Heat the oil and butter in a pan (or your slow cooker if you have a saute function), add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic, and fry on a low heat until the onion turns translucent (around 5 mins.)
Add the zucchini and bell pepper and fry for a further minute. Add the rice, turn up the heat and continually stir for about a minute, until the rice starts to look a little transparent.
Add the rice mixture to the slow cooker, along with the stock and pesto and stir to combine
Cook on high heat for 2 hours or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
Once cooked, stir in peas and Parmesan cheese and cook, uncovered, for around 10 mins (until the peas have cooked through)
CARROTS: Make sure to finely chop or grate to ensure they cook through. STOCK/ BROTH: The stock you use makes a big difference to this dish. You want to use a tasty one. Make sure to use low sodium or homemade stock if making for babies and young children, making your own stock allows you to control the sodium levels. PESTO: This is optional, used for extra flavour. Can be skipped if trying to reduce sodium levels or for dietary reasons. PARMESAN: Parmesan cheese will increase the sodium level so this is optional. You can easily miss it out if serving a baby / young child. I always buy a block of parmesan and freshly grate it. Alternatively, you could use grated parmesan from the chill section. Don't use the ambient cheese you can buy in the pasta aisle, it will greatly change the taste. COOKING TIME: Cooking times will vary depending on a few factors.
The slow cooker used. Slow cookers run at different temperatures and this will affect the cooking time. Also, if you have a slow cooker with a saute function the cooker will be hotter at the start of the slow cook, reducing the time needed.
The temperature of the stock/ broth. If adding the stock hot this will reduce the cooking time.
The surface area of your slow cooker may also affect the result. The slow cooker I used has a wide base, if you are using a smaller based, deeper cooker you may find you will have to stir the rice a couple of times during the cooking time.Nutritional Information is a ROUGH guide only, calculated using an online nutrition calculator.