Sweet Potato and Chickpea Casserole - Wonderbag Review

I must admit when I was asked if I'd like to review a Wonderbag (which I might point out I had never heard of before) I was intrigued.  Can it really work, I mean really?  Well the answer is, YES it does.

So, the Wonderbag looks like a big comfy beanbag but of course it isn't; it's an eco-friendly slow cooks that cooks and keeps food hot for up to 12 hours, but with a difference - there's no battery, plug or fuel required.

Check out my deliciously warming Sweet Potato and Chickpea Casserole - cooked in the Wonderbag!


Sweet Potato and Chickpea Casserole and the Wonderbag

This was another of my experiments in the kitchen and it worked. The lovely warming spice cumin and honey go perfectly together but the addition of coconut milk gave the casserole a nice and creamy rich flavour; yep sucess.

The Wonderbag is light in weight, easily portable and compact for easy storage when not in use. There's no need to supervise the cooking of your dishes and it will never overcook or burn your dishes.  It even doubles as a cooler bag to keep food and drinks chilled as long as they went in really cold in the first place they will stay really cold.



Wonderbag in Grey

The recipe booklet that comes with the Wonderbag is one of the best I've seen.  Usually when you get a recipe booklet with even some top brand kitchen appliances they are not too amazing but this one is excellent, with lovely looking and colourful dishes that really make you want to try them.

But of course being a food blogger I wanted to make my own recipe and see if the Wonderbag was all it claimed to be. Before I forget to say and for anyone wondering, just because I chose to make a veggie meal doesn't mean you can't cook meat in it, you can cook meat, chicken or fish in the Wonderbag.  In fact you can cook pretty much anything in it even yogurt.  It's available in two sizes and in a variety of colours and patterns.

How does the Wonderbag work?
It works simply by heat-retention so you must use a pot made from copper, steel, aluminium. enamelled cast iron, cast iron, or glassware with a tight fitting lid.  Clay or ceramic post are not suitable.

Bring your chosen dish to boiling point and simmer for a few minutes. Once your dish is inside the Wonderbag and the beanbag-like lid is in place you pull the draw cord tight and leave it alone. Only open the Wonderbag when you are ready to serve; so remember no peaking or dinner won't happen!

The longer food stays in the Wonderbag the more tender it becomes.

Casserole inside the Wonderbag

Warming Sweet Potato and Chickpea Casserole

Print Recipe

Serves 2-4

You will need:
1 tablespoon coconut or vegetable oil
1 large sweet potato - peeled and cut into small bite sized pieces
1 large onion - peeled and cut into small dice
1 fat clove of garlic - peeled and very finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato puree (paste if you're in the US)
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne or chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon harissa paste - a bit less if you don't like spice; you can always add more later
1/2 Knorr chicken stock cube - vegetable if you are vegetarian dissolved in just 60ml hot water
1 x 400g tin of good quality tomatoes including their juice
1 x 165ml coconut milk
a squeeze of runny honey
1 x 400ml tin of chickpeas - drained well
sea salt and black pepper
freshly chopped coriander - leaves only

Top Tip!
As with any slow cooker method of cooking liquid doesn't thicken because there's no evaporation so you just need to add some kind of thickening. For example once cooking has finished, you can use cornflour dissolved in a tiny bit of water then added to the pot, although I am a major fan of MacDougalls Thickening Granules.

Method:
I used an enamelled cast iron casserole pot that can go directly onto the stove top to avoid loosing heat when ready to go into the Wonderbag.  Place a tea towel in the bottom of the bag - just to protect it from spills.

Add the oil to your cooking pot and throw in the sweet potato and onion. Stir to keep from burning and cook for a minute or so before adding the garlic. You can add a little more oil if you think it needs it.

Add the tomato puree, cumin, cayenne and turmeric cook for a few seconds. Now add with the harissa, stock and tomatoes including their juice.  Add the coconut milk and honey and stir well.

Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes before adding the drained chickpeas. Continue to simmer for a further 5 minutes or so until piping hot.

Pop the lid on and put the casserole dish into the Wonderbag, making sure you also pop its beanbag- like lid on and pull the cord tight. Leave to cook by itself for at least five hours; I left mine for nearly six.

When you're ready to serve chop the coriander, remove the dish from the Wonderbag and have a taste.  Add sea salt and black pepper and thicken as mentioned above.  If you think you need to add more honey or harissa do it now.

Sprinkle with the chopped coriander with couscous or whatever you fancy.

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Casserole

I must say I'm really impressed with the Wonderbag.  I must admit I had my doubts as to whether to sweet potatoes and onions would cook properly as they were nowhere near cooked when they went in but they turned out perfectly cooked and tender. I have tried chicken and that too was impressive; another Wonderbag post to follow soon 👍

Many thanks to Wonderbag for sending one to review; I love it!

To find out more and to order one pop over to The Wonderbag website or you can find them on Twitter @wonderbagUK and @mywonderbag


Disclosure: I received a Wonderbag to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not required to write anything positive. 

4 comments

  1. What a great invention this is! Thank you for the tips :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Never seen a technique like this before.Loved it!! Definitely wanna try it. Thinking of using Maggi chicken stock for this recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Dominic
    Thanks for your comment, isn't the Wonderbag a brilliant invention?!
    Yes I think Maggi chicken stock will be fine for this :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to comment - much appreciated.
Cheers
Jan

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