As the nights draw in and the heating is turned on to keep the chill at bay my food choices immediately turn to hearty, bone-warming meals which quite often means casseroles, stews and roasts.
Tonight was one of those nights so I dusted off the slow cooker and made my favourite casserole.
Even though it’s packed with veggies – seven to be exact, it’s a firm family favourite evidenced by my two children hoovering it up in minutes!!
Cooking in a slow cooker (crockpot) doesn’t take much brain power as you literally chuck all the ingredients in the pot and let the cooking process create the magic. The real test is being patient and letting the casserole cook for five hours plus.
6-8 filleted chicken thighs
3 tbsps coconut oil
1 carton of passata
2 tsps cumin seeds
2 tsps coriander seeds
2 Garlic cloves
1 tbsp rock salt
200g chopped swede
Handful of mushrooms
200g chopped aubergine
1 red pepper
1 tbsp onion salt
200ml cold water.
Brown off the chicken thighs in the coconut oil
In a pestle and mortar mash the rock salt, garlic, cumin seeds and coriander seeds into a paste and add to the slow cooker along with the chicken and drained chickpeas
Chop all the vegetables into cubes and add to the slow cooker along with the passata and onion salt.
Add water and mix all the ingredients well.
Turn the cooker up to high and cook for a minimum of five hours.
I’m really excited about this recipe… five ingredients and five minutes to make, then with a bit of patience (and willpower), you have some delicious chocolate fudge to devour which is healthy, tastes fabulous and requires no baking!
8 Medjool dates (stones removed)
2 tbsps of coca powder
1 tbsp of coconut oil
4 tbsp of water
Toast the quinoa in a pan for a minute until it turns golden brown.
Put the quinoa into a blender and blitz until you get a flour-like consistency (I left mine a bit rough as I wanted some crunch). You can buy quinoa flour if you prefer.
Add the quinoa and other ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the ingredients come together to form a dough.
Press the mixture into a cling film lined plastic tub.
Put in the freezer for approximately 3 hours to set.
I think I can safely say I am a psyllium husk convert. I discovered it in a seeded bread recipe and haven’t found anything better to act as ‘glue’ when baking without conventional ingredients.
Today I road tested it with my flapjacks. I followed no set recipe instead I just mixed all my favourite ingredients and by luck (and skill of course) created the perfect no-crumble, guilt free, flavour packed flapjack.
2 tbsps of psyllium husk (buy at organic/health food shops)
400g rolled oats
200g jumbo raisins and cranberries
3 tbsps chia seeds
2 tbsps coconut oil
250g of rice sugar
150ml of water
1tbsp vanilla essence
75g crushed walnuts
Pre heat the oven to 180c
Line a large baking tray with foil
Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well
Flatten the mixture in the baking tray
Bake on the top shelf for 30 minutes
Take out of the oven and remove from the tray also removing the foil. Put the flapjacks back on the tray and bake for a further 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cut into 12 squares before they cool and harden.