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Many people mistakenly assume that vegetarian and vegan recipes take a ton and time and effort. Just like their meaty counterparts, there are options for lazy vegetarian recipes, when you just don’t feel like spending all your time in the kitchen. Slow cooker and Instant Pot recipes are great solutions when you’re looking for something meatless and delicious, but not overly labor intensive.
Many of these lazy vegetarian meals are healthy too! They use real, healthy ingredients. In the amount of time you could throw a frozen pizza in the oven, you could put together one of these recipes. Plus you’ll have leftovers!
The slow cooker and Instant Pot are both very popular, but they are very different. Do you want to let something cook for hours while you get other stuff done or do you want a meal that’s cooked quickly right before dinner? Either one is awesome for making lazy vegetarian meals. The choice is yours!
Slow Cooker and Instant Pot BASICS
A slow cooker allows you to cook a recipe and walk away while it cooks. You can cook on either high or low, and many slow cooker recipes include a low and a high option (for example, cook on low for 4 hours or high for 8 hours).
An Instant Pot is an electric pressure that cooks items much faster than traditional cooking. For instance, cooking beans can take hours (even longer if you soak overnight), but cooking beans in the Instant Pot only takes around half an hour.
Not necessarily. You can get an Instant Pot that has a slow cooker function. This is the one I use: https://amzn.to/37eI4ZP
It depends on your needs. If you want to start something and be able to walk away or leave the house, a slow cooker is a good option. If you want to speed up cooking time, an Instant Pot is a good option.
A slow cooker has an insert and the outside container, which contains the heating element. You just dump all the ingredients into the insert and set it to high or low. If you want easier cleanup, you can also place a slow cooker liner in the insert before you add the recipe ingredients. Then you set a timer. Some slow cookers have a timer on them, and when the cooking time is over, the slow cooker automatically defaults to the “warm” setting. I love the slow cooker I use with this automatic timer function: http://www.veggieeveryday.com/slowcooker.
You place all the ingredients in the Instant Pot, seal the lid and set the cooking time. When it is done, you may wait for the steam to release (a natural release) or open the valve to release the steam manually. Most recipes will specify which you need to do. Some recipes also include browning ingredients in the Instant Pot before beginning the pressure cooking.