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Kidneys in the Kitchen: Slow Cooking

Updated: May 11, 2022

Happy New Year! In this episode of Kidneys in the Kitchen, Megan Gutierrez, RD joins Foundation Dietitian Dr. Melissa Prest to make oatmeal and a vegetarian stew in a slow cooker.

There are so many benefits to using a slow cooker including:

  • Ease of Use - one pot meal to fix and forget and cost effective

  • Tenderizes less expensive cuts of meat

  • Does not heat up the kitchen in the summer

  • Fewer dishes to clean

A slow cooker is a great kitchen appliance for patients who have all-day doctor appointments or spend time in dialysis. You can easily put together a great one-pot meal with minimal preparation and have a warm dinner waiting when you get home. Some people may not want to leave on a slow cooker when they are not at home and that’s okay! You can cook at alternative times like when you’re sleeping.

There are many different sizes of slow cookers available. Small slow cookers are good for dips/sauces, 3.5-4 quart size are good for 4 or less people, 5-7 quart size are good for 5 or more or leftovers. You may need to adjust recipes to fit the size slow cooker you have. Remember to not fill the slow cooker more than ¾ full and leave the lid on to ensure proper cooking.

Watch this month’s episode above to learn more!

Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal

Servings: 4

Nutrition: 420 calories, 2g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 280mg potassium, 370mg sodium, 36g carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 8g protein, 180mg phosphorus


1 cup steel cut oats (do not substitute quick cooking, instant, or rolled oats)

2 cups vanilla almond milk, unsweetened

2 cups water

8 oz (1 cup) applesauce, unsweetened

½ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon


Combine oats, almond milk, water, applesauce, salt, and cinnamon in 4-6 quart slow cooker. Cover with lid and cook on low for 7-8 hours or overnight.

Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months. To reheat, top desired amount with a few tablespoons of water or milk, then warm in microwave or small saucepan until hot. If the oatmeal is frozen, let thaw overnight in the refrigerator first.

Adapted from Bobs Red Mill

Curry Chickpea Stew

Servings: 8

Nutrition: 122 calories, 4.8g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 1.0mg cholesterol, 464mg potassium, 278mg sodium, 14g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 5g protein, 100mg phosphorus


1 cup(s) Chickpea, dried

2 tbsp vegetable oil 1 medium (2-1/2" dia) onion, raw 8 garlic cloves, diced 2 tbsp Curry Powder

2 TBSP water

2 tbsp Tomato Paste, canned, with salt added 6 cups Low sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth

1 cup chopped Carrots, raw 1 cup chopped Celery, raw

2 cup(s) Zucchini, green skin, raw 2 cup chopped (1/2" pieces) Cauliflower, raw 1 cup Peas, green, raw 1/4 cup Coriander (cilantro) leaves, raw Directions:

1. Rinse and soak chickpeas for about 8 hours. When ready for use, drain water.

2. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the onion, garlic, curry powder, and cook until the onion is softened and lightly browned, 10-15 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and water, scraping up any browned bits.

3. Transfer to the slow cooker insert (6-quarts) and stir in the broth, carrots, celery, and chickpeas until evenly combined. Cover and cook on low until the chickpeas are tender, 10-12 hours. (Alternatively, cover and cook on high for 6-8 hours).

4. Puree 2 cups of the stew in a blender until smooth, then stir back into the slow cooker insert. Stir in the cauliflower, zucchini and peas. Turn the slow cooker to high, cover, and cook until the cauliflower and zucchini are tender and heated through, about 15 minutes.

5. Stir in the cilantro, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve. May be served on its own or over rice or couscous.

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

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