Why I ate lunch at 10am to save the world

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slow cookerSmall Footprints gave us an intriguing challenge this week for “Change the World Wednesday“.

She asked us to cook with counter-top appliances or eat raw

To explain further:

This week, rather than use your stove/oven to prepare meals, use counter-top appliances (crock-pot, toaster oven, electric skillet, etc.) or eat raw foods. No cheating … we’re not suggesting that you buy prepared foods or head for the nearest restaurant. The challenge is to prepare meals at home using the least amount of energy. Can you do it for one day? How about seven?”

Wow! From a girl who eats jacket potatoes most days (Cooked in the oven) this was quite a challenge.

So I agreed to try it for one day.

However, I learned something that will change my life for ever!

It’s easy for me to eat a raw breakfast –  I have an apple and carrot when I get up. Then throughout the morning, until lunchtime, I sip a smoothie – at the moment mine features avocado, soy milk, alfalfa, cherries, raspberries and blackcurrant – don’t you love all those seasonal fruits!

Lunch is my jacket potato meal so I opted for dusting off an old crockpot to cook diced potatoes, broccoli, carrots and broad beans. I figured I would serve this with some chickpeas or home made humous.

The thing is, I hadn’t bargained on things taking such a short amount of time! I patted myself on the back for being organised and having my veggies prepared by 8:30am. I switched the slow cooker on, assuming the vegetables *might* be ready by lunchtime, but if not, I’d eat them for dinner.

Well, by 9:45am the vegetables were cooked through!

So by 10am I was sitting down to a very early lunch 😀

I have to say, the broccoli was vile and I only ate it because it was good organic food which I could stand to waste. The rest of the veggies were fine.

SO this spurred me on to make soup – my soup of choice is leek, garlic, kale, sprouts, broccoli stalks, potato and perhaps something like lentils if I’m hungry – although on this day I chucked in the remaining chick peas.

Learning from my lunchtime experiment, I checked the soup frequently and it cooked really quickly. I blitzed it up and oh my, my usual deep green soup, was a weird mix of khaki brown – a kind of ‘accident before getting to the toilet brown’. And it smelled almost as bad.

I tasted it and ‘funky’ is the word that comes to mind. By now I was rapidly coming to the conclusion that greens just don’t fare well in a slow cooker; either that or they need different treatment – perhaps adding towards the end of cooking time?

As the eco warrior I am, I gritted my teeth and ate the soup. But it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

soup

I was not about to be detered however and I wondered whether it was possible to cook a jacket potato in a slow cooker. I googled it and found advice ranging from a cooking time of 2 hours to 8 hours!

The following day I wrapped a generous sized potato in foil and switched the slow cooker on for 4 hours. Well this was a HUGE success! The potato was gorgeous, ok so the skin wasn’t crispy but I can live with that. The inside, which is the bit that really matters, right? Well that was delicious and fluffy and every bit as good as oven baked.

So this, my friends, has revolutionised my life! I might not be cooking broccoli or kale in my slow cooker any time soon, but I’m a convert for jacket potatoes. My slow cooker uses just 22 watts of power, so compared to my 2 kWH oven – well, you do the maths – mother nature is singing for me I’m telling ya!

Have you cooked greens successfully in a slow cooker? I’d love to hear your tips for success!

3 Comments

  1. Small Footprints on July 30, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Oh I have to hand it to you, Mrs. Green!! I’m not so sure that I’d continue on after not only one but two less-than-wonderful dishes. I’m so glad that your favorite lunch was doable in the slow cooker. I’ve noticed that if I cook broccoli too long, it takes on an almost bitter flavor … so perhaps that’s why it didn’t work. Here’s an idea … perhaps pour hot water from an electric kettle (which qualifies as a table-top appliance) over broccoli in a bowl, cover it and let sit for 5 minutes … or until it’s cooked to your preference. I like mine just barely cooked (5 minutes) and this method works well for me. Thanks for a wonderful experiment, Mrs. Green!



  2. All Natural Katie on July 31, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I want to try making potatoes in the slow cooker. How easy!



  3. [email protected] eco friendly homemaking on August 6, 2013 at 12:33 am

    I have to admit I might have pitched it. I have a hard time eating something that doesn’t taste good. I admire your effort.



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