I thought it was about time I shared another simple supper idea, because it’s the number one reason I hear for people grabbing a less than ideal “quick meal” – be that from the supermarket or corner shop in the form of a ready meal, or from a fast food joint. Or sometimes someone will tell me how they had a piece of toast for dinner, because they didn’t know what else to make.
Sound like anyone you know? Well, that’s kind of what these are here for: pick up a few things in the supermarket instead of that ready meal (trust me, you’re better off!) and make yourself something tasty instead! If dumplings aren’t your thing, don’t worry! I have a few others that I’ve posted previously – Spiced Coconut Cabbage, ‘Cheesy’ Beans, Polenta & Mushroom Ragout and Sausages & Butternut Squash Mash – so you could check one of those out? Or if you have a favourite item or food you’d love to see incorporated into a simple supper then comment below and I’ll start work on making one!
It’s all about the dumplings
This dish isn’t about the tomato sauce, or the vegetables. The sour cream is a highlight, but optional. They’re supporting players to the dumplings, just there to add a bit of extra nutrition and breadth to the meal. I pick mine up from the Polish section in my local Tesco – they’re in the chilled section. I choose the mushroom and sauerkraut ones because they’re accidentally vegan, but they have meat or cheese ones too if that’s your preference.
There are two options with cooking most dumplings, I’ve found: boiling or frying. I always fry them! Just a few spritzes of oil and they get lovely and crispy, with that yummy edge of flavour that comes from the crispness, caught just before the terrible edge of charcoal. The pack I use recommends using quite a lot of oil – almost a shallow fry – but you don’t need it. Just keep an eye on them and you’ll be fine!
If you’re really pressed for time
Just get a nice, low-sugar, low-salt tomato sauce from the shop when you pick up the dumplings. Sometimes, speed is needed and if making a sauce is the added faff that sways you towards that Chicken Tikka Masala ready meal, then buy the sauce!
Simple Supper: Dumplings and Broccoli with Paprika Tomato Sauce
- Prep time 5 minutes
- Cook time 25 minutes
- Total time 30 minutes
- Serves 2-3
- 1 pack vegan dumplings (I get mushroom & saurkraut)
- 1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
- 2 large carrots, chopped in half then sliced into thick chips
- tomato paprika sauce
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced/finely chopped
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp (~30g) tomato paste
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp hot paprika
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- cayenne pepper (to taste)
- salt & pepper
- to serve, optional
- Vegan sour cream (I make this [one|http://www.glutenfreeveganpantry.com/the-best-damn-vegan-sour-cream/)
- Start by preheating your oven to 180°C.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper or spritz with oil. Toss the carrot chips with a little salt and pepper, then put on the tray (don't crowd them) and pop in the oven until tender and colouring - this takes about 20 minutes in total. Don't forget to toss them half way through.
- Meanwhile, start your sauce. Put a saucepan over a medium heat with a little water (or use oil if you prefer) and add the onion. Cook until translucent (about 7-10 minutes), then add the garlic and let that sweat for about 2 minutes, just until fragrant. Add more water (if using) as necessary.
- Add the rest of the sauce ingredients, bring to a simmer and leave, partially covered, over a low heat until ready.
- Put a large frying or saute pan over a high heat, spritz liberally with oil, and let it heat up while you start steaming/boiling the broccoli.
- Once the pan is hot, add the dumplings. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until they start getting brown and crispy in spots. You may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pan. Keep any cooked dumplings wrapped in kitchen roll and a tea towel while cooking the rest.
- Once all the dumplings are cooked, serve it all up!