Another Vegetarian Meal guys…I am just on this crazy but wonderful Vegetarian ride at the moment, and its like…I just don’t want to get off it.
Well, its Spring here in good old South Africa, but with the weather we have been experiencing lately, it is hard to believe. We have had bouts of some miserable weather, I mean about two weeks ago it was even cold for a day to two ! It was like we all of a sudden had the winter we never had this year ! Weird…. Now, these last few days have been so windy, to the point of unpleasantness, and I do not like wind. Wind, really is not my friend….
But its cool, because over the real Winter time, it was so hot, we were eating salads, and now for Spring we are eating curries and all those nice comfort warming meals…..hence Vegetarian Casserole with Cheesy Dumplings !
Yum, yum and yum :-). This dish is filled with delicious vegetables, and again it is very adaptable. I basically again, used the veggies I had in my fridge before they started to look sad and bedraggled…you know how it goes. Usually I throw them all into a pot and make a soup, or throw them…. (that really sounds awful….I don’t really ‘throw’ them….I place them…yes…I place them….) in a pan and make a delicious healthy frittata or definitely some form of a veggie concoction.
Anyway, back to the dish of the day…..super easy, scrumptious, warming to the soul and those dumplings….to die for :-).
I thoroughly enjoy dumplings with a casserole, I remember years ago jotting down a recipe from a cooking show, in which Rachel Allan hosted. It was a Chicken Casserole with Cheesy Herb dumplings. Well, need I say the recipe was divine, and the dumplings really just added this special touch to the dish. Since then, if I am wanting something special…dumplings in all forms will be added :-).
This Vegetarian Casserole with Cheesy Dumplings is easily adaptable and can be made into a Gluten-Free meal as well, just by using a Gluten-Free Self Raising Flour for the dumplings. You can also substitute the full cream milk with a milk of your choice, and then obviously the cheese can be changed, if you don’t want to use tinned tomatoes, you can also use fresh chopped tomatoes…. I love versatile recipes !!!
Vegetarian Casserole with Cheesy Dumplings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 50 – 55 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes – 10 minutes
3 – 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil/olive oil/coconut oil
2 – 3 medium-sized onions, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
3 – 4 large carrots, peeled and grated
2 medium-sized turnips, peeled and grated
3 – 4 sticks of celery, chopped thinly
800 grams of tomatoes
250 millilitres (1 cup) vegetable stock
3 -4 large baby marrows/zucchinis, sliced fairly thickly
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried origanum
200 millilitres (1/2 tin) of Coconut Cream
salt and pepper to taste
For the Dumplings:
660 millilitres self-raising wheat flour
60 grams salted butter
160 grams cheddar cheese
250 millilitres (1 cup) of full cream milk or buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/390 degrees F.
Firstly, once all the ingredients are prepared and measured out, in a large pot, on medium to high, heat up the oil and saute’ the onions, carrots, turnips, and celery. This will take a few minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
Add the tomatoes and stir.
Pour in the prepared vegetable stock and baby marrows (zucchini’s).
Cover the pot with a lid and bring to the boil. Once the mixture has reached boiling point, reduce the heat to simmer and allow the vegetables to simmer for ten to fifteen minutes.
Add the coconut cream and stir.
Taste, and season well with salt and pepper.
Place the vegetables in an oven-proof casserole dish approximately 20 centimeters in width by 10 centimeters in depth (8 inches in width by 4 inches in depth – it needs to hold at least 1.5 Litres/6.5 cups) and then allow extra for the dumplings on the top.
To make the dumplings:
Place the self-raising flour in a large bowl.
Add the chopped butter, salt and grated cheese.
Make a “well” in the flour, and pour in the full cream milk or buttermilk.
Using a knife, stir and mix in the flour into the milk until this mixture forms a dough.
If you feel the dough is a bit dry, add a little more milk by the tablespoon, This should not be a very sticky dough at all.
With you hands, form balls of dough, (approximately golf ball sizes). These don’t have to be exact, the more rough and rustic they look, the more character they will have. Pack the balls of dough onto the vegetable mixture. Brush each ball of dough with some milk and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the dumplings are golden brown and cooked through.
Serve hot and from the oven.
NB* If you are wanting to add more to this meal, serve with cooked quinoa or rice…personally though, the dumpling mixture makes quite a few, so that serves as the carbs 🙂
NB* This meal does keep in the refrigerator if need be, but it must be covered.
NB* Check your carrots, they may just require washing and not peeling. Remember all the nutrients are in the skins, so if the skins look good, rather not peel :-).
NB* The oven-proof dish I used was not the correct size, it was far too shallow. The recipe does state the correct size (no less than 1.5 litres/6.5 cups)