Monday, October 28, 2013

What is the Wonderbag? Cooking Slowly and Empowering Women

*Disclaimer - This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and WonderBag, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #Wonderbag

A whole new type of slow cooker was put to the test in my kitchen this past week. My new Wonderbag helped me make a lovely pot of Tuscan Bean Soup without the hassle of cords or electricity.

The holidays mean my oven, burner and counter space is at a premium. There is so much effort that goes into making holiday meals, the daily meals are often a scramble to prepare.  So I was excited to try out the Wonderbag. The whole concept was new to me. I usually use a plug-in slow cooker, and have tried to use more than one but I have blown a fuse on more than one occasion. The idea is food can be brought to a boil and then finish cooking in this insulated bag.

Mine arrived and my kids crowded around to see what the delivery man had brought. My daughter thought it was a pillow. The vibrant red batik fabric and was compressed down for shipping. All I needed to do was fluff it and let it sit to fully expand.

We all sat around and watched it grow and fill out.

The Fall chill has definitely settled in Oregon so I wanted to try out a soup recipe first. I just adore the simplicity of Tuscan Bean Soup.

I assembled my ingredients, sweated down the veggies, rinsed and drained the beans and kale and added it all to my soup pot along with stock and a large sprig of rosemary. Normally I would simmer everything on low for the flavors to meld - it usually takes 30 minutes or so.

But, I was grateful to have this portable slow cooker because the baby was crying, the kids needed my help, and I had to run to the market for a few other things. I normally could not have left the house while my soup finished simmering. Luckily, this insulated bag won't burn the food, it won't burn down the house, and it will continue cooking for up to 12 hours!

Off the stove I just set it inside the Wonderbag and pulled the drawstring closed.

With the Wonderbag came freedom. Freedom to walk away while the meal was still cooking, freedom to take a meal to go, or eat it whenever it was convenient. This product's clever insulation kept my soup hot all day.

I set up a little Fall picnic to enjoy our soup outside. I also have plans to take the Wonderbag on our next ski trip. Usually the ski club members share potluck style meals in the evenings, but since burner space is limited and the facilities are often rustic, it is often hard to get warm food to the table. This would allow me to make my dish earlier in the day and keep it hot and ready for when we all made it back to the cabin.

I also want to take my Wonderbag along with us on family camping trips and even day trips to the coast.

For every Wonderbag purchased in the US, one is donated to a family in need in Africa; Families in developing countries using Wonderbags can save up to 30% of their income they would have spent on fuel for wood cook stoves.

Though I enjoyed the convenience of the Wonderbag, this advancement is not just a convenience to some but a life changing gift. This slow cooker was created to give Women freedom to step away from tending cooking fires, the ability to spend less time gathering firewood and to spend more time with their families and helping themselves.

It can also decrease toxic fumes in the home created by wood burning. These fumes can affect and harm children through respiratory issues and smoke inhalation deaths.

The Wonderbag fits 2-9 quart pots with short handles. You can purchase the Wonderbag exclusively on Amazon.

Now, I want to share the delicious Tuscan Bean Soup I made in my gorgeous red Wonderbag.

Tuscan Bean Soup
You Will Need:
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 oz. bacon, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 cans of cannellini beans
  • 7 c. Knorr Homestyle Stock
  • 1 rosemary branch
  • 1 bunch of kale, ribs taken out and torn small
  • olive oil to drizzle over the top
  • Parmesan for garnish
Melt the butter in a stock pot. Crisp up the chopped bacon and once crispy, add the onion to sweat down. Once translucent, add the carrots. Cook them till crisp tender. Then add in the beans and chicken stock. Bring the soup up to a boil then add in the rosemary and kale. Take off the heat and place into the Wonderbag to finish simmering for at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours.

Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and garnish with fresh grated Parmesan to serve.


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