It's vegan, and it isn't brown gack.

Preparation and cooking time: One and a half hours, give or take. Most of this time, however, is spent ignoring it while the casserole cooks in the oven or the lentils boil, and so you can do other things while it is cooking.

Serving suggestion: This serves one person if he or she is not ravenous. It is not quite enough to make a full meal, so I suggest you serve it with something. Rice, wholemeal bread and mashed potatoes have all worked for me in the past. Rice and bread have the advantage of being cereals and therefore, combined with the lentils, mean you get the protein you need. It comes out quite sloppy, so serve it with something starchy to mop up the goo.


  • One handful of broccoli, chopped small
  • One carrot, chopped small
  • A small onion, chopped small
  • One big leaf of Savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 2 ounces of lentils - brown, red, green, whatever, but no beans that need to be soaked overnight. You can use more if you want it to be more beany.
  • A third of a pint of vegetable stock. Because I am far too lazy to make my own, I use Oxo vegetable stock cubes.

1) Boil the lentils with the onions according to the instructions on the lentil packet. Mine (red lentils from Sainsburys) need to be boiled for half an hour; your mileage may vary.

2) Put the now-very-mushy lentils, onions, cabbage, carrots and broccoli into a casserole dish. Mix them up well, and pour the stock over the top.

3) Stick the lid on the top, and put the whole thing into the oven at gas mark six (400 degrees Farenheit) for forty-five minutes.

4) Eat it.

It occurred to me one day that I only knew how to cook about four dishes and that, at nineteen, this was pathetic and did not bode well for my survival. I therefore grabbed a copy of Walter and Jenny Fleiss' Modern Vegetarian Cooking, to see what I could do. This recipe started off as their recipe for potato and carrot casserole; it got modified due to ingredients availabe, the need to make it vaguely filling, and the thought that, if I'm going to eat vegetable mush, it may as well be green. In a similar spirit, if you're not happy with the finished result, tinker around with the recipe until you get something satisfactory.

I hope this is healthy. It ought to be. It contains four different kinds of plant, and no saturated fat. Lentils were put in for protein and iron, and to try to make it more filling. Savoy cabbage because it tastes wonderful and because dark green leafy vegetables are supposed to be high in vitamins and minerals. Cooking it for so long probably destroys most of them but, hey, the thought was there.

In my humble opinion, this is easy to make and tastes good. Which is probably why I've been eating it for the past three days.

See also vegan recipes and Vegetarian Meals That Aren't Just Brown Gack

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