Aaaand…the weekend is here again… Is it just me or does there appear to be little difference between workdays and non workdays these days? Especially if you end up working on weekends like I often do. Both myself and Duncan are working today, but we hope to put our feet up tomorrow and maybe even venture out for a bit of a walk catch-up with friends although the weather is meant to be grim. It doesn’t matter, anything that stops us from staring at our respective screens will be good for the soul.
Duncan got his first vaccination jab this week and it knocked him down for the count. He was really poorly for a day and I was getting a touch concerned when I found him, eyes glistening from fever, suspended over the toilet bowl, fighting a sudden bout of nausea. Having done a little reading online, I came to the conclusion that the severity of his reaction is probably due to the fact that he has already had Covid and his body remembers how tough is was so this time it has geared for a counterattack with double ferocity. I was hoping to be the next in line, but apparently the government ran out of jabs and I have to wait at least another month for my vaccination invite. Oh well.
Recipewise, I’m conflicted between craving lighter meals when the sun sticks its head from behind a cloud and opting for comfort food in the evenings as it can still get rather cold. With this in mind, I have the cosiest dish for you today inspired by Duncan’s childhood nemesis – Lancashire hotpot. Although Duncan was lucky enough to grow up in sunny Australia, apparently his English born parents insisted on making cold climate inspired classics even when the weather called for anything but. That was his main gripe with Lancashire hotpot, I think and the fact that the last thing you want to do as a child is to stand out and the British overtones of his upbringing made his school life a bit miserable. I’m sure most people can relate! I certainly can, I had a hard time at school too although for very different reasons.
The said hotpot is a hearty fare that would be slow cooked in the oven all day, ready for miners to return home. Yup, it’s this kind of dish. It’s supposed to ‘stick to your bones’ or clog your arteries more like 😉 . It traditionally contains a meat stew (lamb is traditionally used, I think) bubbling away ferociously under a layer of crisped up potato slices. I’m not into meat but I’m down with the concept so I decided to attempt something equally comforting using plants alone.
I used a mixture of two different types of mushrooms and some hearty lentils as a substitute for meat. I cooked the stew in some shallots and plenty of garlic and seasoned it with soy sauce, vegan Worcester sauce, balsamic, lots of thyme and white wine and I have to say that the result is even more delicious than I expected. It’s hearty and heart-healthy (looking at you lentils) at the same time. It hugs you like a warm blanket on a cold March evening, provides a lot of sustenance while offering some protection against diabetes, heart disease and cancers.
PS: If you do make my vegan hotpot with lentils and mushrooms, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram (#lazycatkitchen). I love seeing your take on my recipes.