Slow Cooker Turkish Pilaf [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep: ≤ 35 mins
Cooking Time: 2-3 hrs (*on a high heat setting.)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board(s), sharp knife, colander, large/non-stick frying pan, frying spatula, measuring jug, slow cooker

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and per serving has a moderate quantity of added sugar, salt and fat!

Pilaf is a simple, global and personalised dish; in fact it’s so simple that you can even cook it perfectly in a slow cooker! Arguably, it may of even cooked better than our stove top variety; sometimes ‘cheaper’ varieties of rice can be a headache! Yes, a simple rice dish (with minimum prep!) that is typically a one-pot meal (sorry about the frying pan!). 

Our fluffy Turkish pilaf was cooked in a seasoned broth with tasty mint, cinnamon and chilli and served with some of our delicious ‘crumbled feta‘, a dollop of low-fat houmous and a wedge of pitta bread. Garnish by scattering some lovely and beautiful pomegranate ‘gems’, toasted nuts, tasty dates and a delicious medley of herbs. Serve it in a large bowl and enjoy every delicious spoonful packed full of great Middle Eastern tastes! 🙂

Perhaps this is an ideal dish to add to your weekend planner?! #mealplanning 

We hope that you do try this delicious, stress free rice that can be seasoned with any flavour(s) that take you fancy; enjoy it often with spices and seasoning’s from all around the globe! 

Have a good weekend everyone and happy cooking!

 

We decided to use rapeseed oil (not olive) and no bell pepper! We also added a splash of rose water (not seen here). The ‘dried dill bottle’ was a reminder for us to defrost some of our frozen dill  and flat leaf parsley! We used packaged’ pomegranate seeds, but check out our previous Middle Eastern recipe on how to remove pomegranate seeds from a pomegranate. 🙂

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++3             Garlic Clove (fat ones, about 20g!)
+++++++++++++++180g       White Onion
+++++++++++++++1              Green Chilli (we used a 30g Serrano!)
+++++++++++++++260g      Carrot
+++++++++++++++1 tbsp     Rapeseed Oil
+++++++++++++++2g           Dried Mint
+++++++++++++++3g           Ground Cinnamon
+++++++++++++++¼-½ tsp Salt & Ground Black Pepper
+++++++++++++++350g      Dried Easy Cook Basmati Rice
+++++++++++++++720g      Cooked Chickpeas (*about 3 tins or 360g dried + cooked)
+++++++++++++++700ml   Boiling Vegetable Stock (low-salt/GF if required)
+++++++++++++++1 tbsp     Rose water (*optional)
+++++++++++++++60g        Hazelnuts (or pine nuts)
+++++++++++++++60g        Dried Dates (or your favourite dried fruit)
+++++++++++++++               Fresh Dill
+++++++++++++++               Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
+++++++++++++++100g      Pomegranate Seeds

 

 

Directions

If you fancy it, prepare our ‘crumbled feta‘ first. Cover and refrigerate until the pilaf has finished cooking. Alternatively prepare it the night before; dice and serve it with the cooked rice.

 

Peel and dice the garlic. Peel and finely chop the onion. Wash the chilli, remove the stem, deseed and then finely chop. Wash, peel, trim the ends and finely cube the carrot.

 

 

  • Heat some rapeseed oil (or spray some low-fat cooking oil spray) in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat .
  • Add the garlic and onion. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until soft.
  • Add the chilli and carrot. Gently fry for a further 2-3 mins or until softened. Tip: Whilst your waiting for the veggies to soften, boil 700ml of water in a kettle (you’ll need this for your stock!).
  • Add 2g dried mint 3g ground cinnamon. Season it with ¼- ½ tsp salt and black pepper. Stir to coat.
  • Add the rice. Stir to coat. Remove from the heat.

 

 

  1. Transfer the rice mixture into a slow cooker. Add the cooked chickpeas (*drain and wash any tinned varieties before adding!).
    2. Prepare the stock; pour it into the slow cooker. Add the rose water (if using). Stir together.
    3. Cover with a lid. Cook on a high heat setting for 2-3 hours (NB: ours took 2.5hrs).
    4. Fluff the rice grains with a fork just before serving; taste and season as necessary…but try not to eat it all of it straight out of the slow cooker! 😛

 

Before the rice has finished cooking, prepare some garnishes. Toast some hazelnuts in a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat (and then roughly chop), finely dice some dried fruit (if applicable) and wash/finely chop some fresh dill and/or parsley (if desired).

 

Serve in a large bowl in addition to the ‘crumbled feta’, houmous (or minty yoghurt!) and pitta bread (if desired). Garnish the rice with nuts, dried fruit, fresh dill and/or parsley.

Both pictures show one portion of pilaf. 🙂

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftover rice in a resealable container (ideally within an hour after cooking); reheat and consume within 1-2 days. Alternatively freeze the rice (without garnishes) in one or more resealable containers; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

Refrigerate the ‘crumbled feta’ in a separate air-tight and resealable container; consume within 3-4 days.

NB: When reheating, always check to make sure the rice is steaming hot all the way through and do not reheat the rice more than once. 

Recipe updated: 19/02/16
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(Almost!) Dolma

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 3-4
Prep, Cooking & Assembly: 60 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Large pot, chopping board, sharp knife, manual juicer (optional), large/non-stick frying pan, frying spatula, mixing bowl, serving tray (or dish)

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & K, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, magnesium, potassium and (per serving) is low in salt, sugar and saturated fats!

This recipe doesn’t necessarily need a huge explanation, the name really does says it all!  Traditional dolma is prepared using vine leaves, but we used some spring greens instead… and we were very happy with the end result! Spring greens are cheaper, more easily sourced (particularly because they are in season) and versatile (at least around these parts and in our kitchen!). They are also very nutritious, as we have previously mentioned here!

Traditional recipes also use white rice (sometimes with the addition of meat), currents or raisins and various other ingredients and seasoning’s (region dependent); they are then steamed and served as meze or part of a main dish!

We used wholemeal rice and figs- delicious! If you do not enjoy either, try brown long grain rice and some traditional dried fruits instead. 

We’are always up for a great recipe that uses a combination of grains and dried fruits or a just a dish with a delicious savoury rice on offer! …Check out our: Roasted Stuffed Peppers, Baked Rice , Vegan KoftesRoasted Bell peppers or Vegan Curried Rice recipes!

We went all out and made a mini Middle Eastern/Mediterranean feast (which included our homemade aubergine dip) and some houmous!

So go on, experiment and try this new kitchen challenge- it’s fantastic!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++++++++++180g    Wholegrain rice, dried
+++++++++++++++++++++++++400g   Spring Greens
+++++++++++++++++++++++++6g        Garlic clove
+++++++++++++++++++++++++120g     Banana shallots
+++++++++++++++++++++++++100g    Chestnut mushrooms
+++++++++++++++++++++++++60g      Dried figs
+++++++++++++++++++++++++30g      Pine nuts
+++++++++++++++++++++++++6g         Fresh dill
+++++++++++++++++++++++++12g        Fresh Flat leaf parsley
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1            Lemon
+++++++++++++++++++++++++             Low-fat fry spray
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g          Cumin, and allspice
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2g         Dried mint
+++++++++++++++++++++++++             Salt & Ground black pepper

 

Directions

Cook the rice according to the packet instructions. Drain and allow to cool.

Ours took 10 mins.

 

 

In the meantime, separate the spring green leaves from its centre. Gently wash them and trim any thick or long ends off the leaves. Peel and finely chop the shallot and the garlic. Wash, dry and dice the mushrooms.

 

 

Dice the figs. Finely chop the nuts. Wash and then zest the lemon.

 

 

Wash and roughly chop the parsley and dill.

 

 

Juice half the lemon (save the other half for later on).

 

 

Heat some low-fat cooking oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat.

 

 

Add the shallot and garlic. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened.

 

 

Add the mushrooms. Fry for a further 2 mins or until softened.

 

 

Meanwhile, place the spring greens into a steamer pot with some water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Steam for 3 mins or until just softened. Once cooked, drain and place them onto a plate lined with kitchen paper. Gently pat dry. (*Skip this step if you are not assembling the dolma’s straight away!).

 

 

Add the cumin, allspice and mint. Stir to coat. Remove from the heat.

 

 

Transfer into a large mixing bowl.

 

 

Add the rice, figs, nuts, lemon zest, parsley, dill and lemon juice.

 

 

Stir and thoroughly mix the ingredients. Season with some salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

Store in an air tight and resealable container. Reheat and use later on (if applicable).

 

 

 (Almost!) Dolma Assembly

Place some spring greens onto a flat surface. Pat dry.

 

 

Spoon approx. 3 tbsp of the rice mixture down the centre.

 

 

Fold up the ends.

 

 

Carefully roll the leaf until sealed. Warm and reheat in the a microwave before serving (if applicable/preferred).

 

Place into a large serving tray with a squeeze of lemon juice.

 

 

Serve as part of your meze line-up…

or as part of your Middle-Eastern/Mediterranean based meal!

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in an air tight and resealable container (ideally within an hour after cooking); reheat and consume within 1-2 days.

Tip: When reheating, always check to make sure the rice is steaming hot all the way through and do not reheat the rice more than once.