Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Frugal fun: versatile veggie mix

As there's a vegetarian in the family, I need to have a few 'bedrock' ideas at my fingertips (or in the freezer) so I always have something I can use.  I  realised that I am out of beany mix in the freezer (the one I got out
the other day turned out to be chicken based!  Ooops, bad labelling!) so this is what I made and what I used but just about everything is substitutable, one way or another and amounts are variable, according to availability and inclination.

A bit of butter or oil
1 smallish onion, peeled and sliced
A tsp crushed garlic and half a tsp of crushed chilli (both lazy but so, so useful)
Some frozen peppers, Morrisons
Some frozen mushrooms (I thawed these and cut them small), Morrisons
Some frozen mixed veg, Value, Morrisons
A can of chopped tomatoes, Morrisons (I didn't use value chopped toms as they tend to be more watery and there's not a huge difference in price)
A can of value kidney beans, Morrisons
One and a half tsps of Marigold stock powder
A good grating of black pepper
Herbs: I used oregano, marjoram and tarragon

Melt the butter in a largish pan, add the onion and gently fry until it is softening.  Add the carlic, chilli and peppers, stir well and continue gently frying for about five minutes, stirring now and again.  Then add the mushrooms.

Then tip in the chopped tomatoes, half fill the can with water, swish it round and add that too.  Add the well rinsed and drained beans, the Marigold, some black pepper and the herbs.  Mix well.

Bring to a gentle simmer, cover and leave to stew in it's own juices for about half an hour.  if necessary, take the lid off and allow some water to evaporate.

Taste and add salt if needed (the stock has some salt).

That's it.  I made a crumble topping and that sorted out dinner.  The rest froze in single portions - it made five portions (my size portions) altogether

After thawing, to ring the changes one could add extra chilli to turn it into a chilli without carne or fry some curry pices and add them.  Or add some tomato puree and toss it in pasta, served with grated Italian cheese on top.

It's very versatile and frugal to boot.  Also it must have tasted OK because daughter polished off the lot!

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