Sundays in our house you can guarantee the slow cooker is on. Working six days a week means there isn’t as much time as I’d like for cooking, so being organized and some batch cooking in advance is essential to making sure we eat well. This way of cooking as also great as any nutrients that leach into the liquid are kept in the food.
Slow cooker veggie pie
At this time of year, warm, filling and home cooked meals is the order of the day. I had a bunch of veg that needed using up and so decided to stick it all in to make a vegetable pie filling. By making a big batch I can use part of it for a pie, then pop the rest in the freezer as individual portions I can use as topping for baked potatoes.
What goes in?
To make 4-6 portions:
2x raw beetroot
1x small (or part of a bigger) butternut squash
4x medium carrots
4x sticks of celery
1x bell pepper (you choose what colour!)
2x cup frozen peas
1x large onion (whatever colour you have)
Approx 5-6 closed medium cup mushrooms – again any type you have is fine
2x garlic cloves – I used black garlic, but ‘normal’ is fine
2x cups dried lentils (I used red split lentils)
1x low salt stock cube, I used a Kallo vegetable one.
A generous sprinkling of herbs and spices you have, I used dried oregano, parsley & some ‘Italian mix’ I had, ground black pepper to taste plus a dash of turmeric, and ground coriander.
Glug of balsamic vinegar and or Worchester Sauce, and red (or white) wine and some water to top up the liquid. You can also add a dash of tomato puree or even ketchup, but my favourite is a bit of HP brown sauce for an extra tang!
What to do:
Chop, dice all the veg up – you could easily substitute various veg for what is in season, or what you prefer or usually in my case what’s in the fridge to use up. I’ve used courgette, french beans, asparagus, sweet potato instead previously. Whack it all in a slow cooker add herbs, spices, stock cube, liquid and then top up with water until about 2/3 full, not totally covering the ingredients. I leave it on ‘high’ in my slow cooker for approx 4-5hours, giving it a stir from time to time, if it looks a bit dry and a bit more water, if too watery, leave the lid off for a bit. Once cooked the choice is your, my favourite is spoon into a casserole dish, and cover with a layer of mashed sweet potato and pop in the oven or under a grill to lightly brown and serve with some steam broccoli or my favourite kalettes!
Per serving this is approx:
I also estimate this cost approx £1.60 per serving, the veg was around £1.20, the lentils about 30p and rest I have in the cupboard/fridge anyway.
If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can use a large, deep saucepan on a low heat hob but you need to keep a closer eye on it, and might need to cook off onion, garlic first, then add the harder veg, herbs and spices, then softer veg and lentils and liquid.
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