Big news on two fronts. The first: I bought a new casserole dish and it is awesome . I never knew I could be a person who fondles crocke...
Big news on two fronts.
The first: I bought a new casserole dish and it is awesome. I never knew I could be a person who fondles crockery in shops, but there you have it. I fondled it, walked it down the (supermarket) aisle and bought it home with me.
And then I cooked in it. A lot.
I made a Leon 100 garlic clove chicken crock pot recipe. Stinky but good. I slow roasted some sweet potato. I hosted a 'grab from the casserole dish' dinner party. I made several casseroles.
I love it. There is something decidedly simple and awesome about a casserole. You put the stuff in the dish. You put the dish in the oven. Done.
Second big news: I also got a spiralizer. It's like a play-doh machine for adults. But instead of pushing play-doh through it... you push vegetables through it. So along with fondling crockery, I am also one of those people who gets ACTUAL GLEE from using a kitchen utensil.
"OOhh look spirals!"
I know that spiralizers are big on the raw food front, and I do enjoy dabbling in different foodie areas, but I won't lie to you beautiful people... the first thing I made with it was curly fries.
NOT EVEN ASHAMED.
So, I've got my first ever blogger/foodie event coming up. It's baking / afternoon tea related... and I'm a little nervous as everyone I've heard of that is going is seriously talented in the baking department... I'm just jumping in foot first and hoping I'll at least have a laugh.
Cooking takes my mind off nerves. And walking. So naturally I decorated the bedroom this weekend and ended up having no time to do either of those things.
So what takes your mind off nerves?
2 years ago, my fussy eater husband wouldn't touch anything with tomato in it, hated sweet potato and despised beans. So how on earth did I get him to like this dish?
The smell of it.
Seriously. And it's easy to make too.
Simple as can be. Nothing needs to be prepped before hand, well, apart from chopping up veg. You just shove it all in and put it in your oven. My dish is huge. I don't think this picture quite sums up how big it is... here's me taking it out of my (very large) oven...
Yes. My oven gloves are awesome. Thank you for noticing.
YOU WILL NEED
4 good quality sausages. Use any, the best ones to use are pork or veggie sausages.
1 tin of beans (I used black eyed beans, but haricot, or butterbean would work too)
2 medium sized sweet potatoes
1 large white onion
1 large carrot (seriously, get a beasty looking one)
1 jar of tomato puree, double concentrate (roughly about 5 - 6 heaped tablespoons worth)
300ml vegetable stock - boiled
4 crushed garlic cloves
1/2 tablespoon worcester sauce
1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped basil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
50g red lentils
Handful of kale.
Ground black pepper
FIRST OF ALL
Preheat your oven to roughly 180°C (gas mark 4) and prep all the vegetables how you like. For instance, I like my carrots sliced but I have a friend that will only eat them in cubes. Go with the flow. Chop them all up.
DUMP IT IN THE DISH
Pop your chopped onion, sweet potato, carrot, kale and crushed garlic cloves in the dish. In a separate jug, mix the tomato puree, parsley, basil, cinnamon, worcester sauce, cider vinegar, honey and a pinch of sea salt. Mix until it forms a nice paste. Add this paste to the veggies in your dish, mix it until it covers it all evenly. Pour the veggie stock over the top. Make sure it completely covers the vegetables (it should look like there is way too much liquid in there. If it doesn't, add more) Then tip in the lentils.
THE EASY PART
Give it a quick mix, don't worry too much about blending the stock in with the paste, it'll do that itself during the cooking process. Before putting it in the oven, pop the sausages on top and pop the lid on the dish. (If you don't have a lid, I won't judge you for using foil or a plate...)
GO READ A BOOK
Leave it in the oven for roughly 2 1/2 hours. When you take it out, give it a quick stir. It should be a lot thicker in consistency, with the veggies being nice and soft when pricked with a fork. Yum. It's done.
Serve up with a crusty wholemeal loaf and farmhouse butter.
FYI: This recipe can also be made in a slow cooker. Same prep, just place it on low for 7-8 hours for the cooking time.