Therapeutic & A New Recipe

Posted: March 7, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Remember me telling you that today was going to be a rough one for me? Not having enough sleep coupled with a mildly sick potty training child and a fussy growth spurt? Well, it all worked out!

I didn’t go to the gym in the morning because I don’t like to push my kid’s possible illness onto others. I also don’t like getting pulled out of my workout…and I just knew that would happen if I tried to use the child care this morning. So, I waited to see how I would feel later in the day. Chomping at the bit would pretty accurately describe my desire to get to the gym. I needed that spin class. Workouts are genuinely my therapy.

After the 5:30 spin class I came home to dinner all ready to go. The crock pot saved my evening from turning into one huge rush fest! Earlier in the day I chopped all the veggies and prepped the crock pot to have dinner ready to go tonight. Surprisingly, chopping the veggies felt very therapeutic as well. And I had lots to chop for this easy, veggie-filled meal. What was on the menu? I’m glad you asked because you will want to make this recipe.

Slow Cooker 5 Layer Vegetable, Pesto, & White Bean Strata
(adapted from The Vegetarian Slow Cooker cookbook)

strata 10 


strata 1

  • 2 cans Great Northern or other white beans
  • 1 cup Vegetable Broth
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Pesto
  • 2-3 golden potatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 large zucchini or 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 large slicing tomato

Slice the potatoes, onion, zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes into thin, round slices. Keep each vegetable separate and set aside.

strata 2

In a food processor or blender, add beans, vegetable broth, and pesto. Pulse to blend until smooth, creamy consistency. You may have to halve the beans, broth, and pesto and make two batches because it makes a lot.

strata 3

In a slow cooker, layer one layer of vegetable, followed by some of the bean spread, and repeat until all vegetables layered. I did the following: potatoes, beans, onions, beans, eggplant, beans, zucchini, beans, tomato. Top with the remaining bean spread.

strata 5 strata 6 strata 7 strata 8

Cook on low 6-8 hours. Serve hot. 

strata 11

I wasn’t sure how this recipe would work out. Would it all turn to one pile of nasty mush or keep the layers and taste as flavorful as it sounded. Well, kind of a mix of the two. It didn’t really stay layered and created more of a hearty stew, but it tasted really good! And filled me right up. Yet another great recipe to add to the arsenal.Enjoy!

Question of the Evening – Chopping veggies - Love or hate?

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57 Comments to “Therapeutic & A New Recipe”
  1. I am TERRIBLE at chopping tomatoes. I just don’t understand how people do it without the tomato falling apart! haha

    Running is my therapy. It’s my time to be at peace with nature and my thoughts. And ballin playlist of the day, ha!

    have a peaceful night 🙂

    • Tina says:

      I use a serated knife. The only thing that works for me! It cannot have a smooth edge to slice nicely.

  2. I like chopping some veggies — but not tomatoes since they always gush all over the place. My knife skills are basically non existant!

  3. I LOVE chopping vegetables, but I bet you knew that about me already!

  4. Lauren says:

    Glad you made it to spin. Working out is therapy, especially running fast or spinning – it just works all my tension out.

  5. Michelle says:

    Glad you made it to spin!

    I actually love chopping veggies. It’s oddly comforting 🙂

    Dinner looks interesting – I definitely wouldn’t have paired the ingredients together, but definitely would try it out!

  6. Dorry says:

    I like chopping with the right cutting board and knife – miserable to make do with a crappy knife. Onions and tomatoes are not my favorite, but zucchini, squash, bell peppers, etc – bring it on. 🙂

  7. Kristina says:

    Woah-I just bookmarked this! I’m making this asap! I don’t mind chopping but I hate cleaning up afterwards:)

  8. LauraJayne says:

    I’ve been trying to decide if I want to buy that cookbook for a while, and you just sold me on it! Glad your day went better than you’d planned!

  9. I hate chopping veggies which is kind of funny since I do it at least once a day. This recipe looks fantastic! I love slow cooker meals. I’m putting this one in the line up for next week. Thanks!

  10. Loved chopped veggies and I really would like an invitation to dinner to try that strata!

  11. Sarah says:

    I like chopping veggies if I don’t need to rush- it’s really therapeutic for me.

  12. I love chopping veggies. My dad actually always comes and watches me because he says he needs to “learn how to do it like me”. It makes me laugh. I’m so glad your day worked out – and I have to try that recipe! It looks good!

  13. Meg says:

    Yes! Chopping veggies is therapeutic! Especially with the great knives I bought for my husband (but use them more myself).

  14. yum this looks amazing! I need to get a crock pot so dinner is just ready and waiting!

  15. Kristen says:

    Seriously, every recipe you put on here, I want to EAT! Will have to add this one soon…

  16. That looks delicious! I’d have some bread with it for dipping though 🙂

  17. Amy Lauren says:

    I’m very horrible at chopping vegetables. I hope to make this though- I’m a vegetarian but it looks like something my hubby would eat as well (he likes meat but he also really likes vegetables). Definitely printing this off to try…

  18. Jolene says:

    YUM! I must try this recipe!! Looks so good! I don’t mind chopping…but it will never look perfect. I chop to get ‘er done, not for pretty – LOL. I joke that I am a utility chopper 😉

  19. That slow cooker recipe looks fantastic! I can’t wait to try it.

    I agree, chopping veggies can be therapeutic so long as I have time to be leisurely in the kitchen. If it’s a weeknight, I just chop, chop, chop so I can get it done and get dinner on the table.

  20. Cara says:

    I’m glad your day turned out better than expected!
    That dinner looks delicious! And I don’t mind chopping veggies, I also find it somewhat therapeutic!

  21. Michelle says:

    When I have time, I actually like chopping veggies… I find it cathartic. But when I’m in a rush, I can’t stand it!

  22. LOVE chopping veggies! i agree – it’s totally therapeutic!

  23. I really like chopping veggies! Unless, of course, I’m running around trying to prepare them before work or at the last minute.

  24. Emily says:

    Looks really good and I loooove chopping veggies, it’s so therapeutic for me 🙂

  25. Hmm, that looks pretty tasty. Lots of veggies snuck in there, too! Sometimes it’s easier to get them down that way.

  26. Melie says:

    I hate chopping vegetables, though this might have more to do with my lack of a proper knife than with the actual act of chopping…

  27. Samantha says:

    This looks great! I absolutley LOVE crockpot meals–it is such a time/lifesaver!

  28. delish! The pesto in it sounds so good!

  29. Groff's Girl says:

    I enjoy being in the kitchen making my goodies (when I don’t have kids screaming for my attention or trying to climb up my leg). I love to bake and I like making things that really requires my concentration!! That recipe is looking very yummy! I really need to whip out the crock pot, because it would make my life a lot easier! Even when I am tired and not wanting to exercise, I remember how great I feel afterwards and that is enough to get my going! As for tonight, I have the Shred followed by a 4:30am 3mi run tomorrow morning!

  30. I’m not a terribly huge fan of chopping veggies, but it can definitely be good to take aggression out at times! 😉

  31. allison says:

    I love crockpots and this recipe sounds great! i never thought of layering stuff in there before, normally i just make veggie soup or stew.

    I am definitely not a night workout person but sometimes thats just what happens:/ And from a former gym childcare worker, thanks for keeping your kid home! I wouldnt even let kids into the childcare room if they had a sniffly nose or a cough and i would have so many parents try to argue with me.

    • Tina says:

      I hate when parents bring sick kids too. I always prefer to play it safe. I’m waiting for my workout today too so they can stay home another day. Its just slight sniffles and a very occasional cough but if I dont have to bring M why would I?

  32. Wow good for you for making it to the PM spin class!! I know it’s SO hard for me to make it to spin at night when my energy is there in the morning 🙂
    Dinner looks fantastic!

    • Tina says:

      I had pent up energy after being stuck in the house all day. The only way it was easy to get out. LOL

  33. I love anything with pesto–yum!!

  34. I LOVE chopping veggies! Having a sharp knife makes it even more fun when I can just slice right through everything without having to press the knife into the cutting board with every stroke.

  35. Nicole, RD says:

    That sounds wonderful! I love chopping veggies! And if I’m not in the model…mandoline to the rescue!!!!!! 🙂

    • Tina says:

      When slicing the potatoes I thought “a mandolin would be nice right now” LOL. Then I got into a slicing groove and it wasnt so bad.

  36. Kacy says:

    I don’t mind chopping veggies if I have ample time for clean-up. Lately I’ve been sticking to the bare minimum in the kitchen and I miss chopping and cooking real meals.

  37. I LOVE my crock pot!

    Admire you for not exposing everyone else to sickness, wish more people would do that!

  38. The recipe looks delicious! I hate chopping vegetables but love it when it’s over!

  39. This is my kind of meal! I wouldn’t even care if it all mushed together. 🙂

  40. This looks SO good Tina! I need more slow cooker recipes and this looks great. I wouldn’t mind the stew like texture but, do you think if I cooked it on low for 4-5 hours it would hold together better and be cooked all the way?

    I really don’t mind chopping vegetables. I guess it depends if I’m cooking many different things then, that would be my least favorite thing to do!

    • Tina says:

      It may work that way. I even cooked mine more the full 8 hours so doing it the 6 may have worked better anyways. Worth a try!

  41. Emily says:

    hate chopping veggies in my own kitchen. love the duty when I’m cooking with a bunch of others.

  42. Stacy says:

    Mmm that looks so good. And just the other day I was pondering whether or not I should buy a crock pot. I might have to after seeing that recipe! Oh and I like chopping veggies, it’s soothing for some reason.

  43. Jan says:

    This looks AMAZING! My husband hates beans, but if they’re pureed and mixed in with other things, he might not even know that they’re there. SCORE! Thanks!

    • Tina says:

      My husband isn’t the biggest bean fan either and he liked the dish. I’m always hiding beans in things. Hehhe.

  44. Kristi says:

    I love chopping veggies. 🙂

  45. I hate chopping veggies. There has been numerous times when I wished I had a sous chef to do all the dirty work for me.

  46. Tina this look fabulous! I love my slow cooker and anything that generally doesn’t require me to run to the store for ingredients! Thanks 🙂

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