Chickpea leek and mushroom casserole (slow cooker, vegan)

We love a good creamy dish around here. Actually that’s a lie. We are more of the acidic type. So although I like potato leek soup no one else does. I had a beautiful, gigantic,  organic leek screaming to be used and potatoes threatening to start sprouting. I needed to do something and from experience even Jamie Oliver doesn’t make a leek soup my kids will eat. Seriously I tried. I had to eat leek soup for days.

IMG_5349I find that sometimes given the restrictions in our diet it gets a little monotonous. No matter how varied the ingredients I feel like I’ve seen it all before. So I have been venturing out to use flavours less common in vegetarian cuisine. This dish isn’t a big stretch since I use thyme a lot. But there is no tomato, no cumin, no coriander, and has a more significant sweet/acid balance than I usually cook with.

I spent some time on google basically looking for a recipe I could swap the protein out of but that used the leeks and potatoes. I came across this. The dish has bacon and chicken. I swapped those out for cashews and chickpeas. Cashews for the fat from the bacon and chickpeas cause they sound like chicken. Sorry that replacement choice was no more enlightened than a pun.IMG_5351

Cashew Chickpea  Casserole

SERVES: 6                     PREP TIME: 10min                   SLOWCOOK: 6hrs

Ingredients:

1 very large leek (pale parts), quartered then chopped
2 white krantz potatoes, peeled and diced
3 green onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
200g cremini mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup raw cashews. Rinsed.
1.5 cups white Kedem grape juice **
Splash of white wine vinegar
1 cup vegetable broth
.5-1 cup water or more broth (make sure there is enough liquid in slow cooker!)
3 sprigs fresh thyme. Or approximately 2 tsp dry.
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt

Method:

Dump in slow cooker,  6 hrs on low.

If you want to make this on the stove, saute the leeks, green onions and garlic in olive oil about 6 min or until softened, add the other ingredients, bring to boil then allow to simmer for 20-30min.

Serve: on Quinoa* with a bright vegetable side (I served this with beautiful green brocoli) No pictures because it was the babysitter who was home for this meal.

TIPS:

*I suggest cooking your quinoa in broth, it really gives it a nice flavour and texture, or adding spices to your water. I added dried onion to my water for this meal.

Baby Friendly: The cashews (if you use raw) get very soft, so provided you have introduced your child to nuts, this dish can be served as is or lightly mashed with a potato masher for a young child. I havent tried rendering it into a puree but if you do let me know!

**Cooking for the adults? Have wine in the fridge? replace the grape juice and vinegar with 400ml of white wine

Freezable.

IMG_5359

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