Thursday, 21 February 2013

Squash, Lentil and Coconut Casserole

I'm still on the spicy kick, as you can see. Last night’s dinner was inspired by a recipe I found recently in a Waitrose magazine; it sounded just the thing for a cold day. Yesterday was certainly that day – it was lovely, dry with some weak wintry sunshine, but it was absolutely freezing! When we went out for our daily walk there was a bitter easterly wind which made my eyes water and my face go numb…not a pretty sight…!

Anyway, when we got back I fiddled around with the aforementioned recipe and changed some of the ingredients (Mr Simply Veg isn’t keen on fennel), ditched the cream that was in it (cream and coconut milk…hmm, no thanks, my hips don’t need the calories) then added a handful of lentils.

OK, so it doesn’t look anything like the original dish but it was really good. We had it with crusty bread but next time I’ll serve it with rice or maybe noodles – it makes masses so I froze two portions for a later date.

Much as I love spicy food I’ve never used Cajun seasoning before – god knows why, I must be mad, it’s wonderful stuff!

2 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
1kg butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 2-3cm cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp dried thyme
250ml stock
1 400ml can coconut milk
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
75g red lentils

Heat the olive oil in a large lidded pan; fry the onion and squash over a high-ish heat for 5 minutes then add the garlic and fry for a minute or two.

Add the Cajun seasoning and thyme, stir well then add the stock, coconut milk and tomatoes; bring to the boil then turn the heat right down, pop a lid on and simmer for 15 minutes. Mix in the red pepper and lentils, put the lid back on and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the veg and lentils are tender.

Serve with crusty bread, rice or whatever you fancy.

Serves 4

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