook outside. My sister is bringing over her grill for the fourth and I plan to grill some veggie burgers and vegetables. The rest of the family will probably grill hamburgers and hotdogs but we won’t talk about that!

Do you use a slow cooker (Crock-pot) and if so what are your favorite recipes?

I use my crock pot to cook mostly beans, such as black and pinto. Sometimes I will put soup in the crock pot so I can prepare it earlier in the day.
Do you have a favorite No-Cook recipe?
Does rice count?  🙂  Earlier in the week I cooked a big batch of rice in my rice cooker and then into the pot I added diced celery, onion, tomatoes, black beans, leftover garbanzo beans and some frozen corn. I squeezed some lemon juice over it and soy sauce and chilled it. I have been eating it for lunch all week and it is cool and delicious.
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Kerri and Sam
Sam and Kerri
Do you cook outside? What are your favorite foods to grill?

We rarely cook outside.  I am not fond of grilling and frankly, unless it is 9::00 at night it is just too hot.  More than half of the month of June was over 100.  I would rather stay inside.

Do you use a slow cooker (Crock-pot) and if so what are your favorite recipes?

I use my crock pot all the time. I love to make beans in my crock pot.  It takes out the fuss.  I make refried beans from 100 days of real food in my crock pot as well.  Any soup or stew recipe I have I use in the crock pot.  We eat a lot of soups, stews and chili through the fall.  I just got a third crock pot to help out.  I precook beans several days in a row and then freeze them for future use.  It is not unusual to find me cooking two crock pots of beans a day.
My mother in law eats a meat based diet and lives with us.  I find making her meals a breeze if I use the crock pot.  I can put in meat for her and it cooks very tender and then I just have to do a side for her while I make ours.  It really reduces the time consumption of making two meals.

Do you have a favorite No-Cook recipe?

My current favorite no cook recipe is a cucumber and chickpea salad.  It has very few ingredients but it really is tasty and everyone but the fussiest young one ate it.
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Have you tried my Lemony Quinoa Salad yet? It is a perfect dish for a hot day! What are your favorite foods to eat in the summer?

 

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