vegetarian/gluten free/lactose free/can be made vegan
One week until the end of the month. That means it’s time to get creative. We may not have any money right now but what we do have is a tray full of mushrooms that are on the turn, half a loaf of stale bread and a couple of wrinkly peppers. What more does a girl need?
I don’t know exactly what this recipe is. It’s one I inherited from my Mum and in our house it was just called “veggie dish”. It’s sort of a delicious baked vegetable mush with a cheesy crispy, topping. It’s great for those times when you have a load of old odds and ends rattling around in the fridge and not much money in your bank account.
Assuming that bears had raided your kitchen and you had to buy every single ingredient in this recipe from a mid-range supermarket (I used Sainsburys prices to work this out) the cost would be roughly £4.50. This gives 4 portions at £1.12 each which is pretty good considering how nutritious it is. I love it because it uses up ingredients that I often have in anyway and prevents any waste.
In my local Sainsburys the celery, peppers, courgettes and mushroom are all cheaper to buy in gigantic packets than they are individually. This seems like a bizarre system to me and a silly waste of plastic but what do I know? I just take advantage of it while I can.
- This one really works best if you have a food processor. I have made it without and it tastes just fine but you don’t quite get the same texture and the chopping takes ages. If you are doing this without a food processor you will need really stale bread to make the breadcrumb; it has to be totally dried out or else it just won’t work, especially if that bread is shop-bought gluten free.
- If you’re like me and hate green peppers then this is an excellent way to disguise them. Also, despite the vast quantities of mushrooms in this, my husband who hates mushrooms cannot tell they’re in it.
- If you want to make this vegan, then just leave out the egg or use egg replacer/chia seeds. It’s not a vital ingredient; it just helps to bind it.
- My Mum’s version of this recipe used an onion, not a courgette but as I cannot eat onions in large amounts courgette is a good replacement.
- This can be served with pretty much anything. I like it with sausages or with baked beans and half a jacket potato.
- 2 peppers – 1 red and 1 green works best
- 3 sticks of celery
- 12oz mushrooms
- 1 medium courgette
- 6oz cheddar cheese (Lactofree or vegan cheddar style)
- 8oz stale bread (brown is best)
- 1 egg (or substitute)
- A pinch of salt and pepper
- Vegetable oil
- Chop the vegetables as fine as you can. Use a food processor if possible.
2. Fry the vegetables in a little vegetable oil for about 5mins.
3. Either use a food processor to turn the bread into breadcrumbs or rub it between your fingers.
4. Grate the cheese.
5. Beat the egg a little in a cup with the salt and pepper and add to the mixture.
6. Add 6oz of the breadcrumbs and 4oz of the cheese to the mixture.
7. Stir everything in and cook for another couple of minutes.
8. Put the mixture into an ovenproof baking dish and smooth down. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs over the top.
9. Bake at 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 25 minutes or until the top is browned and crispy.