But. For some dishes the slow moist heat adds a magic all it's own. Lentils, beans, legumes of all kinds are perfect partners.
For this simple soup, based on a recipe I found from The Art of the Slow Cooker by Andrew Schloss, I tossed in 2 cups of red lentils, 1 peeled and chopped butternut squash, olive oil (3 TB), 4 cloves of garlic, 2 large diced onions, 1 large can of tomatoes (our homegrown of course), ground coriander (2 tsp), cumin (1 tsp), turmeric (1 tsp), paprika (1/2 tsp), cinnamon (1/2 tsp), S&P, and 6 cups of chicken broth. The recipe was written to brown the onions first, but I was in a hurry and everything went in together and cooked for 10 hours on low heat. To serve -- on a hearty bed of steamed rice -- I poured on a drizzle of my most pungent olive oil, sprinkled on feta cheese, toasted some baguette croutons with olive oil and za'atar (a Middle Eastern salt and spice mix that is delicious on steamed vegetables, toasted breads, grilled meats -- just about everything) which I liberally dusted over the surface of the soup.
Almost vegetarian -- totally delicious. A crock pot winner.