I wanted to test out this recipe before bringing it to a meat-eater’s Xmas potluck. I like to use such opportunities to try and win over some carnivores. I got this recipe from:
and pretty much followed it entirely aside from subbing a couple ingredients for things I had on hand and things I thought would jazz it up although the original recipe is plenty jazzy enough. The unusual addition of steel cut oats makes the filling bind nicely and adds a creamy texture as well. Aside from this textural enhancer, the whole grain when eaten in combination with the lentils completes the protein chain of amino acids.
5 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1 cup brown or green lentils, washed and picked over
3/4 cup dry steel cut oats (Bob’s Mills steel cut oats are certified gluten free if you are serving this to celiacs)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound cremini mushrooms, divided (I used 1/2 white mushroom and 1/2 shaggy manes that I collected late this fall)
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup low-sodium vegetable stock
1/4 cup red wine (I used slightly less than 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
2 teaspoons smoked paprika (I used regular paprika and also a 1/4 tsp cajun spice mix)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prick each sweet potato several times with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until very soft to the touch. Set aside to cool.
In a medium pot, combine the lentils, oats, bay leaf and salt with 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil and lower heat. Simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until lentils are soft but not mushy, stirring occasionally to keep the oats from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Discard bay leaf and drain mixture into a colander or sieve.
While the lentils and oats are cooking, finely chop half of the mushrooms and set aside. Cut the remaining mushrooms into quarters. Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the quartered mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook until browned and soft. Add the chopped mushrooms, onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent. Lower heat to medium and add the lentil and oat mixture, followed by the vegetable stock, wine or vinegar, tomato paste, soy sauce, paprika, and parsley. Taste and add salt if needed. Simmer mixture for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add a few grinds of black pepper.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Peel sweet potatoes with your hands and place in a medium bowl. Use a fork to mash them into a smooth paste and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Evenly spread the lentil mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish. (For thicker layers, use a 9×9-inch pan.) Spoon the sweet potato mixture on top and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling at the edges.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt one tablespoon of oil.
- Add the onion and saute for 10 minutes until translucent.
- Remove the onion from the pan and place in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Add the remaining four tablespoons of butter to the saucepan and melt over medium-low heat.
- Stir in the flour and cook, stirring frequently, for three minutes.
- Gradually stir in the vegetable broth and continue stirring, over medium-low heat, until thickened to a gravy consistency, about 10 minutes.
- Add soy sauce and nutritional yeast and the cooked onions. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.