Mmmm, have I mentioned before that I love lentils?
Oh, I did in the last post? Well yeah, I LOVE lentils.
Is that weird? If that's weird, I don't want to be normal.
Because, lentils are just... good. They have a nuttiness about them.
They are tasty. They are adaptable. Seriously - I've made
a whole slew of recipes using lentils in place of all sorts of things.
I especially find lentils to be a great meat substitute.
What kind of meat?
And, that's the approach I took with this lentil pot pie.
Let me be honest and say this doesn't resemble
chicken pot pie in any way, except that I decided to put a prepared
pie crust over top of the whole thing. I guess, in that way, it's like pot pie.
And, you bake it. And, it has other vegetables. See? pot pie.
I just want to be clear that it's not your traditional pot pie.
Good - then, I can share this tasty dish with you and
you won't be shocked. Well, maybe shocked with the yums, but that's it.
Let me be honest about just a few more things...
1) I'm not a photographer, so as always, I'm sorry the photos aren't perfect
2) I'm a "whatever" kind of chef, so I don't measure at all - please
excuse my guesstimations and just modify as you see fit!
Lentil 'Pot Pie'
* 4-5 red potatoes, chopped, decent sized chunks
* lentils (I used half a bag...) see, I'm bad at measuring!
* 1 red pepper, finely chopped
* 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
* aobut 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
* 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
* about 1/2 cup carrots, chopped (good sized chunks...)
* about 1/4 cup grape tomatoes (or 1/2 cup, whatever you like) - halved
* olive oil, butter, salt, pepper, chicken broth base/bouillon to taste - you decide!
* prepared pie crust (or be more awesome and make your own)
Okay, here's where I'm in trouble. The fact that I'm really not a chef will show when I tell you how I make this. I didn't cook certain veggies first (like the ones that take longer) and then add others at the end (except the tomatoes). I seriously just threw it all in. And, I'm telling you this because it worked just fine!
So, here's what I did - take ALL veggies (except lentils and tomatoes!!) and throw into a huge pot... make sure there is some olive oil in the pot. Cook on medium-high for like 5 minutes, add in some butter while you're at it - when veggies start to get soft/translucent (the onions, that is), add about a cup of water and some chicken stock base - if you don't have chicken stock base, add in a cup or so of chicken broth. Season to taste with salt/fresh ground black pepper. Add more broth/water/base as you see fit. You don't want the mixture to be very liquidy - you just want enough liquid for the veggies to cook and absorb the goodness. Cook on low for as long as you can (I did 2 hours) - Did I mention I made this on a weekend?!?! But, I swear, it's EASY, and this is a great make ahead meal.
Anyway.. where was I?!
Oh yes, those lentils!! Just cook 'em in another pot with enough liquid (water/chicken stock base or broth) to cover them, add more minced garlic... when they are starting to get soft, add them to the big pot of cooking veggies.
When the mixture is cooked to your liking, add in the grape tomatoes. THEN, add mixture to a pie dish. You will probably have leftovers (and this is good!)... top mixture in pie plate with a prepared pie crust (mmmm) and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes or whenever pie crust is golden brown.
Serve alongside crusty bread (or an assortment of fancy breads - I had asiago cheese, sourdough, and pretzel breads - yum!) and salad.
I'm sorry my instructions aren't the best. I love to cook, but I don't love to measure or write anything down for that matter.
I hope you enjoy this recipe - I am in love with it. It's so flavorful. Here are some things I love that you can do if you so choose:
- with leftover mixture, eat it alone in a bowl; it's just tasty veggies. no pie crust needed! (I had this for lunch today!)
- you can make the mixture ahead of time and then refrigerate or freeze until you need it
- it tastes even better the next day... mmm leftovers
So, that's it. This is definitely a make on the weekend type meal
because the veggies really do taste best if they get to cook for several hours.
The good part is, you're not doing any work while they cook - they just need time.
It is very easy!
And while you're getting crazy with the lentils, check out my other lovely
recipes featuring lovely lentils. Did I mention I love them?