Introduction: Hearty Veggie Hodgepodge

The crock pot method of cooking is the foolproof way to create hearty and delicious meals, whilst cutting down food preparation time to a minimum, a dream come true for all foodies! This hearty veggie hodgepodge will contribute to your 5-a-day intake of fruit and vegetables, as well as providing a whole lot of nutritional goodies.

All the vegetables and other ingredients used in this recipe are full of health benefits and low in fat, providing a healthy yet wholesome meal, enough to satisfy even the hungriest of mouths!

Step 1: Ingredients (serves Approx 5-6)

300g Quinoa

3 cups carrot sticks/carrot slices

1 large sweet potato peeled and cubed

2 cups fine trimmed green beans, chopped.

1 cup chopped cilantro (coriander)

1 onion thickly sliced

1 small garlic, peeled and grated

2 cans mixed beans, drained

500ml vegetable juice

1 cup vegetable stock

300g Quorn mince

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Sea salt to taste

Step 2: Chop and Assemble the 'hodgepodge'

Start off by preparing the quinoa according to instructions on the packaging. Different brands of quinoa require different preparations and cooking guidelines. Only cook for half the recommended time as it will cook further in the crock pot.

Wash, cut and chop the vegetables according to your preference. I prefer having larger pieces of vegetables, as it does not disintegrate in the crock pot. Put all the above ingredients, including stock, vegetable juice, Quorn, beans and spices and turn on the crock pot. I left mine on 'High' for 4 hours, before adding the semi-cooked quinoa. Give the medley a good stir, mixing up the juices and cook for a further hour.

Step 3: Check for 'doneness' and Enjoy!

I prefer my veggies intact with a very slight mushiness, check for correct salt levels and serve.

Step 4: Verdict

Success! Whilst being very wholesome, low in calorie and virtually fat free, this hodgepodge made a delicious dinner. For the carnivores out there, the Quorn mince can be substituted for lamb mince, however would impact the goodness of this meal. This dish did not require any sides however, for the more adventurous types, a rocket/leafy salad would compliment the flavour and textures. Try to use fresh vegetables and spices where possible for maximum flavour and benefit.

To make this dish even more 'superfoody', add fresh kale for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

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