Recipes from Slow Cooker Vegetarian

INDIAN-CURRIED YELLOW SPLIT PEA AND COCONUT SOUP

Split pea and coconut soup

Korma curry powders are milder than many other Indian spice mixes, so this is a great way to introduce aromatic food to your family. Add less if your family is still getting used to spiciness.

SERVES 6–8
PREPARATION TIME 20 minutes
COOKING TIME 3 hours 40 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 brown onions, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 leek, white part only, washed, thinly sliced
1 carrot, diced
1–3 tablespoons korma curry powder
660 g (1 lb 7 oz/3 cups) yellow split peas, rinsed
2 litres (70 fl oz/8 cups) good-quality vegetable stock
300 ml (101/2 fl oz) coconut milk
45 g (11/2 oz/1 cup) baby spinach leaves
juice of 2 limes, or to taste
1 long red chilli, thinly sliced diagonally,
Greek-style yoghurt and coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve

1. Heat the olive oil in the insert pan of a slow cooker or a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, leek and carrot and sauté for 5–7 minutes, or until tender. Add the curry powder and stir for 30 seconds, or until aromatic.

2. Return the insert pan, if using, to the slow cooker, or transfer the vegetable mixture to the slow cooker. Add the split peas and stock. Cover and cook on high for 31/2 hours, or until the split peas are very tender.

3. Stir the coconut milk through. Purée the mixture to a rough consistency, using a stick blender, food processor or blender, leaving some of the soup un-puréed if desired. (You may need to add a little extra coconut milk to reach your desired consistency.) Stir in the spinach and lime juice, to taste. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4. Ladle into bowls and serve topped with chilli, yoghurt and coriander.

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BLACK BEAN AND SPINACH ENCHILADAS

FF - Black bean and spinach enchiladas-1

SERVES 4
PREPARATION TIME 25 minutes (+ overnight soaking)
COOKING TIME 2 hours 40 minutes

220 g (73/4 oz/1 cup) dried black beans, soaked overnight (or 400 g/14 oz tin black beans)
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or rice bran oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
1 bunch English spinach, washed, coarsely chopped
2 x 400 g (14 oz) tins chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 long green chillies, finely chopped
handful coriander (cilantro) roots and stems, washed, finely chopped
1 teaspoon raw sugar
2 teaspoons lime juice
150 g (51/2 oz/11/2 cups) grated cheddar cheese
12 small corn or flour tortillas

Chunky guacamole
2 ripe avocados, halved
100 g (31/2 oz) cherry tomatoes, quartered
handful coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1 long green chilli, finely chopped

Put the soaked black beans into a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 30 minutes until almost tender. (If using a tin of black beans, omit this step.)

Drain and rinse the beans – cooked or tinned – then set aside in a bowl.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.

Cook the onion and garlic for 5 minutes until the onion is soft.

Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes until wilted. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and add to the bowl of beans.

Add the tomatoes, cumin, paprika, chilli, coriander roots and stems, sugar and lime juice to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring, then season. Stir 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) of this tomato sauce and a third of the cheese into the bean mixture, then spoon 4 tablespoons onto each tortilla and roll up to enclose.

Evenly spread 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) of the sauce over the base of the slow cooker. Lay the enchiladas on top, seam-side down, covering each layer with sauce and cheese. Cook on low for 2 hours.

For the guacamole, mash the avocados with a fork. Stir in the remaining ingredients and season to taste.

Serve the enchiladas with the guacamole.

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THREE-CHEESE AND SILVERBEET LASAGNE

Three-cheese and silverbeet lasagne

This lasagne is a great way to get extra green vegetables into fussy kids because the silverbeet is hidden in the layers of pasta and tomato sauce.

SERVES 4–6
PREPARATION TIME 20 minutes
COOKING TIME 3¼ hours

80 ml (21/2 fl oz/1/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil
750 g (1 lb 10 oz) silverbeet (Swiss chard), leaves finely shredded, stems finely chopped, kept separate
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
large handful basil, stems finely chopped, leaves coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste (concentrated purée)
3 x 400 g (14 oz) tins chopped tomatoes
400 g (14 oz) ricotta cheese
100 g (31/2 oz/1 cup) finely grated parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
150 g (51/2 oz) bocconcini or mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
1 egg, lightly beaten
250–300 g (9–101/2 oz) lasagne sheets
green salad, to serve (optional)

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat. Cook the silverbeet stems and onion for 2 minutes, then add the silverbeet leaves and cook for a further 3 minutes until wilted. Drain, squeezing out any excess liquid. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool while making the tomato sauce.

2. Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan over medium–low heat. Add the garlic and basil stems and cook for 3 minutes until golden. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute before adding the chopped tomatoes. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly.

3. Add the three cheeses, egg and basil leaves to the bowl with the silverbeet and mix well. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4. Transfer about one-third of the tomato sauce to the slow cooker and spread over the base. Arrange a layer of lasagne sheets (about one-third of the sheets) on top of the sauce, snapping to fit if necessary. Top with half of the silverbeet mixture, another layer of lasagne sheets and another third of the sauce. Top with the remaining filling, lasagne sheets and tomato sauce. Cook on low for 3 hours, or until the pasta is tender.

5. Serve with extra grated parmesan and a green salad, if you like.


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VEGETARIAN CHILLI BEANS

Vegetarian chilli beans

Mexican food is often a favourite with the whole family. If your kids are fussy about spice, leave out the chilli powder initially, then add it little by little each time you cook the dish to increase their tolerance.

SERVES 4
PREPARATION TIME 15 minutes
COOKING TIME 4 hours

½ red onion, chopped (use remainder for salsa)
1 red capsicum (pepper), seeds and membranes discarded, chopped
400 g (14 oz) tin chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste (concentrated purée)
2 x 400 g (14 oz) tins red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 dried bay leaves
125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) good-quality vegetable stock
85 g (3 oz/1/3 cup) sour cream
2 tablespoons coriander (cilantro) leaves, coarsely chopped (optional)
flour tortillas or steamed rice, to serve (optional)

Avocado salsa
1 avocado, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 roma (plum) tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1–2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Place the onion, capsicum, tomatoes, tomato paste and beans in the slow cooker. Add the ground coriander, cumin, chilli powder, garlic and bay leaves. Pour in the stock and stir to combine well. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.

2. Put all the avocado salsa ingredients in a bowl and gently stir to combine. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and refrigerate until required.

3. Spoon the chilli beans into bowls. Top with a dollop of the sour cream and scatter over the coriander, if using. Serve with the avocado salsa and tortillas or steamed rice, if desired.

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