Butternut chickpea casserole

Butternut Chickpea casserole recipe

This is a combination of two old recipes which I tweaked yet again for appleaday’s recent online Detoxathon.  It was one of the dishes participants yummed about the most.  Such an easy one-pot dish, it has a wonderful selection of spices, including cinnamon, ginger, coriander, turmeric and saffron.Cinnamon must be one of my all time favourites, my ‘rescue’ spice for anyone trying to get off sugar cravings.  However, it not only improves insulin efficiency and regulates blood sugar, but it also acts as an antimicrobial (some studies showing it’s effective against the likes of H.pylori!), and the cinnamaldehyde component apparently blocks the release of inflammatory agents in our cells.  Perhaps this is one of the reasons research shows it can reduce inflammation linked with neurological disorders like Parkinsons and Alzheimers.
Research will continue, but this dish is staying as it is.

Serves 4-6

2 tbsp coconut oil
1 red onion, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 leek, finely sliced
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground turmeric
100g red lentils
1 x 400g can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
pinch of saffron
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 x 400g organic chopped tomatoes
400g butternut, peeled and cubed
800ml vegetable stock
handful of spinach, sliced
generous handful parsley, chopped
generous handful coriander, chopped


Heat the oil in a pot over a medium/low heat and add the onions and leek until they are transparent. Then comes the celery, garlic and spices (not saffron) until aromatic.
Next step, the saffron, lentils, cans of chickpeas and tomatoes. Stir well then add the chopped parsley and half of the coriander. Cook for about 10 minutes over a low heat.
Mix in the cubed butternut and stock and simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until the butternut squash is cooked.  Turn the heat off, add the spinach and return the lid so that it wilts slightly but keeps its green goodness.
Add a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Serve with rice or quinoa and scatter the remaining coriander over the finished dish.

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