I've decided to make a vegan diet my priority for 2011. I figure it'll force me to be more creative in the kitchen, and creativity is always a good thing. Here's hoping that creativity will spill over into other areas of my life.
I wanted the "meat" part of the dish to taste as meaty as possible so I used tourtiere, or meat pie spices in the lentils such as cloves, garlic, cinnamon, and pepper. Overall, I was pretty impressed.
Here's what I used:
-3 handfuls of brown lentils
-1 handful TVP (textured vegetable protein)
-a cube of miso stock
-a squirt of tomato paste
-a squirt of Bragg amino liquid or soy sauce
To make the lentils, simply throw them in a pot with the stock cube and bay leaves. Cover with a good 2 inches of water and boil away, making sure that they don't dry out. Once they are tender, add the TVP and tomato paste and mix well. Set aside.
Now you want to add veg and bulk to the lentils. I used celery, carrot, garlic, onion, peas and corn, but use whatever you have on hand and chop everything to a similar small size so that everything cooks evenly. I sauteed these ingredients until just tender in some coconut oil, and seasoned with herbes de provence and tourtiere spices.
Cut nice and uniformly.
If you ask me for cooking advice, more often than not, I will tell you to start by frying an onion. I then added the carrot and celery, then combined the veg with the lentil mix.
Meanwhile, you want to get your tater tots going for the top of the pie. I jazzed things up with a sweet potato. Tastes awesome and looks great instead of the plain anemic looking white potato.
These were ready to sprout, thus ready to be cooked.
Boil them suckers up real good. I threw in a few cloves of garlic into the water to add a nice garlicky touch. Once the potatoes are tender, rinse and mash. Don't forget the holy trinity of unsweetened soy milk, coconut oil, and salt.
Layer the bottom half of your casserole dish with the lentils, then spread the potatoes on top. I suppose you could add some parmesan cheese or spices before cooking, but I kept it simple.
Throw that into the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Done!
Mmm extreme closeup.
Tastes great with a wee side of ketchup.
So does anybody read this blog thingy? Do you have ideas you would like me to try in my kitchen? Need advice on a specific recipe or vegetable? Let me know.