Get Stuffed!

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Apologies for the hiatus in posting, the glut of recipes over the past few days meant I had more leftovers than I have meals in the day to eat said leftovers. And I draw the line at aubergine bake for breakfast (call me unadventurous if you will). Especially when the local Big Supermarket is doing low-fat vegetarian sausages for a pound a pack. Wholemeal bun, tomato, low-fat mayo and grilled sausage – sausage buttie for breakfast, the healthier way!

Having cleared a little space in the freezer, I decided to clear out some of the odds and ends from the fridge, and what better way than a nice casserole? This is a bit of a rib-sticker; bookmark it for next autumn when the chill starts to set in, your belly will thank you for it….

Vegetable Casserole with Dumplings

– Quorn ham or bacon, cut into small pieces. I must admit a certain curiosity as to whether cubed aubergine might be a good substitute for the “meaty” bit of the casserole. Answers on a postcard.
– 2 garlic cloves, crushed
– Couple of generous handfuls of cooking grains (pearl barley, quinoa, bulgar wheat or buckwheat)
– One medium cubed root vegetable, preferably sweet potato, carrot or parsnip. Potato would probably be an okay alternative, but it’s quite a heavy casserole so root veg with a little natural sweetness is the best match
– Small handful mange tout
– 3 large mushrooms, chopped
– 1 large leek, chopped
– Hot vegetable stock
– Self raising flour (or plain with a little baking powder)
– Margarine or butter
– Olive oil (preferable) or vegetable oil (for economy)
– Thyme or other herb of choice

Mix the flour, margarine/butter, salt, pepper and a little water in a bowl. Roll the mixture into little dough balls about an inch across.
Heat the oil in a pan, and gently fry the “meat”, garlic and leek for five minutes.
Add the root veg, grain, mange tout, mushrooms and vegetable stock. Add salt and black pepper + some dried thyme. Simmer for 25 minutes.
Add the dumplings to the pot and cook for another 15 minutes, adding hot stock where necessary to prevent the casserole drying out.
Serve.

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