At this time of year when it can be so cold and dark outside one of my absolute favourite meals is a casserole.  If you have made a commitment to eat less meat then you are going to love this recipe.  Vegan (or vegetarian) casseroles are so easy to make and unlike the fatty, sodium-packed casseroles of the past, these whole-food, plant-based creations can be loaded with colourful fresh vegetables, healthy legumes and whole grains and gorgeous aromatic herbs and spices.  Casseroles are a real winter staple in our household, I often make enough to last over 2 or 3 meals through the week.  Leftovers can also make a fantastic lunch, served with a jacket potato, and if like me, you have hungry boys who are less keen on a meat free diet it is easy to serve it with a meat accompaniment, like sausages or chicken & chorizo skewers. 


1 tablespoon of coconut oil 

1 medium red onion chopped 

1 red bell pepper diced 

1 green bell pepper diced 

3 cloves garlic minced 

2 spring onions chopped 

1 whole butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½” cubes (can use less according to taste) 

1 can of black beans drained and rinsed 

½ teaspoon mixed herbs 

2 sprigs fresh thyme 

1 can coconut milk 

500ml vegetable stock 

2 handfuls of kale or spinach, chopped 

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 

1-2 teaspoons of chilli flakes (optional) 

Salt & Pepper to taste 


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over a medium to high heat.  Add the red onion and bell peppers and cook until soft (about 3 minutes).  Stir in the garlic and spring onions and cook for 1 minute. 
  1. Add the butternut squash, black beans, mixed herbs and thyme and stir well.  Stir in the coconut milk, vegetable stock, cayenne pepper and chilli flakes (optional) and bring to the boil.   
  1. Season to taste with salt & pepper. 
  1. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. 
  1. Stir in the kale or spinach and cook for about 4 minutes.   
  1. Stir with brown rice and avocado. 


In season at this time of year;  


Jerusalem Artichokes, Beetroot, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Garlic, Kale, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Red Cabbage, Shallots, Spinach, Swede, Turnips. 

Fruit & Nuts; 

Apples, Pears (late – Concorde, Doyenne du Comice, Conference and Winter Nellis), Rhubarb (forced), Walnuts 


Duck (end of season), Guinea Fowl, Hare, Partridge, Venison 

Fish & Seafood: 

Brill, Clams, Cockles, Haddock, Halibut, Hake, John Dory, Lemon Sole, Salmon (coming into season), Monkfish, Mussels, Oyster, Plaice, Turbot 

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