A recipe to warm your bones

A Recipe to Warm your Bones

The mornings are darker, the air cooler. There has been a sudden change in the weather, away from warm, dry days, towards crisp, cold ones. I love living in a seasonal climate. Different activities, a switch of wardrobe and most importantly for me, a desire for a change in menu. This month, I’m bringing you a warming recipe. This is what’s cooking in my kitchen today. It’s made in a slow cooker, which is an energy-efficient way of cooking. It also warms the kitchen over the day, so I’ve moved out of my office and am sitting at the kitchen table. It smells delicious and all it needs to go with it, is some greens. I found some purple sprouting broccoli at our local vegetable shop this morning, grown on a neighbouring farm. This blog brings you a recipe to warm your bones.

Delicious purple sprouting broccoli. Simply steam

For those with special dietary requirements

I’ve made some changes to the original ingredients, to meet the needs of my family’s intolerances (gluten and dairy). These are shown in italics. I also have fun with recipes, adding some extras to boost the nutritional profile. My additions are shown in bold.

It’s made in a slow cooker, which is an energy-efficient way of cooking

Vegetable Casserole with Cheesy Dumplings – a recipe to warm your bones


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g carrots, cut into batons or chunks (original was 200g)
  • 2 large/3 small leeks, thickly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tbsp buckwheat flour (original plain flour)
  • 400ml chicken stock (original was vegetable)
  • 2 courgettes, cut into thick slices
  • 2 x 400g cans of white beans (I used butter and cannellini)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 thyme, rosemary or tarragon sprigs
  • 200ml oat cream (original crème fraiche)
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 200g peas or broad beans
  • 200g spinach and curly kale
  • 100g mushrooms, finely chopped 
  • ½ small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon
fresh herbs

For the dumplings

  • 100g gluten free self-raising flour
  • 50g cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 100g lactose free mature cheese 
  • ½ small bunch of parsley, finely chopped


Set the slow cooker to low. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the carrots for 5 minutes until beginning to turn golden. Tip into the slow cooker.

Heat the remaining oil in the pan and fry the leeks with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and stir in the flour. Add the stock a little at a time, stirring until the flour has dissolved and there are no lumps. Bring to the boil, then tip into the slow cooker. Add the courgettes, mushrooms, beans and herbs, top up with water to cover. Stir well and cook for 4-6 hours on low (2 hours on high).

For the dumplings

To make the dumplings, tip the flour into a food processor. Add the butter and whizz for 20 seconds to make bread crumbs. Add the cheese, parsley, a little black pepper and a pinch of salt. Whizz again for 10 seconds, then add 3-4 tbsp cold water whilst pulsing to bring the dough together. If you don’t have a food processer, grate the butter whilst cold, stir through the flour, add the cheese and parsley and bring together with the water. Divide into six and gently roll into balls.

Add the oat cream (or crème fraiche), mustard, broad beans/peas and spinach/kale to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Turn the slow cooker to high and arrange the dumplings over the casserole. Cover and cook for 1-2 hours until the dumplings have doubled in size and are firm to the touch. Scatter with parsley and serve with sprouting broccoli as ‘dippers’.

Vegetable casserole with beans. A recipe to warm your bones 😊

So, there you have it – a recipe to warm your bones. This went down well with everyone in my household. Plenty of left overs for lunch boxes the next day as well. 

If you have a diagnosis of osteoarthritis, you can read about dietary and lifestyle strategies here and here. Learn what is happening to your joints and bones in this blog. If you are thinking about supplementation for osteoarthritis, read about core supplement combo here and more detail about curcumin here. If you would like to discuss your nutrition and supplement requirements with Clare, book a free call.

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