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?
Packed with grated veggies, cheese, oats, and lots of other tasty ingredients, these very veggie oat bars are great for packed lunches. Plus, there's no pre-cooking required - just mix everything up in one bowl!
- 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.