Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend!
It’s been snowing here in Bath. Yay!
Snow is something of a novelty here. Last year it only snowed for one afternoon!
Lil’ L was so excited when he awoke on Friday and saw the snow. Not only did it mean that he got a bonus day off school, but it also meant that he would finally get to use the sledge that his grandparents had bought him two years ago!
He quickly gulped down his breakfast, threw on some warm clothes, and was out the door!
With all this freshly fallen snow, the scenery was breathtakingly beautiful!
As lunch time, M came for a spot of sledging. The boys had a huge amount of fun!
They were moving so fast that I only just managed to catch a shot of them. Can you spot them? They’re behind the tree!
I’m a big scaredy cat when it comes to things like this, so I’m very happy to watch from the sidelines.
As well as sledging, we’ve had some beautiful walks this weekend, including one along the Kennet & Avon Canal into Bath City Centre.
Upon arrival, Lil’ L suggested we warm up with a veggie pasty from our favourite pasty shop (Pasty Presto) by Bath Abbey 🙂
Back home, we’ve been warming up with lots of hot chocolate. Our current favourite blend is the Elements for Life Raw Hot Chocolate. It’s totally lush! (check out my review here). To make it into a filling, nutritious snack, I’ve been throwing a bunch of ingredients in the blender (1 cup Alpro Almond Milk, 1 tbsp raw hot chocolate powder, 1 tbsp chia seeds & 1 tbsp ground almonds per person) and blending it on high speed before gently heating it through. It’s delicious, thick, creamy and leaves you feeling totally full up 🙂
I’ve also been making lots of comfort food. For the second Sunday in a row, I’ve made a Sweet Chestnut Casserole with Herb Dumplings. We absolutely love this dish and it’s perfect for this time of year.
N.B. Recipe updated 1/3/18 to match the recipe in the Bit of the Good Stuff cookbook.
Sweet Chestnut Casserole with Herb Dumplings
In my book, this is comfort food at its best! I’ve ‘healthified’ the dumplings as much as possible by adding in some wholegrain flour and olive oil instead of suet, but I think they taste as nice, if not nicer, than regular dumplings.
Hands on time: 30 minutes Ready in: 60 minutes
1 TBSP olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 celery sticks, finely diced
1 large sweet potato (400g), peeled and chopped into small bite-size pieces
2 medium carrots (150g), sliced into thin disks
200g / 2½ cups chestnut (or crimini) mushrooms, diced
1 tsp each dried rosemary, sage, thyme
1 tsp sweet paprika
480ml / 2 cups vegetable stock (broth)
2 TBSP tomato purée (paste)
180g / 1 heaping cup cooked (ready to eat) chestnuts (I used 1 packet of Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts)
3 TBSP mixed seeds (e.g. sunflower, pumpkin, shelled hemp seeds)
1 TBSP cornflour (cornstarch)
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
90g / ⅔ cup fine wholemeal (whole wheat pastry) flour or chapatti flour
90g / ⅔ cup plain (all purpose) flour
1 TBSP baking powder
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp mustard powder
½ tsp salt
40ml / 3 TBSP olive oil
80ml / ⅓ cup soya milk
1 Gently heat the oil in a large casserole or heavy-bottomed pan. Add the vegetables, dried herbs and paprika. Cover with a lid and leave to sweat for five minutes. Stir in the vegetable stock and tomato purée. (To begin with, it may look like you have too many vegetables, but they will reduce down). Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2 Meanwhile, prepare the dumplings: Place the flours, baking powder, herbs, mustard powder and salt in a bowl and mix well. Add the oil and milk and stir with a fork until it starts to come together. Finish bringing the dough together by hand. It should be a soft, slightly sticky dough, so add a touch more liquid or flour if needed to attain the right consistency. Divide the mixture into 12-16 equal pieces and roll into balls.
3 Slice the chestnuts in half and add them to the casserole, along with the seeds. Mix the cornflour with 1 TBSP water until smooth, then stir it into the casserole. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange the dumplings on top, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes.
4 Ladle into warm bowls and serve. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for three days.
For a Gluten Free version, you could serve the casserole with a root veg mash or add an oaty crumble topping.
Have a great week everyone! Stay warm!
Is it snowing where you are?
What are your favourite Winter warming comfort foods?
15 thoughts on “Sweet Chestnut Casserole with Herb Dumplings – Comfort Food for a Snowy Weekend!”
Amazing snowy shots, looks like you had great fun! We had a light dusting in Dublin today but nowhere near as bad as the UK has been.
Loving the snow in Neston. School closed last Friday…so a bit of extra time to play……..My children love what I call “proper food”casseroles and stews…Next week I am on the Chestnut case…….
I’m loving the snow too! I hope we get a bit more this week… it seems to be melting away today 🙁
You must tell me how you make your family’s favourite casseroles and stews as I’d love to try some new recipes. It doesn’t matter if they’re meat based as I can always substitute it with something plant based 😉
Thanks for posting this recipe – it looked so yummy on your WIAW post the other day! 🙂
It’s a pleasure 🙂
I’m looking forward to checking out your Baked Cannellini Bean Stew now. This is definitely the time of year for stews & casseroles and I’m looking forward to trying out some new recipes 🙂
great winter shots, in Vienna there is just as much snow and we are basically drowning in it!! love to warm up with homemade hot chocolate too, its just such a wonderful treat in winter.. and u can make it so healthy too! love ur addition of almonds and chia seeds! oh and ur dumplings sounds perfect for winter time too…
I spend a weekend in Vienna about 20 years ago. It was heavily snowing and I can still remember how breathtakingly beautiful it was! I would love to visit again one day!
It did snow here (although it is almost gone now). My kids enjoyed time in the snow, and were happy to go into school late (they didn’t get a whole day off…they were a little sad about this).
It looks like Lil’ L completely enjoyed his day and always love playing the snow, it is the walking back up the hill after you slide down that is the least fun.
I have been catching up on your posts and an completely famished looking at all of the delicious food you’ve been eating. All of the comfort foods are just so inviting.
Super excited to read your remark about your book. I am waiting patiently for this one 🙂
So lovely to hear from you Rachel! I’m hopping over to your blog right now to see what you’ve been up to 🙂 xx
The snow looks beautiful and you really did make the most of it! I used to adore sledding when I was little, Lil’ L looks like he had a fantastic time 🙂 I went for a lovely walk in the snow this morning. Your casserole sounds like perfect comforting food for this weather!
Beautiful Snowy Photos!
Brilliant recipe. My family are very much meat eaters (me aside) and they loved this. I reduced the liquid and left out the dumplings, but it was a huge hit! Thank you.
I am so delighted to hear that your family loved this recipe! And it won the meat eaters over too. Honestly, I’m over the moon 😀 Thank you so much for letting me know xx
I made this recipe last night to use up a packet of chestnuts that have been lurking in the cupboard since last Christmas, and it was a big hit with the family (except the very fussy vegan son!!). Will now have to buy more chestnuts!!
I’m SO pleased that you liked the chestnut casserole! And thank you so much for letting me know. I rarely get feedback on my recipes, so always delighted when I do 😀 Just need to win the picky son over now 😉 If you email me what he likes/doesn’t like, I’ll see what recipes I have here that could tempt him. There must be one 😉