Maybe it was because the novelty of using my casserole dish had worn off, or maybe it was the fact I don’t actually like lentils, but today’s dinner didn’t quite hit the mark.
The winter vegetable casserole didn’t really sing to me when I first came across the recipe, however I figured it would be filling and cheap to make- which it partially was. However, there was something missing, and I found it tiresome to eat a bowl. It wasn’t that it tasted horrible, or that it wasn’t cooked well, it was just very boring to eat. Soft veg and lentils made for an all round mushy texture.
I also expected it to be slightly more brothy, so I think, when reducing the quantity of ingredients, I may have somehow miscalculated the vegetable stock. As much as I love leftovers, I don’t have enough fridge/freezer space for weeks worth of biryani and winter casserole. Like I said, I tried to reduce the portions by cutting the quantities in half, however, somehow, I am still left with a huge dish of stew.
I didn’t follow the recipe 100% accurately, substituting celery for extra carrots, and parsley for ground coriander. I also couldn’t find any pearl barley (what the hell is that?!) so I presumed lentils would do. I know people go mad for lentils in Brighton, but I’m not sure if I agree. In the grand scheme of things I don’t think any of these changes had a great impact on the finished product- but maybe I am wrong, maybe pearl barley was exactly what I needed.
Value wise this dish is great, with Aldi veg being relatively cheap, the total was around £1.30. I also have leftover, uncooked veg, and enough lentils to last me a decade- maybe I will be able to create a new dish for the end of the week.
I don’t like to waste food, so I will be grabbing my trusty freezer bags and saving the rest. Maybe when times get desperate I will pull out one of these mushy meals. In future I would definitely add some chicken and a little extra broth.
Overall, I probably wouldn’t recommend this, however this may be due to my cooking errors, rather than the dish itself. I must also thank my lovely housemate Ellen for giving me a fajita to fill me up this evening, I feel like I have cheated on my blog!
Nevertheless, here is the link: http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/2663/winter-vegetable-casserole.aspx