This week in the veg box we got some beetroots. Last time we had beetroots in the box, I made a chocolate beetroot cake (it was so much yummier than it sounds!) But this time, as much as I was tempted to make another amazing cake, I decided we really needed a good all in one pot meal from them, that I could prep quickly in the morning and it would be ready for dinner. So of course in came the slow cooker.
I love crumbles, and think they work just as well as a savoury dish as with fruit in a sweet dish (here’s a previous recipe that I blogged). They are real comfort food, and if you slow cook it, you don’t have the hassle of having to cook it about an hour before you eat in the evening when the kids are tired and hungry and therefore you get some stress mixed in with your comfort. Andrew was also very interested to watch me chop the veg and make the crumble, so I let him ‘help’ rub the crumble together (it was already done really, but he dipped his hands in and copied me for about 10 seconds).
I was originally thinking of this recipe as a ‘traffic lights’ one – toddler-friendly you see – as it has beetroots, carrots and green pepper in. But once it was cooked, the beetroot colour basically took over the dish and made it look completely red. This was a hit with Andrew, who loves bright colours, though perhaps not so much actually eating beetroot! He didn’t put up much of a fight though, and was easily persuaded to put the exciting looking red bits in his mouth once the offer of some of his favourite fruits was mentioned for pudding, if he ate all his main course. The red colour also makes this savoury crumble look like a more common fruit crumble that has berries in.
As always with my slow cooker recipes, it was so simple to make….
4 medium beetroots
2 medium carrots
1 small green pepper
100g dried red lentils
900 ml hot stock (I use low salt)
2 tbsp cornflour
270g plain flour
dried mixed herbs
Wash the lentils thoroughly and leave in water whilst you prep everything else.
Chop the beetroots, carrots and peppers into small chunks.
Make the crumble topping by rubbing the margarine with the flour and a good sprinkling of herbs until you get a bread crumb texture.
Drain the lentils and add them with the veg and stock to the slow cooker pot.
Mix the cornflour with a small amount of water to form a paste, then add to the pot and stir all the ingredients together.
Cook on low for 4 hours.
Then add the crumble topping and cook for a further 4 hours.
Recently I’ve been trying to get back into the swing of slow cooking. It’s very handy when you have two small children because you can do the prep whenever you get 10 mins or so earlier in the day – usually around 9am or lunchtime for me – and then you just leave it to cook during the day or afternoon and it’s ready for dinner, so there’s no need to be slaving over a hot stove at that often fractious time of day when everyone’s tired.
Last week I chucked some veg that we had in our veg box into the slow cooker pot, along with some dried lentils and stock, and made some cheesy dumplings, to create a yummy and satisfying meal for us all (including my mum-in-law who is wheat-intolerant – I used wheat-free flour, though not wheat-free stock as she is fine with small amounts of wheat, it’s not a full blown allergy, rather an intolerance).
I was going to blog it, but then realised that in our haste to eat the steaming pot of yumminess, I’d forgotten to take any photos, so I thought I’d have to scrap the post. But then I thought that this would be a real shame because it really was yummy (even Andrew agreed, and toddlers give genuine compliments 😉 ). So when we got similar veg in our box this week, I thought I’d take a photo of the ingredients instead, as well as one of the tupperware of leftovers, which, although it doesn’t do justice visually to the meal we enjoyed, will do justice to one of our tummies one day when we need a quick meal from the freezer.
This week I’ve tried the recipe for macaroni cheese from Aly over at 2.4, mainly because we seemed to have quite a lot of milk with not a very long date on it. I adapted the recipe by using fusilli instead of macaroni, and broccoli instead of spinach, because those were what we had in. I’m hoping to blog more slow cooked recipes over the coming months. I’m linking this one up to Mediocre Mum’s Slow Cooker Sunday linky.
Anyway, enough of an intro……on with the recipe!
Ingredients – makes 6 portions
150g dried red lentils
1.5 litres hot vegetable stock (I use low salt for the boys)
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp cornflour
150g wheat-free self-raising flour
75 g vegetable suet
100g mature cheddar cheese
Dried mixed herbs
Chop all the veg into round chunks about 1cm thick and quarter the mushrooms; put them all in the slow cooker pot.
Wash the lentils thoroughly and add to the slow cooker pot.
Add the stock, mustard and cornflour (mixed to a paste with a little cold water); stir everything together.
Cook on low for 6 hours.
To make the dumplings, chop the cheese into small chunks, then mix the flour, suet, cheese and a good sprinkling of the herbs in a bowl; then add some cold water a little at a time and stir until the mixture forms a stiff dough, using your hands for the last bit; shape the dough into 18 small balls.
After the 6 hours of cooking on low, remove the lid and place the dough balls on top of the broth where they will just float.
Cook for a further hour on high.
To serve, ladle some broth and a few dumplings into each bowl and eat straight away.