12 oz ripe plum tomatoes, sliced crosswise ¼ inch thick
6-oz eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
4 oz mushrooms, quartered
1 cup chopped yellow onion
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
12 pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1/8 tsp sea salt, or to taste
4 oz whole-grain penne pasta
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Mist a 6-qt slow cooker with cooking spray. Add tomatoes, eggplant, bell pepper, mushrooms, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and pepper flakes. Stir gently, cover and cook until onion softens, 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
Turn off slow cooker; stir in olives, basil, rosemary and salt. Let sit, covered, for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Divide pasta among plates and top with tomato-eggplant mixture, dividing evenly. Sprinkle feta over top.
Serving Size: 1 cup tomato-eggplant mixture and 1/2 cup pasta
Sweet bell peppers are tasty little vessels for this Southwest-style stuffing, chock- full of fiber-rich corn, black beans and cilantro. Plus, there’s no need to parboil the peppers to give them tenderness, since they’ll be slowly simmered all day in a smoky tomato sauce.
Tip: If you want to add a little variety, try serving half the recipe on eggplant rounds and the other half on Portobello mushroom caps. They both take the same amount of cooking time and offer a toothsome, meaty texture.
You might not think that you can make pasta in your slow cooker, but this scrumptious, Mediterranean-inspired rotini will prove otherwise. Shrimp adds lean protein while roasted peppers and olives add some extra zing.
Cooking times can be vary quite a bit depending on your crockpot, so give yourself some extra time, if possible. For a side or snack, you can easily prepare the slow-cooked chickpeas separately (through Step 2) and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, enjoying them alongside other entrées throughout the week.