08 March 2017

Slow Cooker Potato and Haricot Bean Casserole (vegan crockpot recipe)



Last weekend, Cooper made us a delicious casserole in our slow cooker. I gathered the ingredients and he prepared them and popped them into the slow cooker with spices and stock to cook all day while we cleaned the house and then played board games. The smell was wonderful.

I really think it's important to take children into the kitchen at an early age to teach them to cook and bake and to give them a love of it. Not only do they learn important life skills that will be useful for them as adults, but they learn about ingredients and healthy eating. And the fussy eaters,,,,,,,, well they are more likely to try something they've made themselves.





Slow Cookers and Crockpots


The History

Slow cookers or crockpots as they are also known are not anything new. People have been slow cooking their meals in them since the 40s when Irving Naxon got a patent for his Naxon Beanery, which was a cooker consisting of an insert in a case which had a heating element. He invented his beanery so he could recreate a slow cooked cholent stew his Jewish mother had made in her village bakery in Lithuania. 

Cholent Stew

The cholent stew is a traditional Jewish dish made with meat and beans that cooks all day. So thanks to Naxon and his mother's stew, the crock pot was born. It didn't really become a popular kitchen gadget until the 70s. Here in the UK they are more commonly known as slow cookers and are used for making so much more than stew these days.

My Slow Cooker

A few of years ago I had a modern slow cooker that had a variety of functions. It was shiny metal and modern and I used it once. It sat unused for a long time before I passed it on to a friend at work.

I thought slow cooking wasn't for me. Then I saw Swan's Retro Slow Cooker and I was tempted again. This slow cooker is as simple as can be. Two setting and that's it. It also has a retro look and a lovely cream interior like my Le Creuset casseroles, that must be why I like it so much. There's something pleasing about cooking in a white or cream pot. I can happily say this slow cooker is being used and won't be neglected like the last one.




This is a simple casserole of potatoes, carrots and haricot beans in a lightly spiced tomato sauce. You could of course make it much spicier, but I had Cooper to think of, so kept the spices minimal. Just enough to add to the flavour.

We served the casserole simply with some crusty buttered bread, but you could serve it with well cooked vegan sausages or green vegetables to help you to reach that elusive ten a day. By the way how are you getting along with those new guidelines to eat ten portions of fruit and vegetables a day? I've made it to eight portions, but I'm finding the ten quite difficult to reach.



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Slow Cooker Potato and Haricot Bean Casserole
A lightly spiced vegan casserole made in the slow cooker. Potatoes, carrots and haricot beans in a spicy tomato sauce makes a comforting family meal. Leftover portions can be chilled or frozen for another day. If you're making this in a casserole pot on the cooker top, remember you'll need more stock and it won't take as long to cook. Just keep an eye on it.
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 kg potatoes, chopped into large chunks
  • 300g carrots, chopped
  • 400g tin haricot beans, rinsed well 
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 vegetable stock cubes dissolved in 250g/1 cup hot water (more if you aren't using a slow cooker)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • a pinch of paprika
  • a good grinding of salt and pepper
Instructions

1. Chop the vegetables and add them to the slow cooker.
2. Add the spices and stock.
3. Set the slow cooker to low (75-80 degrees for 8 hours) or cook in a casserole on the hob for 45 minutes - 1 hour. If you are cooking on the hob, saute the onion and garlic until soft before adding the other ingredients and add more stock.
4. Check the casserole near the end of cooking to see if it needs longer.
5. Serve with crusty bread, green vegetables or well cooked vegan sausages.
6. Enjoy!

Details
Total prep time:
Total cooking time: 8 hours

Yield: serves 4-6





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Disclosure: My retro slow cooker from Swan is a cheap buy at £24.99. It's a simple slow cooker, but I am really enjoying using it. Swan kindly sent it to me to try, but they didn't expect a positive review. Any opinions expressed are my own.

12 comments:

  1. This looks so comforting. THe perfect warming dish on a cold chilly day.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jemma and yes perfect for rainy, cold days :)

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  2. Oh how yummy does this look! The perfect comfort food after a long weekend walk I think! Pinning for later :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it was a real comforting dish and very satisfying.

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  3. This looks delicious! I have ummed and ahhhed about getting a slow cooker for ages. Maybe it's time to take the plunge....

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    Replies
    1. Yes, they aren't dear at all and easy to use.

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  4. I can't wait to get my hands on a plate of this! That's pure comfort food, for me! Thanks for another great recipe Jacqueline! :)

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  5. These looks like the perfect evening dinner, I need to dig out my slow cooker to try making it!

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  6. Your slow cooker is lovely. It would actually look nice sitting out on a kitchen bench. Your stew looks rather delicious too.

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    Replies
    1. Yes it is rather nice. I do like a spot of retro.

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I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x