This one has been lurking on my pile of recipes to post for around a week now. It’s from the recent issue of Recipes+ magazine and the great thing about it is it contains almost all of your 5 serves of vegetables for the day, with 4.7 serves. Have some lettuce on your sandwich at lunchtime and any other vegetables you eat throughout the day are a bonus. It’s also low GI thanks to the lentils and a lovely, comforting meal to warm you up in Winter. Plus, it can all be made in the one casserole pot – so there is less washing up to do, always a bonus.
Use lean sausages to cut back on the fat, or vegetarian sausages to do so even further. Using vegetarian sausages also increases the fibre, making this a super healthy dish. To make this a low fat meal, pad it out to 6 serves with rice (Basmati is good as it is low GI), just make sure you have a couple of serves of vegetables at lunch though as this knocks it down to around 3.1 serves of vegetables each serve. We just used lean beef sausages and served it for 6 over rice. Next time I will try vegetarian sausages in this dish as I used to have them a lot when I was younger.
No matter how you serve this, I’m betting it will be absolutely scrumptious. If you love lentils, give this a go. If you don’t, try it anyway and see if the sausages can’t win you over. I’m sending this over to Cate at Sweetnicks for the next ARF/5-A-Day, whenever that may be with Cate being in the middle of moving house at the moment. Hope everything is going well Cate!
Keep your eyes peeled for my first official Daring Baker’s challenge post tomorrow. In the meantime, here is the recipe.
Sausage & Lentil Casserole (Serves 4-6)
Preheat your oven to 180C, lightly spray a flameproof casserole dish with olive oil spray and place over a medium heat. Separate 800g thick lean sausages or vegetarian sausages and prick with a fork, cook in the casserole dish until browned all over. Remove from the pan and cut each into 3 pieces. Drain any fat from the pan and heat 1Tbsp olive oil, add 1 diced, large red onion, 2 crushed garlic cloves & 2tsp ground cumin and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add 1 diced, large red capsicum, a 400g can diced tomatoes, a drained and rinsed 400g can brown lentils & 1/2C salt-reduced chicken or vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
Put the lid on the casserole dish and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until sausages are cooked and sauce has thickened slightly. Add in 1 diced, large zucchini (300g) and bake uncovered for a further 10 minutes. If serving with rice, cook it now.
Our supermarket ran out of zucchini last week, eventually they got in some ‘white zucchini’ that I have never seen before, pictured below. It was quite nice, a bit smaller, fatter and rounder than normal zucchini. I’m not sure if it is a different variety or just a baby version. Does anyone know?
Take the casserole out of the oven, stir through 100g chopped baby spinach leaves and stand for 5 minutes before serving over rice, if using.
Why Should I Eat That?
This casserole is Low GI, thanks to the lentils.
It also contains at least 3.1 serves of vegetables in each serve (if you make it 6 serves with rice) up to 4.7 serves (if you dish it up as 4 larger servings).
It is high in fibre when vegetarian sausages are used, or if you use meat sausages and serve it as 4 serves.
It is low in fat when made with either type of sausage and served as 6 serves with rice.
Using the information on Calorie King I have put together the following nutritional information, this was not from the magazine. I’ve given the information for both regular and vegetarian sausages and for 4 or 6 serves. Sorry for the information overload, I just think the comparison is interesting.
Nutritional Information: (per serve made with lean sausages, 4 or 6 serves)
Energy 2168.8 or 1445.8kJ, Protein 36.3 or 24.2g, Fat (Total) 17.7 or 11.8g (Saturated) 7.6 or 5.0g, Carbohydrate (Total) 46.8 or 31.2g (Sugars) 10.1 or 6.8g, Dietary Fibre 6.8 or 4.5g, Sodium 1309.5 or 873mg. 4.7 or 3.1 serves of vegetables.
Nutritional Information: (per serve made with vegetarian sausages, 4 or 6 serves)
Energy 2152.8 or 1435.2kJ, Protein 44.3 or 29.6g, Fat (Total) 16.1 or 10.7g (Saturated) 2.8 or 1.8g, Carbohydrate (Total) 38.8 or 25.9g (Sugars) 11.9 or 8g, Dietary Fibre 12.0 or 8g, Sodium 1727.5 or 1151.7mg. 4.7 or 3.1 serves of vegetables.