Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Recipe: Vegetarian Bean Hotpot #vegan

We have been working with Canned Food UK to see just how versatile and tasty canned food can be.  I must admit, before taking the Canned Food Challenge, I was a bit suspicious of canned foods.  We use cans of beans often, and tomatoes most days, but I was probably a bit sniffy about canned vegetables and fruit, I must admit.  But my mind has been changed!

During the challenge, we learnt that canned food can actually be more nutritious than fresh, with canned tomatoes, for example, being significantly higher in calcium, magnesium and the antioxidant lycopene, than fresh tomatoes.  Canned vegetables, beans and pulses are good sources of fibre too, which helps promote good digestion as well as lowering blood cholesterol levels and stabilising blood sugar.  You can find more information, including some surprising facts, on the Canned Food UK website.

We received a wide selection of canned foods for the challenge, including beans and tomatoes, but also more unusual (to us) canned foods such as carrots and mushrooms.  I must admit I would never have thought of buying either of those in a can!  I was a bit apprehensive about using them, especially the mushrooms, but when we devised the hotpot recipe below, they worked really well in it.  Unlike fresh mushrooms, the canned version held together well in the dish and retained some texture.  Our chosen dish uses several different canned foods, as you can see below, and we are definite converts to canned foods.  We also received some canned fruit, which we have used in this cake recipe.

Recipe: Vegetarian Bean Hotpot

Serves 4


1 large courgette
1 leek
2 onions
2 cloves of garlic cloves
2 tsp paprika
400g can of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 bay leaves
300g can of sliced carrots
285g can of sliced mushrooms
2 x 400g can beans, we used cannellini and butter beans
5 large potatoes


1. Slice the leeks, onions and courgette and saute over a low heat until soft.
2. Add the garlic and paprika, and stir through the tomatoes and tomato puree.
3. Add the bay leaves and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes.
4. Drain the carrots and mushrooms and add to the pan, before draining and adding the beans.  Season to taste.  Add some water if necessary.
5. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Pour into a lasagne type dish and remove the bay leaves.
7. Top with sliced potatoes and season with black pepper.
8. Bake at 200C for 30 minutes until the topping is brown.
9. Serve with green vegetables or salad.

Look out for our recipe using canned fruit next week!

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