My very veggie lentil bake is such a hit that I thought this whole ‘very veggie’ thing could be a bit of a recurring theme here on AYB. Probably a theme that will only recur this once, but still. One batch of these very veggie oat bars contains a whole courgette (zucchini), 3 carrots and 3 spring onions, along with oats, eggs and plenty of grated cheese – all good ingredients to make a good savoury oat bar!
These very veggie oat bars are great for lunch with a dollop of coleslaw and a bit of salad – and they’re tidy enough to pop in a lunchbox too. Makes a change from a soggy cheese sandwich! They’re firm but moist, and great eaten warm or cold. Just bake them up at the weekend, and since you can get about 9 pieces from each batch, they’ll see you through the next couple of weeks – store them in the freezer and thaw a couple of pieces at a time.
And just in case you thought these oat bars would be complicated to make, you’re wrong! There’s no pre-cooking required (who has the time?) – you can literally just mix all the ingredients in a big bowl, then bake. The thing that took the longest for me was grating the veggies and cheese, but if you have a food processor that will do the job for you, you’ll be even quicker!
This recipe actually took a few attempts to get right – they didn’t have enough flavour at first. This time, my main aim was to impart as much flavour as I could, but still making sure the recipe stayed as simple as possible. Spring onions are as tasty as regular onions, without needing any pre-cooking. One big dollop of pesto makes the whole batch really tasty – I used tomato and chilli pesto, which worked really well, but any flavourful pesto will do (you can always add a pinch of chilli powder too if your pesto’s not a spicy one). Fresh herbs, extra mature cheese, a generous pinch of salt and pepper… really tasty!
Do you fancy these very veggie oat bars in your packed lunch this week?
Very veggie oat bars
- 1 medium courgette (zucchini), grated (mine was around 315g / 11oz / 2 cups when grated)
- 3 medium carrots, grated (mine were around 200g / 7oz / 1 3/4 cups when grated)
- 225 g extra mature cheddar cheese, grated (~ 2 1/4 cup when grated)
- 150 g (~ 1 1/2 cups) rolled oats
- 80 g (~ 1/2 cup) self-raising flour
- Few sprigs fresh basil or parsley, roughly chopped
- 3 spring onions, sliced
- 2 tbsp pesto (I used tomato and chilli pesto)
- 4 eggs
- 75 ml (~ 1/4 cup) milk
- 1 tsp dried thyme or parsley
- Black pepper
- Oil for greasing
- Add the grated courgette (zucchini), grated carrot, grated cheese, oats, flour, chopped herbs, and spring onions to a large mixing bowl. Mix to combine. Then add the pesto, eggs, milk, dried herbs, and a good pinch of salt and pepper, and stir thoroughly until well mixed.
- Grease a suitably sized baking dish, and transfer the oat mixture to the dish. Smooth out the top, and cover loosely with foil (remember the mixture will rise a little due to the self-raising flour). Bake at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around an hour, then remove the foil, and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until crisped up to your liking.
- Leave to cool, or slice and serve straight away.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1 slice, or 1/9 of the recipe.