Thursday, 7 October 2010

Recipe of the Week - Vegetable & Bean Bake

This week, I think it is time for a slightly healthier offering than last week's recipe! We have had several weeks of cake, so now it's the turn of a savoury dish.

We hardly ever have meat-free meals in this house. When we have pasta for dinner it is usually the type stuffed with ham. When we have pizza there will be some form of meat in the topping. This is largely due to my traditional man. He's not a fan of meat-free dinners, and now, neither are his boys!

None-the-less, I was inspired to create this dish by a similar dish on offer at the congregational lunch at church on Sunday. Being the vegetarian option at a church full of traditional men, there was plenty left over, and that was when I was offered a portion. It was lovely. So this week I thought I'd try it out while my man was away working up north! Ha ha, cunning plan. 

It went down a treat with my boys too. When I placed it on the table James said, 'Mmm, that looks lovely.' Even Calum, not known for his love of vegetables, cleared his plate. I think this was due to my clever addition of beans, which he loves. 

I was also able to try out this new gluten free baguette that I found in the supermarket last week. It is by Dietary Specials and was lovely. It had a really nice texture, just like a 'normal' baguette. 

So, onto the recipe.

Although I'm specifying the vegetables we used, these were simply what I had in and you could easily substitute whatever other vegetables you fancy.

6oz dried beans, or tinned beans
(I used 3oz haricot beans and 3oz black eyed beans, again add what beans you prefer)

1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 large carrots, cut into batons
150g pack green beans
150g pack baby corn
1 medium head of broccoli, chopped into quite small florets
1 tin chopped tomatoes
3tbsp tomato puree
2tbsp sugar
2tsp ground coriander
2tsp paprika
good handful of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 gluten-free baguettes
olive oil

- If you are using dried beans you need to either (a) soak them overnight, or (b) boil them in water for about 20 minutes and then soak for a couple of hours in the same water. Drain, put fresh water over them and boil for another 10 minutes or so. I go for (b), then your beans are warm and ready to add.

-Put your carrots in a steamer to cook them slightly, for about 10 minutes.
-If you have a multi-level steamer then add the layer with the broccoli for the last 5 minutes and give the baby corn and green beans an even shorter steam. You don't want the veg too soft but you want to take the crunch out of them because this won't be too long in the oven.
-If you only have one level in your steamer, like me, then just keep the carrots warm somewhere while doing the rest. Or I suppose you could use your microwave, but I don't have one so can't advise on timings!

-Right. While your veg is steaming, soften the onion and garlic in a little oil in a large pan.
-Add your drained beans to this, heating them through if you have gone for option (a) or tinned beans.

-Now add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, sugar, coriander and paprika and heat through.

-Add all of your vegetables, chopped parsley and about 4 tablespoons of the water from under the steamed vegetables (or plain boiled water).

-Transfer all this to an oven-proof dish.
-Slice up the baguettes and arrange round the top of the mixture.
-Drizzle some olive oil over the baguettes and place in an oven at 180c for about 10-15 minutes, until the bread is starting to brown. Not too long or it will go too hard.

-Serve with lots of lovely fresh rocket or a green salad.

I also thought this would be lovely with thinly sliced potatoes on the top instead of the bread, kind of like a hotpot. Or you could add some scones, like a cobbler. I'm now thinking I might add some chopped bacon to it when I make it for my beloved aswell!


  1. This sounds really good. I think I will need to try it!

    I have a traditional man too, but I'm slowly slipping in a few veggie dishes here and there. He's been a good sport about it. I think I could be a vegetarian. ..Although, I would probably have a little chicken and fish from time to time.

    Also, what is rocket?

  2. Rocket is a peppery salad leaf. I had pots and pots of it growing in the garden in the summer since it's my favourite. I don't know how well it would grow with you though, because it bolts in the heat. It only does really well here at the beginning and end of the summer. Not so good in the middle.


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