If you've never tried to make risotto in your slow cooker, it should be the next item on your menu. Making slow cooker risotto is much easier than standing over the stove and fussing with it. Even with all the slow cooking time it doesn't lose any of its characteristic texture or flavor. Plus, you don't even have to use traditional arborio rice to do it. As you can see in the recipe that follows, barley is an ideal stand-in for rice.
Barley has a bit more of a bite to it than arborio rice, giving this risotto even more texture. When you add chickpeas and carrots, the nutritional value goes up even more and it comes together as a whole meal. You can even add other veggies if you'd like. Think peas, bell peppers or even cauliflower. The sky's the limit with this dish.