Tag Archives: lentils

Sheppards Pie plate web

Shepherds (Cottage) Pie

by Toni Fiore  the author  of the  Totally Vegetarian cookbook, and host of the  Totally Vegetarian TV show,  now online.

Healthy food is costly and complicated right? Wrong! It’s easier than you might think to prepare delicious healthy meals on a budget and you don’t have to spend loads of time in the kitchen either. One pot meals like casseroles, soups and stews are always a good choice. With this recipe you’ll see how cooking in layers extracts tremendous depths of flavor from simple inexpensive ingredients. This hearty Shepherds Pie topped with creamy mashed potatoes is one of my favorites especially served with a crisp green salad and warm bread.

Topping ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs. cubed and peeled Yukon gold or russet potatoes

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup soy or almond milk

1/4 tsp. smoked paprika (or regular paprika)

Directions for topping:

In a large saucepan cover the potatoes with water and add 1 tsp. salt. Bring water and potatoes to a gentle boil and cook until potatoes are tender – about 20 minutes.

Drain and return potatoes to pan. Dry the potatoes over very low heat, stirring constantly for about a minute. Remove the pot from the stove and mash potatoes with a potato masher or pass through a ricer. Add the soymilk and mix well until the potatoes are smooth. Add additional milk or a little water if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

 

Filling Ingredients

1 cup Puy lentils

4 cups water

1/2 tsp. salt

1 bay leaf

1 T. olive oil

16 oz. fresh mushrooms (button, cremini, or portabella)

1 1/2 cups finely diced onion

1 cup peeled and finely diced carrot

1/2 cup finely diced celery

1 T. tomato paste

3 T. flour

2 1/2 cups vegetable stock

1 T. Balsamic Vinegar

1 T. low sodium soy sauce

1 t. dried thyme

Prepare the filling

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

In a large saucepan combine lentils, water, 1/2 tsp. salt and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered until lentils are tender – about 25 minutes. Drain lentils, remove bay leaf and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms are nicely browned – don’t stir them until they have browned!!! This should take 5-7 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.

In the same pot add the remaining olive oil. Set the heat to medium. Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook, scraping up any of the brown bits in the pan. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir just until tomato paste turns a rusty brown color. Stir in the flour and cook for another minute.

Add the balsamic vinegar and vegetable stock and continue stirring, scraping up all the remaining brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the soy sauce, thyme, mushrooms and lentils to the mixture and cook until mixture thickens, about 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat.

Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Spoon the mushroom lentil mixture into the casserole and smooth the top.

Dollop the mashed potatoes on top and smooth with a wet spatula. Dust the top of the potatoes with the paprika. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 25 minutes or until the potatoes are golden and the mixture is heated through.

If making ahead, cover and set the pie in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.

Lentil Bulgur Salad

Lentil Bulgur Salad

This grain salad is a glorious blend of many of our favorite ingredients: parsley, olive oil, garlic, and the perfect twist of lemony zest. Served as an appetizer or as the centerpiece of a light supper menu, you’ll love the versatility of flavors and textures this high-protein salad offers.

Ingredients:
1 c. green or brown lentils
1 bay leaf
3/4 c. fine or medium bulgur
5 scallions, including some of the green tops, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Zest of two lemons
6-9 T. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. mild paprika
2 c. finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c. chopped fresh mint (or 2 T. dried)

To prepare:
In a saucepan cover lentils with water, add bay leaf, and about half a teaspoon of salt. Bring the lentils to a boil, then lower heat, and cook them until they’re tender but firm, about 20 minutes or so. Meanwhile, put the bulgur in a bowl and pour in just enough boiling water to cover the grains. Let it stand for 20-30 minutes, until the grains have absorbed the water and are tender.

In a separate deep bowl, whisk together the scallions, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, paprika, and about a teaspoon of salt.

When the lentils are tender-firm, drain off the excess water (if any) and add the hot beans to the dressing. Pour off or press out any remaining water from the bulgur and add it along with the parsley and mint.

Toss all the ingredients gently and season to taste with salt and pepper.