While browsing on the good procrastination-book recently, I came across a blog about the importance of getting large amounts of vegetables into your diet.
I found it quite inspiring although it was really noticeable how many times having a salad was suggested. Veggies are important because of their widespread nutrient density. They contain many vitamins and minerals your body needs. Avoiding vegetables could mean denying your body the things it needs. While mentioning salads, the blog raised a good point about how awesome raw vegetables are since cooking can lessen the nutritional value. Eating raw veg when you can is a great idea, but now that we're shifted into Fall our bodies are naturally craving warmer foods.
This delicious recipe originally from Oh My Veggies is tried and tested. It's packed with veggies, it's simple to make and it's made in my favourite appliance, the crockpot.
If you're making your own vegetable stock start here. If not, see below.
Stock is so simple to make and it doesn't take much time to put everything together.
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 litre of water
1 yellow onion
2 large carrots sliced
2 sticks of celery, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, smashed (or roughly chopped)
1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp of Himalayan salt (or rock salt)
3 bay leaves
and a few teaspoons of an assortment of herbs of your choice. (I usually use oregano, rosemary and thyme but you can use which ever ones you want.) This is a good base to your stock but you really can add whatever you want to. I made my stock fresh for the gumbo and added some worcestershire sauce to it.
Warm the olive oil in a pot on medium heat, add onions and garlic and cook until clear. Add the carrots, celery and hers and cook for a few minutes longer. Pour in the water, bring the pot to a boil and then leave to simmer for 30-45 minutes. Pour the stock through a seive and leave the stock to chill. If not using immediately, store in the fridge.
Slow-Cooked, Veggie Packed Gumbo
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 4-8 hours
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 cup of chopped bell pepper mix (use any colour, the more the better)
2 stalks of celery, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp of flour
2 cups of vegetable stock (see vegetable stock recipe above)
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 regular can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained (black beans also work well)
1 cup of button mushrooms, quartered,
1 cup of thickly sliced zucchini in half moons
1 cup of chopped okra
2-4 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce (I love this sauce so I add more)
1 tbsp of cajun seasoning (be aware of the salt content, you do not want your gumbo to be too salty)
1 tsp of chilli flakes (give or take to your taste)
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
serve with cooked brown rice and hot sauce for extra spice
In a pot over medium heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Once heated add the onion, celery, pepper and garlic and cook until browned then transfer to your crockpot.
In the same pot, heat the 2nd tbsp of oil, add the flour and stir, cook the flour until it's golden brown. Add the vegetable stock bit by bit continuing to stir so as to avoid lumps in your sauce. You may want to whisk the sauce for a while as it's cooking. Once brought to the boil, add it to the crockpot. (Again, if there are lumps, sieve the sauce to prevent them from finding themselves in the sauce)
Add all of the other ingredients to the crockpot, place on high and cook for 4 hours or if you're preparing this in the morning, cook on low for 8 hours. When ready to serve, remove the bay leaf, season more if needed and serve with the cooked rice and hot sauce.
This recipe is great since it's packed full of vegetables, it's also simple and it's a great tummy warmer for the colder days. It's also a great reason to dust off the crockpot!