In August, I flew across the country to “The Other Portland” to attend the International Food Bloggers Conference, which I wrote about in this post. One of the highlights of the conference was a demonstration of the not-yet-released Ninja 3-in-1 Slow Cooker.
I’ve never been a huge fan of slow cookers, but this demonstration had me rethinking my position. In addition to the standard abilities, the Ninja has a cooktop option that allows you to sear meats, as well as steam infused roasting and baking options.
Much to the delight of the IFBC attendees, each of us was sent our very own Ninja to try at home. Because I’m a novice slow cooker user, I wanted to start with a very basic slow cooker recipe and work my way up to more complicated and adventurous meals.
In anticipation of an onslaught of friends last weekend, each with specific food demands and restrictions, I thought a hearty vegetarian chili would satisfy everyone – vegans, vegetarians, and those with food allergies (no dairy or peanut products involved). A slow cooker chili to test drive my Ninja would be just the ticket.
To make the evening more fun, I added a chili bar to the table and had bowls of fixings available to tart up the basic meal. The choices included chopped avocado, chorizo for the meat lovers, grated Cabot Light Jalapeno Cheddar, Cabot Low Fat Plain Greek Style Yogurt in place of sour cream for lower fat and more protein, cumin-scented roasted root vegetables and a big bowl of tortilla chips.
The meal was served with a Vegan Caesar Salad, the dressing recipe is a bonus on this post!