With the violent storm heading through the East coast of Australia, it has confirmed the worst. Winter is coming. While the sun may be shinning some days, it’s important to have extra ready-made meals on hand for a rainy day. Now with your food vacuum sealer from Munro Direct, it’s easier than ever. Warm up this winter with one of our delectable casserole recipes. Whether you prefer vegetarian, beef or chicken – we’ve got you covered! Check out these fantastic recipes.

 

Vegetarian Casserole

Serves 4

This mouth watering Mediterranean stew has plenty of your favourite veggies and spices. A definite must for vegetarians who want great taste and good health rolled into one.

  • 1 tbsp olive
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced (about 200g)
  • 2 medium sticks celery, finely sliced (about 120g)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 2 x 400g tins tomatoes or peeled cherry tomatoes
  • 250ml vegetable stock cube (we used 1 Knorr vegetable stock pot)
  • 2 courgettes, sliced thickly (about 300g)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 250g cooked lentils
Method
  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan. Add the onions and cook gently for 5 – 10 mins until softened.
  2. Add the garlic, spices, dried thyme, carrots, celery and peppers and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, stock, courgettes and fresh thyme and cook for 20 – 25 minutes.
  4. Take out the thyme sprigs. Stir in the lentils and bring back to a simmer. Serve with wild and white basmati rice, mash or quinoa.

 

Beef & Vegetable Casserole

Serves 5

A delectable traditional braised beef stew coated in thick, rich gravy. This recipe is ideal for those tight on money, as slow cooking cheaper cuts of meat guarantees a tender dish.

  • 2 celery sticks, thickly sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, halved lengthways then very chunky slices
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 beef stock cubes, crumbled
  • 850g stewing beef cut into large chunks

 

Method
  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Put the kettle on. Put the celery, onion, carrots, bay and 1 thyme sprig in a casserole with 1 tbsp oil and the butter.
  2. Soften for 10 mins, then stir in the flour until it doesn’t look dusty anymore, followed by the tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce and beef stock cubes.
  3. Gradually stir in 600ml hot water, then tip in the beef and bring to a gentle simmer.
  4. Cover and put in the oven for 2hrs 30 mins, then uncover and cook for 30mins – 1hr more until the meat is really tender and the sauce is thickened.

 

Cajun Chicken Gumbo

Serves 6

This tasty dish perfectly combines traditional casserole methods with a full Cajun flavour. You might even want to double this recipe – it’s so delicious that it will be in high demand!

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunky pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5tbsp plain flour
  • 4 tsp Cajun spice mix (or 1 each paprika, ground cumin, ground chilli and dried basil)
  • 600ml chicken stock (made with 2 stock cubes)
  • 2 green peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 300g thickly sliced ham, trimmed of any fat and diced
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped parsley
Method
  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a wide casserole or big frying pan and fry the chicken for a few mins to brown. Tip out onto a plate.
  2. Add the onion to the pan with 1 tbsp more oil and fry for 5 mins until almost softened.
  3. Add the celery and fry for another 2 mins, then tip out to join the chicken.
  4. Add the remaining oil, bay leaves and flour to the pan and cook into a paste. Carry on cooking, stirring constantly (with a splash of water if you need), until golden brown, then stir in the spices for 2 mins.
  5. Gradually stir in the stock until smooth and saucy.
  6. Return the chicken and veg to the pan, along with the peppers, cover and simmer gently for 15 mins.
  7. Stir in the ham, cover and simmer gently for 10 mins more. Check for seasoning, then serve, sprinkled with the spring onions mixed with the chopped parsley

 

Whether you prefer beef, chicken or vegetarian, these recipes are the perfect way to warm up your winter – and save you some time! Maybe spice things up by serving on brown or jasmine rice, or even on your favourite bread. Whatever the way, you’ll be sure to enjoy the convenience and ease of these succulent dishes.

 

How did you go trying them? Comment your experience or share your favourite recipe below.

Recipes and images courtesy of BBC good food recipes

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