By Barb Freda
EARLY SLOW;COOKER recipes seemed
heavy on the cream of mushroom soup—add
some cubes of beef, a can of soup, turn it on.
Slow cookers have come a long way, partly
because some creative food people have taken
them more seriously and have added a fresh,
modern touch to these old standbys.
The result: healthy and flavorful meals,
easily prepared and offering a lot of additional benefits.
Time saving. Slow cookers remain
the ultimate hassle-free dinner maker: Home
cooks can get
a meal into a
out the door
and come home
hours later to a
Fresh ideas for today’s slow cookers Slow down
The Costco Connection
Costco sells slow cookers in the warehouses
and online at Costco.com. Along with food
for your recipes, you'll also ;nd slow-cooker
cookbooks at Costco, including Crock-Pot:
The Original Slow Cooker Recipe Collection.
Healthier meals. In just about all the
current recipes making the rounds, the amount
of fat used to prepare these meals has been
drastically reduced, so you’re eating better with
these recipes, especially if you’re cooking
entirely from scratch.
Easy cleanup. Slow cookers have started
coming with inserts—cooking crocks you can
pull right out of the cooker and take to the table
as the serving dish. These inserts are easy to
A touch of class. If you have remodeled your kitchen, you can find a slow cooker
in modern styles, including stainless steel, so
it won’t look out of place on your countertop.
Savings. Why buy prepared anything
anymore? Even cooking dried beans, one of
the ultimate economies and a great addition to
healthy meals, is simple in a slow cooker.
Try a few slow-cooker recipes for yourself. They’re perfect during this time of year as
the weather cools, plus they fill up the house
with delicious scents. C
The following recipes are from Crock-Pot: The Original
Slow Cooker Recipe Collection.
Charlotte, North Carolina–based Costco member Barb Freda (
as a professional chef before deciding to write
about food. She spends her spare time suffering
for her craft: eating, drinking and traveling.
French Lentil Rice Soup
6 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely diced
3 tablespoons uncooked white rice
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence or dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white or black pepper
¼ cup heavy cream or sour cream, divided (optional)
¼ cup chopped parsley, divided (optional)
46 ;e Costco Connection OCTOBER 2010
Stir together broth, lentils, carrots, onion, celery, rice, garlic, herbes de Provence, salt and
pepper in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on
low for 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.
Remove 1½ cups soup and purée in a food
processor or blender until almost smooth.*
Stir puréed soup back into the slow cooker.
Divide soup evenly among 4 serving bowls,
garnishing each with 1 tablespoon cream and
1 tablespoon chopped parsley, if desired.
PUBLICATIONS INTERNATIONAL, LTD.
Makes 4 servings.
*Note: Use caution when processing hot liquids in a
blender. Vent the blender lid and cover with a clean
kitchen towel as directed by manufacturer.
PUBLICATIONS INTERNATIONAL, LTD.
1½ cups steel-cut or old-fashioned oats
3 cups water
2 cups peeled and chopped apples
¼ cup sliced almonds
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine oats, water, apples, almonds and
cinnamon in a slow cooker. Cover and cook
on low for 8 hours. Makes 6 servings.