March 18, 2013

It’s time to show a little love for some wonderful people, a new favorite cookbook, and for a must-have appliance- the slow cooker. All three have been lifesavers this week since I sprained my ankle.

My new Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 6-quart slow cooker.
My new Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 6-quart slow cooker.

Last week, I fell and severely sprained my ankle. While this has totally disrupted my routine and ability to do simple tasks, there are several things for which I am grateful.

  1. My loving husband, who has been so helpful around the house.
  2. My very cool mother-in-law for helping out with the children.
  3. My Facebook bestie, Shannon, for recommending a slow cooker (Crock-Pot) cookbook that has saved my life this past week.
  4. My Crock-Pot for making meal prep and clean up ridiculously simple.

I do a lot of slow cooker meals. They automate my kitchen and free me up for other tasks. No faithful watching the stove, and they reduce the number of pots and pans to clean up. Cooking in a slow cooker is very similar to cooking in a solar oven like the Global Sun Oven which does a fabulous job of cooking with just the sun’s golden rays. So, being accustomed to the cooking times and having tested recipes for slow cooking are important to me.

Global Sun Oven- a great appliance to have that I like to call my "Summertime Crock-Pot".
Global Sun Oven-  I like to call it my “Summertime Crock-Pot”.

The book I’m referring to is The Indian Slow Cooker: 50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes by Anupy Singla. Granted, I bought the book because I adore Indian food. However, it’s been a miracle since I sprained my ankle. What I got from it was easy and quick prep times, something “different” than the same old same old, and spices known to have anti-inflammatory properties, like ginger and turmeric. As long as I leave out the bread, all the actually recipes are gluten-free! Plenty of recipes for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. The book is a total win.

If you like Indian food, and you like convenience, this is a must-have book.
If you like Indian food, and you like convenience, this is a must-have book.

One of the best things I made was not directly from the cookbook, but inspired by the recipes in it. I had some chuck steak that needed to be used. I popped it in the Crock-Pot with the intention of making something Italian-ish. Here is where my need to stay off my feet came in handy. I hadn’t bothered to put a number of my spices away from making a curried lentil dish. Looking at the spices still out on the counter I thought, “Hey, let’s see what happens.”

Slow Cooker Indian-Spiced Steak

Slow Cooker Indian Spiced Steak
Slow Cooker Indian Spiced Steak with Oven-Roasted Potatoes and Carrots



  • 4- six ounce pieces of chuck steak (or equivalent)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1- six ounce can of tomato paste
  • 3 yellow onions, sliced


  • Place steaks in the slow cooker.
  • Sprinkle the steak with the curry, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
  • Add the tomato paste on top of the steaks.
  • Add the sliced onions to the slow cooker.
  • Cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 6, stirring occasionally during cook time.

As the meal cooks, the liquids turn the tomato paste into a lovely, thick sauce. The cinnamon is a delicious surprise if you are only accustomed to tasting cinnamon with sweet dishes. I served this with oven-roasted potatoes and carrots.

As I didn’t want to be on my ankle any longer than absolutely necessary, I used a few shortcuts. I used ginger powder, instead of making a ginger paste from fresh ginger. I used tomato paste, instead of chopping a couple of tomatoes. I sliced the onion instead of dicing it. For the roasted veggies I made to go with it, I used potatoes with very thin skins so I didn’t have to peel them.

Even with the short cuts, it came out great. My five year old son LOVED it! What else about a recipe does a mom need to know? If you try it, please let me know how you like it. I love reading your comments!!!

About the Author Homesteading Mom

Homesteading Mom is run by Cat Ellis, an herbalist, prepper and aspiring homesteader. Cat is the author of two books, Prepper's Natural Medicine and Prepping for a Pandemic. Cat Ellis also blogs at,, and

  • That recipe sounds so good, I'm gonna have to try it; I just got a new crockpot, so perfect timing. Now to see if my library has that cookbook
  • I bookmarked this recipe when I first saw it posted. It just sounded so good. Today turned out to be the perfect day to give it a try. I had several errands to run, so would be out of the house most of the day. The slow cooker is such a great help on a busy day like today. Plus, it's still rather cold here in Boston and has been snowing off and on most of the day. This recipe with its rich spices seemed like it would be the perfect warmer-upper. The prep-time for this recipe is very quick. In no time at all the slow cooker was doing its thing and I was on my way to attend to those errands, knowing I'd only have to roast a few potatoes and carrots when I returned home and dinner would be ready. Returning home, the aroma was incredible. I thought, "Oh, this is going to be good!" I was not disappointed. This really is a super easy and super delicious slow cooker recipe. It is now in my "Favorite Recipes" file. I encourage all you good readers of this blog to give it a try.
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