North African one-pot casserole

North African one-pot casserole
  • Low fat
  • Low phosphate
  • Low potassium
  • Low protein
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Main meal
  • African
  • 2 hours or less
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This vegan meal is full of wholesome vegetables and still low in potassium and phosphate.


2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Β½ teaspoon ground cumin

Β½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Β½ teaspoon ground ginger

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

1 celery stick

2 courgettes

Sprig of fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

150g butternut squash

125g drained, tinned cooked lentils

125g drained, tinned cooked chick peas

400g tinned tomatoes

250ml vegetable stock

Handful of fresh parsley

Pinch saffron strands (optional)

To serve

Flatbread or crusty roll (approx. 125g each)


  1. Step 1

    Prepare all the vegetables, dice into similar size pieces and set aside. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook over a gentle heat until onions and garlic soften.

  2. Step 2

    Add the spices (including the saffron if you are using it) and cook for a further few minutes to release the flavours of the spice. This is a very important part of the process. If the spices are not allowed to completely cook through, you will end up with a sharp and bitter taste to the finished dish.

  3. Step 3

    Add the celery and peppers and cook for further 5 minutes. Add the butternut squash, fresh thyme and bay leaf. Add tinned tomatoes and the stock. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until the squash is just about cooked through. After 15 minutes, add the courgettes.

  4. Step 4

    Stir in the lentils and chick peas and bring back to a simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add the chopped parsley and coriander and serve. This dish is delicious with warmed flatbread, pitta, or crusty roll.

Food facts

The main source of carbohydrate in this meal is from the flat bread or crusty roll (based on 125g per person). The lentils and chickpeas will also contribute carbohydrate however, as they have a low glycaemic index. The carbohydrate values have been provided for those who have trained in insulin adjustment.

Although this dish contains lentils and chick peas which contain phosphate, we know that the body does not absorb as much phosphate from vegetable sources compared to animal foods. For this reason, this dish is suitable for those on a low phosphate diet. If you have been prescribed a phosphate binder ensure you take them with this dish.

Use a gluten-free stock cube and gluten-free bread.

The flavour of this dish comes from all the herbs and spices and therefore additional salt is not required. The stock will contain some salt but low-salt stock cubes or stockpots are available in supermarkets. Look for low salt options when selecting your bread.

This dish is very inexpensive apart from the saffron strands which are optional. If fresh herbs are not available, you can use a teaspoon of dried herbs.

With any leftover casserole, allow to cool then refrigerate and consume within two days. If freezing, place in a sealed container. When reheating, ensure that the food has been defrosted thoroughly and that the food is piping hot before serving.