Over the holidays, my husband and I indulged in lots of good food: turkey, chipolatas (mini pork and beef sausages), roast ham, French Canadian cipate with chicken, beef and pork, beef skillet and lots of delicious cheese. Notice how meat-and-protein-heavy our holiday eating was? Yes, we ate fruit (mainly our morning smoothies), and yes, we ate vegetables (pretty much just potatoes, which don’t really count as vegetables, and brussel sprouts), but because we weren’t in our regular working routine, our eating times, what we ate and how much we ate was all over the place. And boy, did we feel it. So as of January 2nd, I decided that we were going vegetarian, temporarily, to let our digestive systems and wallet get back on track, (meat can be expensive!). We weren’t doing a full out cleanse, like a juice cleanse or going gluten-free, we were just eliminating meat from our diet for a while and eating a whole lot more vegetables and fiber in general.
The first dish I made for us was with our new slow cooker, a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law Kate. We were having my brother-in-law Aidan and his wife Erica, along with their son (our nephew) Noah over. Erica has gone vegetarian again, so the meal had to vegetarian anyway. Perfect opportunity to make Vegetable Goulash, from Gina Steele’s The Slow Cooker cookbook, also a gift from Kate.
*From The Slow Cooker cookbook by Gina Steele, pg. 105
|Served with Greek salad and fresh, crusty bread|
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and cut into wedges
2-4 garlic cloves
3 celery sticks, trimmed and sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 small butternut squash, or 2 acorn squash, peeled and diced
300g / 10 oz new potatoes, scrubbed
225g / 8 oz cauliflower florets
1 tbsp hot paprika
1 tbsp flour
410g / 14.5 oz can cannellini beans, drained
600 mL / 1 pint tomato juice
150 mL / 1/4 pint vegetable stock
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 – 1 tsp caraway seeds
salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat slow cooker on high. Heat oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion, garlic and celery for 3 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables, sprinkle in the paprika and flour and continue to sauté for 5 more minutes. Place in the cooking pot and stir in the beans.
2. Blend the tomato juice with the stock and bring to the boil [in a small saucepan]. Stir in the dried thyme, caraway seeds, and seasoning, then pour over the vegetables in the pot. Cover, reduce the temperature to low and cook for 6 to 8 hours [I cooked it for 7 hours, and next time, will cook for 6 hours).
*Serves 4 people
These are incredibly rich and gooey, and you’ll definitely need to eat them with a glass of milk or cup of tea, and the best part is that they’re relatively sin-free!
350g plain flour
75g butter, softened
180 mL milk
75g cheddar cheese
2 mozzarella balls
toppings of your choice
1. Preheat your oven to 180’C/350’F.
2. Sift the flour into a large bowl; cut the butter into cubes and add it to the flour. Using your fingers, rub the flour and butter together to eventually form a crumb-like consistency.
3. Form a well in the centre of this mixture, and pour the milk in the well. Using a spoon, slowly mix the ingredients together until a dough starts to form. Turn this out onto a floured surface, and work the dough until just mixed together. The less you work the dough, the better consistency with your scone base you’ll get.
4. Roll out the dough to form your base: the thinner you roll it, the crispier your crust will be. I roll it to about 1 cm thick. Transfer to a baking dish tray, and spoon the tomato sauce over top. You can put as much or as little sauce as you like. I make my own chunky vegetable sauce of brocoli, peppers, courgette/zuchini, grated carrots, onions, mushrooms and garlic. Add any toppings you wish.
5. Slice the mozzarella balls and place over top your toppings, then finish with grated cheddar cheese. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until your crust is brown. Slice and serve!
*Makes one large pizza of about 8 slices
I made this for my dinner last night, and it was fantastic!