April 27, 2013

Recipe: Lentil + Kale Shepherd's Pie with Smashed Cauliflower + Roasted Garlic Topping

Zzzzz... I am so tired today.  Little Z has her first teeth coming in, and brother had night terrors.  This means that both of us parents are functioning (or not functioning?) on very little sleep today.  If you asked my pre-parental self if I could get through the day without a nap on less than four hours of continuous sleep, I would have thought you were crazy.  I needed eight or nine hours minimum "to feel like myself."  But here I am, living proof that one can exist on virtually no sleep.

Now, you must think I am crazy for planning this meal for dinner.  Yes, it does involve quite a few steps.  Yes, it does require a number of fresh ingredients (for which I had to drag along the kids to the grocery store to fetch).  But it is a healthy and hearty dish, and since it makes eight to twelve servings, it is worth the effort so we don't have to even think about dinner in the event that the sleeping situation does not rapidly improve.  Ha!  Not that bad of an idea after all.

However, I do think, on days like today,  I should really learn to use my crockpot: a hand-me-down from my mother that just sits and collects dust.

Lentil + Kale Shepherd's Pie with Smashed Cauliflower + Roasted Garlic Topping
Makes 8 servings

Cauliflower + Roasted Garlic Topping
1 head of garlic
1 tsp olive oil
2 cauliflower heads, rough chopped into large florets
1 tbsp earth balance
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375.  Cut top 1/5 of garlic head off.  Place garlic on square of aluminum foil.  Drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil and some black pepper.  Wrap with aluminum foil, cut side up, and place on oven rack.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Keep oven on, you will need it to bake the shepherd's pie.

Meanwhile, bring water to boil in large pot.  Place cauliflower in pot and boil for 12-14 minutes, until tender.  Drain cauliflower.  Place drained cauliflower in large bowl.  Add roasted garlic, earth balance, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.  Mash with potato masher until you reach desired consistency (should be evenly mashed and relatively smooth).  Set aside while you prepare the filling.

Lentil + Kale Filling
1 1/2 cups green lentils
2 c vegetable stock
2 c water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 fresh tomatoes, diced (or 1 large can of diced tomatoes)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bunch of kale, rough chopped
1 bell pepper, diced
1/4 c sundried tomatoes, minced
1/4 c vegetable stock 2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper to taste

Prepare lentils: bring lentils, veggie broth and 2 cups water to boil in a small saucepan.  Once boiling, reduce to medium-low heat and cover.  Simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Heat frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add olive oil and onions, and sautee stirring often until onions turn clearish (about 3-5 minutes).  Add garlic and kale and sautee for another 3 minutes or so until kale begins to soften and darken in colour.  Add tomatoes and bell pepper, and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add sundried tomatoes, 1/4 cup vegetable stock, tomato paste, oregano, hot sauce, salt and pepper and stir well.  Bring to a bubbling boil then turn off the heat.  Stir in cooked lentils.

Transfer lentil mixture to a 9 by 13 baking dish.  Top with cauliflower garlic topping.  Turn down oven to 350, and bake for 45-50 minutes or until top is golden. Pin It Now!

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