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Since it's officially fall, we decided now would be a great time to give you the skinny on some delicious slow cooker dishes from one of our favorite celebrity chefs! I don't know about you lovelies, but I always want to bring out my slow cooker when the weather starts to cool down.

And if you haven't taken yours out yet, you're going to want to after seeing the fall perfect slow cooker recipes that Giada de Laurentiis was kind enough to share with us! One of them is meatless, which is perfect timing since it's Vegetarian Awareness Month. Get ready to add a new dish to your Meatless Monday dinners!


photo credit: Giada: A Digital Weekly

Slow Cooker Lentil, Kale and Mushroom Soup
By Giada De Laurentiis / serves 6

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium leek, cleaned and finely chopped
1 small celery root, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
1 15-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked through for debris
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
5 large kale leaves, chopped
1 5-6 quart slow cooker

Place the oil, carrots, celery, leek, celery root, cumin, turmeric, coriander, salt, cinnamon
and pepper in a slow cooker and toss to coat. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes, lentils and vegetable broth and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours until the lentils are tender. Stir in the chopped kale and allow to wilt for 5 minutes in the warm soup before serving.

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photo credit: Giada: A Digital Weekly

Slow Cooker Black Bean and Pork Stew
By Giada De Laurentiis / serves 6

4 ounces pancetta, diced
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 pork or chicken andouille sausage links, chopped
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup cooked white rice (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Place the pancetta in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, and cook about 4 minutes until it begins to brown. Add the onions and garlic and cook for another minute until the onion begins to soften. Transfer the pancetta mixture to the slow cooker. Sprinkle the pork with the salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Cook the pork 1 to 2 minutes per side until the cubes are golden brown all over then transfer the pork to the slow cooker. Add the sausage, black beans and chicken broth, stirring to combine. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or low for 8 hours until the pork and beans are tender. Gently break up the pork pieces with a wooden spoon or shred with 2 forks. Serve alone or over rice, garnished with queso, tomato and cilantro.


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