Good morning lovelies! We’re not vegetarians at all but lately i’ve been finding we’re eating veggie around 4-5 nights out of 7 – the rest being something simple like a bolognaise and maybe some fish somewhere along the line. My youngest stepdaughter was a vegetarian for about 3 months (she’s recently gone back to meat) so i spent some time trying to think out of the box to make interesting vegetarian meals. The other reason i’m using vegetables so much more is because meat is SO expensive!! I’m not sure about you but our grocery bill is through the roof at the moment so i am trying to shop and cook cleverly and save some shekels.
During the December holidays we went to a lovely restaurant in Stanford called Springfontein Bar(n) – they didn’t have anything particularly kid friendly to eat (ie. the usual chicken and chips stuff) so i ordered the most delicious lentil dish which had salty lardons in it – Charley gobbled it up – yay, a lentil win! So, that’s what made me bookmark this recipe. Lentils are seriously cheap, they’re so nutritious and full of protein and you can put a whole lot more veggies like mushrooms, courgettes and peppers into it for more flavour and vitamins and to bulk it up so you can freeze toddler portions. For something like this, i’d steam the chopped veggies lightly and then pop them into the stewed lentil mix when it goes into the oven. Because of the added veggies, you’ll need to adjust your seasoning too.
The recipe calls for Beluga lentils which i haven’t seen around although i haven’t looked that hard, i’d be happy to use brown. And you can find Sumac at most deli’s and Woolies also has.
This is a vegetarian take on the traditional Shepherd’s pie. Still hearty and comforting, but a bit lighter. The addition of smoked paprika and port to the lentils gives it another depth of flavor. The cauliflower mash is soft, creamy and cheesy.
This recipe serves 4.
For the lentil stew:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 bell peppers, finely chopped
1 leek, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 ½ cups of beluga lentils
1 shot of port
1 cup of tomato puree
1 liter of vegetable stock
¾ teaspoon of smoked paprika
1 tablespoon of sumac
11/2 teaspoon of celery salt
Salt to taste
For the cauliflower mash:
1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped into chunks
½ cup of cream
½ teaspoon of onion powder
1 cup of shredded Gouda cheese
Salt to taste
40gm grated Parmesan
Chives for decoration (optional)
Start by making the lentil stew. Place the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and leek. Cook while stirring for about 6 minutes. Then add the garlic, bell peppers and carrot. Cook for about 2 minutes while stirring. Add the smoked paprika, sumac, celery salt and some salt.
Then add the lentils, port and tomato puree. Stir for about one minute and then add the stock. Let it cook for about 40 minutes, stirring from time to time. It’s done when the lentils are cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated. Adjust the salt and spices to your liking.
Preheat your oven to 180C.
Boil the cauliflower until tender, about 8 minutes. Then drain it.
Blend (or use a food processor) the cauliflower with the cream, onion powder and salt. Once you have a creamy mash, add the shredded Gouda and mix until it is well combined. Taste for salt.
Place the lentil stew in an oven-proof dish and spread the cauliflower mash evenly over it. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan.
Place it in the oven for about 40 minutes until the top is golden.
This recipe and the gorgeous pic are from this amazing website – one to bookmark for sure.
What are your favourite, cost-effective meals?