Category Archives: Stews and Casseroles

Pressure Cooker Savoury Lentils (with a no-PC option)

Pressure Cooker Savoury Lentils (with a no-PC option)
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A quick and easy version of shepherdess pie filling. If you do not have a pressure cooker, follow the same procedure in a casserole dish or large saucepan with a lid and either bake in the oven for 45 minutes or simmer on the cooktop for 30 minutes.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: English
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 large onion - finely diced
  • 2 sticks celery - finel diced
  • 1 very large or 2 medium carrots - finely diced
  • ½ cup Puy (french) lentils
  • ½ cup red lentils
  • 2 heaped tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 heaped tsp chicken style stock powder
  • 1 cup passata or chopped tomatoes, blended
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  1. Assemble and measure out all your ingredients first.
  2. Sauté the onion, celery and carrot in your pressure cooker, on the sauté or brown function for a few minutes.
  3. Then add the rest of the ingredients and set to cook on high pressure for 13 mins
  4. Release pressure
  5. Stir in the corn and peas.
  6. Close the lid and keep on warm function until potatoes or rice / pasta is ready


Italian Cabbage & Beans

This recipe has been a surprising favourite for many years, having been adapted from a recipe in BBC Vegetarian Good Food magazine circa 1999! It’s a rustic Italian inspired dish.  More vegetables have been included, oil eliminated and wholewheat sourdough toast substituted.  Interestingly it features cumin which I thought was very unusual for in Italian cuisine, however after researching I find it used to be more popular and was even called Roman Caraway! 🙂

Even my kids love this dish; it’s both simple in terms of ingredients and yet complex in flavour. You WILL go back for a second bowl!

Italian Cabbage & Beans
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Recipe type: Casserole / Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 large leek, sliced
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 garlic clove, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (or try fennel or caraway for interesting variations)
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small savoy cabbage, roughy shredded / and / or kale, shredded
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • wholewheat sourdough bread, toasted
  • flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
  1. In a large deep casserole pot, saute the leek, onion, cumin seeds & crushed garlic for 3 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally and adding a small splash of the stock to stop it sticking
  2. Add all of the stock, and bring to the boil.
  3. Add the bay leaves, cabbage beans potatoes and return to the boil.
  4. Turn down to a simmer and put on the lid.
  5. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Turn off the heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes whilst you toast the bread and rub them with the cut garlic cloves.
  7. Serve the cabbage and beans scattered with the parsley alongside the garlic toast



Chunky Vegetable Mornay

chunky vegetable mornay

Tender vegetables simmered in a creamy sauce. Perfect for an Autumnal dinner served with mash & more veggies.

Chunky Vegetable Mornay
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Serves: 4-6
  • 1 large leek, sliced
  • 1 large green capsicum / bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced small
  • 1 large stick celery, diced small
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup soy / other plant milk
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons creamy style hummus
  • 1 tsp chicken style stock powder
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 2 tsp cornflour mixed til smooth with a splash of soy milk
  1. Salute the 1st 4 ingredients (leek to celery) in a large frying pan (skillet or casserole dish with a close fitting lid) until tender, adding a splash of water if necessary to stop sticking.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients apart from broccoli & cornflour mix and stir well, replace the lid and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the broccoli and replace lid, allow to steam until broccoli is almost done. Add the cornflour mix, and stir slowly until thickened and flour is cooked out. Turn off the heat, replace lid and allow to sit whilst you prepare the plates & accompaniments.
  3. Best served with mashed potatoes, or a cooked grain. May also go well with wholewheat pasta.


Cauliflower & Kale Dhal (pressure cooker)

cauliflower kale dhal

This was inspired by Fatfreevegan’s recipe for Dal Tadka, I wanted to include more veggies and tweaked the method and spices a little.

Cauliflower & Kale Dhal (pressure cooker)
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Serves: 4-6
  • 2 brown onions, chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger, grated
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced, grated for finely chopped
  • 1 cup split red lentils
  • 3 cups water,
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder (optional)
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 3 cups small cauliflower florets
  • ½ bunch kale, de-stemmed & finely chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp chilli powder / to taste (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala / dhal spice mix / curry powder
  1. Put rice on to cook if you are serving with rice.
  2. Heat the pressure cooker on brown function, add one of the onions, all the ginger and garlic and stir around for a minute, add a splash of water or stock if starts to stick.
  3. Add the lentils, water, stock powder if using, tomato, cauliflower, kale, cumin seeds, turmeric & salt and stir thoroughly.
  4. Lock down the lid and set to high pressure for 10 minutes.
  5. Whilst the dhal is cooking, heat a large frying pan and dry fry the onion with remaining spices for 5-10 minutes, over a medium heat. Use a lid to catch the steam and prevent them from sticking.
  6. Once the dhal is finished, release the steam and add the cooked onions and spices; stir well and serve.
  7. Great with mango chutney, freshly chopped coriander and a sprinkle of coconut if you wish.


Easy Ratatouille (fatfree!)

I used this for a lunch for my PlantPot customers but it was so good I had to write it down for use as quickly as possible again, this time for the family!  It was amazingly easy to make without onions or garlic (have to make it that way for a customer) but what was surprising was it was BETTER that way!  The flavours of the capsicum, eggplant and zucchini really sing when they don’t have to try so hard!  I packaged it up all so quickly too I didn’t get time to take a photo so will have to add one next time!

Easy Ratatouille
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Recipe type: Stew
Cuisine: French
Serves: 8
  • 2 Red Capsicum
  • 1 Green Capsicum
  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 5 smallish zucchini
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp rosemary
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • Pinch of Herbs de Provence
  • Handful basil, shredded
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Core and deseed the capsicum, cut into large chunks – about 12 pieces for each one.
  2. Add to large casserole dish over a low heat with a splash of water or stock, place on the lid.
  3. Meanwhile, slice the eggplants into ½ cm thick – not too thin. Grill them on a sandwich press for a few minutes until softened. Cut each slice into 2-3 pieces and add as you go along to the pot.
  4. Slice the zucchini into large slices – about ¾ to 1cm and add to the pot.
  5. Core the tomatoes and cut each into 8 pieces, add to the pot along with any juices.
  6. Add the canned tomatoes, vinegar, dried herbs and place back on the lid and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally for an hour or so until soft and delicious. Stir in the basil and remove from the heat. Season well.
  7. Best served at room temperature.


Mexican Burrito Bowl

I do love a bowl – when you lay all your ingredients out in the bowl to look pretty, rather than just mix them all together.  This is a simplified chilli recipe which takes just 30 mins so you can put your rice on, chop the tomatoes for your salsa and mash some avocado whilst it simmers.  Some sweetcorn is also nice on the side if you  have some in the freezer or a can in the cupboard, to add some more colour to the plate.  Have hot sauce on the side so those chilli addicts can add their own, keeping this quite mild for little mouths. Leave the chilli out all together if you like.

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Mexican Burrito Bowl
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Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4
  • 160g long grain brown rice
  • 2 small/ medium brown onions (180g chopped weight)
  • 1 small green capsicum (180g " " )
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium stick celery (80g " " )
  • 1 slightly heaped tsp ground cumin
  • 1 slightly heaped tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes (can reduce to be really mild)
  • 1 tsp beef style stock powder
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup water
  • 1.5 - 2 cans drained kidney beans (depends how thick you like it!)
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • ½ tablespoon maple syrup
  • To Serve:
  • Salsa:
  • 300 g baby tomatoes
  • ½ bunch coriander
  • ½ a red onion,
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Guacamole:
  • 1 large avocadoes: lime / lemon juice / salt.
  • Sweetcorn: -
  • Allow 75g per person: - defrost frozen corn / or pour boiling water over it or simmer for a minute.
  • Or alternatively, serve with corn on the cob.
  1. Put your rice on to cook.
  2. Dice the onion, capsicum, celery and crush or grate the garlic.
  3. Add to a warmed large casserole dish or saucepan and stir for a few minutes until softening, adding a tiny splash of water to stop them sticking if necessary.
  4. Add the garlic and stir in for a minute or two, again to stop it sticking.
  5. Add the cumin and coriander, mix again to thoroughly distribute and toast the spices a little until you can smell them.
  6. Add tomato paste, canned tomatoes, water, stock powder, beans and corn and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the capsicum and onion are soft.
  7. Meanwhile: Make the salsa: chop the baby tomatoes into quarters, finely slice the red onion, shred the coriander, squeeze the lime juice and mix them all together in a small bowl
  8. Make the guacamole: Mash a large avocado, adding salt, lime and or lemon juice to taste.
  9. To serve: Let each person add each ingredient to their own bowl, or arrange them beautifully yourself!


Vegetable & Tofu Chilli with Corn Muffins

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This is a hearty tasty chilli packed full of protein – tofu, beans, and quinoa!  Make it as spicy as you like just by adding some freshly chopped chillies along with the onion and garlic, or keep it mild for children with just the small amount of chilli flakes.
The muffin recipe is adapted from Bryanna Clark Grogan’s recipe here. I just removed the oil and doubled the baking powder – about a tablespoon in total.  I used standard medium grain yellow polenta.

Vegetable & Tofu Chilli with Corn Muffins
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Recipe type: Chilli
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 250 grams plain firm tofu, mashed or blitzed in processor to breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 large white cap mushrooms, diced (about 150g)
  • 1 large red capsicum, diced
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1 sweet potato (220g), diced
  • 2 cups passata
  • 1 cup water mixed with 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 cup sweetcorn
  • ⅓ cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 can kidney beans
  1. Fry the onion, tofu, garlic, spices and herbs, mushrooms and tomato paste, in a splash of water or stock, until onions softened and mushrooms have released their liquid and it has evaporated.
  2. Add capsicum, zucchini, sweet potato, passata, stock, beans, corn and quinoa and stir well.
  3. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, until sweet potato is cooked.
  4. Serve with the muffins, mashed avocado, fresh coriander and salsa.



Winter Bake

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Winter Bake

This was concocted in the far north of Scotland in 1998, whilst 5 months pregnant with my 1st child.  My husband still teases me that we could have gone to the Maldives for our final holiday as just a couple, but I wanted a cosy wintery holiday in Scotland!  It was very cold and snowy and we were staying in a beautiful old stone cottage.  I wanted something warming and comforting, and the only vegetables we had in were cabbage and potatoes, so I came up with this.  16 years later we’re still making it (albeit with a different cheezy sauce now)!

Winter Bake
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Recipe type: Bake / Casserole
Serves: 6-8
  • ½ large savoy cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 ½ cups split red lentils
  • 1 onion, finely shredded (ditto)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 cups passata (or blended canned tomatoes)
  • 1 t vegetable stock powder
  • Tabasco - optional
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 4 medium / large potatoes (about 800g)
  • 1 cup freshly made breadcrumbs
  • SAUCE:-
  • ½ a raw onion
  • 1 T corn flour
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 1.5 cups Soy milk
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp vinegar
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp chicken style stock powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ date paste / other sweetener e.g maple syrup, rice syrup.
  1. Heat a medium saucepan on a gentle heat with a spray of oil, add cabbage and herbs. Place on lid and allow the cabbage to steam in its own juices.
  2. Put lentils in a medium saucepan, cover by an inch with water, add the onion, garlic, tomato paste, passata, stock powder and optional tabasco; bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until cooked down to a thickish soup.
  3. Finely slice the potatoes (use a mandolin or processor, or with a knife, about ½cm thick) and steam for 10 or so minutes or until just tender.
  4. Make the white / cheezy sauce by putting all ingredients into a blender, blend til smooth, pour into a small sauce pan and stir constantly until thickened.
  5. Grease a deep baking dish or casserole dish which has a close fitting lid e.g. Pyrex or Le Creuset)
  6. Layer in the dish as follows:
  7. - ⅓ of the potatoes
  8. - ⅓ of the cabbage
  9. - ½ of the lentil mixture
  10. - ⅓ of the white sauce
  11. - Half of remaining potatoes
  12. - Half of remaining cabbage
  13. - Rest of lentils
  14. - Half of remaining white sauce
  15. - Remaining potatoes
  16. - Remaining cabbage
  17. - Remaining white sauce
  18. - Breadcrumbs
  19. A quick spray of oil on top
  20. Bake for 40 minutes, in a moderate oven, placing on the lid for last 15 minutes to prevent top burning. Test is cooked through by piercing with a knife. Should be very soft, top crisp and sauce bubbling. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Spinach, Basil, Mushroom & Potato “Lasagne”

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I was going to make a new type of lasagne but a gluten-free friend was joining us for dinner and I couldn’t find gluten free lasagne sheets (and the ingredients in some of those products is rather off-putting!)  so decided to substitute potato for the pasta layers.
This was SO GOOD!  Luckily I wrote everything down as I did it so can make it again!
The cheesy sauce is also on this site here, you’ll need half of the portion this makes.

Spinach & Basil, Mushroom & Potato "Lasagne"
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Recipe type: Lasagne
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6
  • 450g silken tofu
  • 450g frozen spinach (frozen weight)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Leaves from 1 large bunch of basil, blitzed in food processor with 3 tablespoons of pine nuts
  • zest of a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 700g mushrooms, diced. (I used flat mushrooms and white cup, but whatever you have is fine)
  • 50g cashews, soaked if necessary, and blended with enough water to cover
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 700g potatoes, sliced thinly.
  • ½ a portion of cheese sauce recipe (see intro)
  • 1 cup of passata / blended canned tomatoes
  1. Thaw and squeeze as much of the water out of the spinach and mix in a large bowl with the tofu, the onion - finely chopped; the nutritional yeast, salt, basil & pine nuts, lemon zest and juice and set aside.
  2. Make the cheese sauce as linked to in the introduction.
  3. Saute the mushrooms in a large pan in their own juices, mix in the cashew cream, tamari and lemon juice. Cook until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are tender.
  4. Meanwhile steam the potatoes until just tender - about 7 mins.
  5. Take a large lasagne dish. Layer as follows:
  6. cup of passata / blended tomatoes.
  7. A third of the Potatoes
  8. Half of the Spinach tofu mixture
  9. Half of remaining potatoes
  10. All the mushrooms
  11. Remaining potatoes
  12. Remaining spinach tofu mixture
  13. Cheese sauce (about half of the quantity the recipe makes)
  14. Place in a moderate oven - 180 for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling and top is browning.

Chana Saag Aloo (Indian spiced chickpeas, spinach and potatoes)

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I’m not calling this a curry as it’s very mild and there’s no chilli involved so it’s great for small children who might not have developed a love yet for spicy food.

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Rather than the usual rice, this is great served with wholemeal pitta bread to scoop up the delicious sauce and vegetables.  We enjoy topping ours with a sprinkle of coconut and spoon of  mango chutney.

Chana Saag Aloo (Indian spiced chickpeas, spinach and potatoes)
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Serves: 4-6
  • 600g potatoes, diced - approx. 1-2 cm
  • 2 medium onions, halved and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 cans chickpeas, or 420-440 grams home cooked, drained and rinsed
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 600 ml vegetable stock
  • 350g baby spinach leaves
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • salt to taste
  1. Steam the potatoes whilst you heat a large frying pan over a medium heat. Dry sauté the onions, add the garlic once they've released some moisture (add a splash of stock or water if required to prevent sticking), then stir in the cumin seeds until they start to pop, then the other dry spices.
  2. Add the chickpeas, tomato paste and the stock.
  3. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Once the potatoes are just tender, add to the pan and then, handful by handful, add the baby spinach leaves, stirring gently until they wilt before adding more.
  5. Add the lemon juice, and remove from the heat. Season to taste.