Home All Things Food Good for the soul cassserole!

Good for the soul cassserole!

For those looking for a tasty meat-free meal, we know you’ll love this winner dinner by local chef and experimental foodie, Isla Rechner who has just returned to South Africa after spending almost a decade as the group pastry chef for celebrity chef Bill Granger in the UK and recently launched Isla’s where she tailor-makes food and training services for restaurants, as well as caters privately for women’s lunches and bespoke dinners.

“The mercury has dipped and I for one am greeting the autumnal air with a cosy embrace.  The crisper evenings demand heartier dinners but indulgent doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be meat-centric.  This vegan black bean casserole with roasted butternut and pickled red cabbage is good for the soul as well as the body.”

Vegan black bean casserole, spicy butternut, pickled red cabbage and coriander oil – Serves 4

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Black beans

1 cup dry black beans
3 cups water
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
3 cups water

Roasted butternut

250g butternut cut into 1cm cubes
30ml oil
½ teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and crushed
½ teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
1 teaspoon chilli flakes

Pickled red cabbge

1 small red cabbage
Juice of 2 limes

Coriander oil

½ cup fresh coriander
¼ cup oil
Juice of 1 lime

For assembly

2 spring onions, sliced
Micro herbs to garnish
Coconut cream


  • First thing you will need to do is soak the black beans overnight, you may be tempted to use tinned but its definitely worth doing the process yourself

Next day

  • Strain the black beans and rinse
  • In a medium sized pot, place beans, garlic cloves, onion, bay leaves and three cups of water
  • On a low to medium heat, simmer beans for 90 minutes covered.
  • Remove lid and simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Season to taste.
  • Whilst the beans are simmering, get onto your red cabbage
  • In an airtight container place red cabbage and lime juice, mixing until combined. Leave to pickle in the fridge for at least an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
  • Toss butternut, spices and oil together
  • Place in a roasting tin and cook for 30 minutes
  • Now onto the coriander oil, pop all ingredients into a blender and blitzed until smooth


  • Remove the butternut from the oven. Toss black beans, pickled red cabbage and butternut together. Divide between four bowls, garnish with coconut cream, coriander oil, spring onion and micro herbs
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