Cider Sausage Casserole with Black Quinoa (v)

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Yeah. Black quinoa mofos. I’m so totally more hipster than you 😉 And no, there isn’t much difference between the normal type and this one or the red one! I found  it lurking at the back of the cupboard when I had a New Year clear out so thought I’d better use it… I also found some unpleasant cheap cider that I’d got to mull but hadn’t got round to using. This was an inspired chuck it all in and see what happens dish and what happened was I’d definitely make it again so here is the recipe!

For four portions you need

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 8 vegan sausages
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into fat discs
  • 4 potatoes, cut into chunky cubes
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 can cider
  • 2 tsp stock powder
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tin black eyed beans, drained and rinsed
  • 200g spinach, washed and shredded
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup black quinoa
  1. Begin by frying the leek, carrots, potatoes and sausages in the oil until the vegetables are starting to get tender and the sausages have browned a little, about 10 mins.
  2. Add the cider, stock powder and mustard and bring to the boil. Add the quinoa, beans and sage and cook gently covered for 10-15 mins until the quinoa, potatoes and carrots are cooked. You may need to add a little more stock if necessary as you want a bit of sauce left.
  3. Season to taste and add the spinach. Leave to wilt, covered and with the heat off, for 5 mins. This will also allow the quinoa to finish cooking and relax a little.
  4. Delicious served with some apple sauce on the side.
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Quorn au Vin (v)

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I’d been craving this for ages, and after searching recipes on the internet didn’t find one that exactly met my requirements so I concocted this. It was delicious. I recommend making it a day or so ahead of when you want to eat it to let the flavours develop and mingle. Perfect January comfort food.

For six portions you need

  • 12 quorn fillets
  • 250g baby button mushrooms
  • 250g shallots, peeled and kept as whole as possible
  • 250g chantenay carrots – tops chopped off but don’t worry about peeling them
  • 3 tbsp brandy
  • 600ml red wine
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • salt and pepper
  1. Begin by frying the carrots, shallots and mushrooms in a large casserole pan with the oil. Saute for 5-10 mins until starting to soften. Add the bay leaves and cook for a further 1-2 mins.
  2. Add the brandy and deglaze the pan. Add the wine and stock. Cook for about 15 mins until the wine mixture has started to reduce and the vegetable are tender.
  3. Add the quorn fillets, puree and season to taste. Cook for a further 10 mins or so until the quorn is cooked through. You don’t want to over cook it as it can get quite soggy.
  4. Either eat straight away or leave to mingle for a few days in the fridge. I served it with saute potatoes one day and mash and steamed spring greens another.

Lentil and Pearl Barley Root Vegetable Casserole (v)

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Every year I get a bit depressed about the end of Summer and the beginning of Autumn. But then I remember warming stews and casseroles and honking geese and I feel a bit less dejected. This casserole is a variation on one I make a lot, but for the first time I cooked it in the oven in the hope that the pearl barley and lentils wouldn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. They didn’t! I served with mashed potatoes and steamed spring greens.

For six portions you need

Casserole

  • 1 leek, sliced into 0.5″ slices
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, sliced
  • 2 carrots, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 small swede cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1.25l vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup pearly barley, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cauliflower cut into bite sized florets
  • salt and pepper to taste

Dumplings

  • 100g self raising flour
  • 50g vegetable suet
  • dried herbs
  • salt and pepper
  • cold water to mix to a dough
  1. Place all the chopped veg apart from the cauli into an oven proof casserole pan with the oil and saute, covered, for about 8 mins until the veg are starting to soften.
  2. Add the stock, lentils and pearl barley. Mix well and bring to the boil.
  3. Cover with a lid and place in a 160 degree oven for 30 mins.
  4. Make the dumplings by adding enough cold water to the mix to form a soft dough. Shape into 8 dumplings.
  5. After 30 mins, remove the pan from the oven and add the cauliflower and dumplings to the casserole. Mix the cauli in well to ensure it cooks, and place the dumplings on top of the casserole. Cover with the lid and return to the oven for a further 25 mins.
  6. Season to taste and serve with veg of your choice and pickled red cabbage if you’re feeling particularly northern!

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