Proving once again, a low-carb diet can be plant-based*, I bring you the sausage, pepper and red lentil casserole!
My ‘beef’ (see what I did there) with the hi-jacking of the term ‘plant-based’, is that it’s assumed to mean vegan, whereas I’d argue you can eat meat, fish and eggs and still have most of your diet made up of plants.
Sausages and lentils have a long dating history. The French twin them together for cassoulets as lentils soak up meat juices and add cheap bulk to a dish. Bulk’s important to me. Who wants a small bowlful of food when you can have a big one?
The better quality your sausages, the better the finished dish. The casserole is great with buttered cauliflower or broccoli. Or you could add another 250-300ml of vegetable or chicken stock to turn it into soup.
And a cheeky helping of grated cheese on top always adds extra deliciousness.
Sausage, red pepper and lentil casserole
- Two peppers, insides removed and chopped
- 100g celery, sliced finely
- 100g mushrooms, sliced
- 75ml red wine
- Four, good quality pork sausages, each cut into chunks
- 75g chorizo, sliced
- 75g red lentils
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 400g tinned, chopped tomatoes
- 1 chilli, chopped (optional)
- 1tsp smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper
Put everything into your slow cooker, stir well and put on the high setting for four hours.
The mix makes a soupy casserole because it’s done in the slow cooker. You might want to take the lid off yours for the last 20 minutes to get rid of some of the excess liquid.
To make the recipe on the stove, use a large saucepan. Place the chorizo slices in the pan, then turn on a gentle heat so the oils from the sausage run out. Add the other sausages, celery, peppers, mushrooms and garlic, mix well and cover. Cook over the gentle heat for ten minutes. Add the tomatoes, lentils, red wine, chilli and paprika, stir well and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for a further 30 minutes, mixing from time to time.
In both instances, add salt and pepper to taste.
Each portion has 17g carbs and 4g fibre.
*And also that my food styling and photography skills get no better.