In the Grote Tiny House Podcast epidose 13 Natasja and I appealed to our listeners to send in their favorite recipes. We would then turn it into a PDF Tiny House cookbook. Well, that didn’t happen; apparently, there is no need for it. Hahaha! We have received exactly one recipe. ;) But I don’t want to deprive you of my favorite recipe, which is a crockpot dish. And while we’re on the subject of cooking in a Tiny house, I would like to advocate the crockpot. In other words: the slow cooker.
Almost every Tiny House is equipped with solar panels. And what do you have in the summer? That’s right, a surplus of electricity. Unless you can supply back to the grid, your panels are lying aimlessly on your roof in the morning because your batteries are already full. Summer is therefore the perfect season for electric cooking in your Tiny House. This is, of course, possible with an electric hob, but also with a slow cooker. Oh boy, you sure can conjure up ridiculously tasty dishes with it.
A crockpot or slow cooker is an earthenware pot in a metal shell with a heating element that heats the pot to a low temperature. You can simmer dishes in a crockpot all day long, giving all the flavors plenty of time to interact. When you use meat in the dish (organic, of course!) it becomes wonderfully tender, so tender that it practically falls apart. You also need very little meat to get the flavor through the whole dish, and the meat doesn’t have to be the best quality because it will become tender anyway. But you can also cook vegetarian dishes in the crockpot. Because the meal is prepared at a low temperature, more nutrients are preserved than when you cook it at higher temperatures.
Slow cookers come in different sizes. I live alone so have a little one of 3.5 liters, but even so I manage to get large batches out of it. I freeze smaller portions of any dish from the crockpot for when I don’t have the time or inclination to cook. This way I still have a healthy, home-cooked meal on my plate instead of a frozen pizza. Although I do sometimes cave in and throw one of those in the oven too! ;)
My all-time favorite crockpot recipe is a pasta sauce that I found on an American website. It is a ‘stamp of approval’ pasta sauce that is truly to die for. I let it simmer on the lowest setting for about 8 hours and then scoop out 12 to 14 servings and put them in freezer containers. I cook a little pasta with it, grate some Parmesan cheese over it and usually add some fresh basil leaves as well. This sauce is so damn tasty! I never get tired of it. And it is also very easy to make. I prefer to make it with cherry tomatoes from my own garden or greenhouse, which makes it taste even better. But if you buy organic tomatoes in the store, the sauce will also turn out fine.
- 1 kg minced beef or vegetarian mince
- 1 salami sausage, cut into pieces (omit if you are vegetarian or vegan)
- 4 medium onions, chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- Fresh tomatoes or cherry tomatoes cut into pieces, about the amount of 4 cans of peeled tomatoes
- 4 cans tomato puree
- Worcestershire sauce to taste (I don’t use it too sparingly)
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh sage, finely chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Brown the ground beef in a large pan with the garlic and onions until the ground beef is no longer pink.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, stir well and spoon everything into the crockpot.
- Put the lid on and put it on the lowest setting (low) for 8 to 10 hours.
- Remove the bay leaves, add some spaghetti and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
This of course is also a perfect dish for when you have a large dinner party. You can prepare everything in the morning and have nothing to worry about for the rest of the day. Pretty easy right? You can stir now and then, but you really don’t have to. The heat will escape when you lift the lid, so I would keep that to a minimum. Enjoy your meal! And if you still want to share your favorite recipe with me, I’d love to see them in the comments! :)