Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gardener's Pie

I really felt like lentils because I haven't had them for ages. I've been using up my millions of packets of split peas first. (I've only got 1kg left! haha. I couldn't walk past 500g packs of split peas for 50c without buying at least 10 of them). I thought about using the split peas in this meal but decided it wouldn't quite work for me.

Gardener's Pie
Serves 6

250g green/brown lentils
2 carrots, diced
1 large zucchini, diced
100g mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 onion finely chopped
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 tbsp mixed Italian herbs
400g can chopped tomatoes*
750ml chicken style stock
The greens from one bunch of beetroot, well washed and roughly chopped**

1kg potatoes, washed and cooked and made into mash. We make ours with a little soy milk, nutritional yeast, margarine and pepper.
Pretty pretty


Prepare mashed potatoes. Set aside.

In a large stock pot, saute the onion and garlic until it begins to soften. You can do this in oil or water - I used coconut oil. Add the carrots, lentils, stock, herbs and can tomatoes. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer and cook until lentils are soft/edible. It may run out of water, so keep an eye on it. Just add more, 1/2 cup at a time if this happens.

Stir in the mushrooms, zucchini and beetroot greens. Cook until mushrooms have softened and greens have wilted.

Pour into a casserole/lasagne dish and spread potatoes on top. Sprinkle with herbs, nutritional yeast or pepper if desired.

Turn oven to 180 degrees Celcius and bake for 1/2 an hour or until potatoes are crispy on the top!
*ALDI sells cans of organic chopped tomatoes for $1.29! Or non-organic ones for 69c (at the moment). I was pretty excited, I bought 3 cans.
** Spinach, silverbeet, kale or any other kind of leafy green can be substituted for this. Even frozen spinach (just add to the pot earlier, or defrost first). I just had beetroot greens on hand. Speaking of beetroot I should really use those before they go soft.
This is an excellent meal to cook up when broke or in need of something hearty, filling and comforting, and you can't be bothered cooking rice. It reheats well and could be frozen to have another time. You could use whatever veges you have on hand - I had mushrooms to use up but I probably wouldn't go buy them specifically for this, for example. Celery would be a good addition. Frtozen peas or beans would be too :) It ended up costing me about $1.50 per serve.

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