Winter is here, and so here’s a hearty, tasty, healthy dish for you to try at home. Don’t be put off by the fact this is vegan, I’ve been playing with vegan recipes for a while now and had some great tasting results, and this is one of them.
Low saturated fat, plenty of fibre, lots of veg and some nuts make this a great tasting winter winner.
As with all our recipes we’re keeping it simple, because simple works. Once you’ve assembled it, it will take around 45 minutes to bake in the oven, and I’d allow around 30 minutes to put it all together.
Okay, you’ll need the following:
Large sweet potato
Bag of chard, spinach or similar leafy greens
Around 200g cashew nuts
Coconut or Almond milk (optional)
2 – 3 cloves of garlic
One tin chopped tomatoes
Tin chopped mushrooms
Jar of marinated red peppers with garlic
2 jars of pre-cooked green lentils
If you want the non-vegan tasty topping, then a chunk of goats cheese…
First up soak your cashew nuts in water for a couple of hours (yeah, I know, that puts the prep time up, but if you’re super organised whack them in the fridge the night before.
Take your food processor, bullet or blender, drain the cashew nuts and whack them in with a little nut milk (or water if you don’t have nut milk), a small teaspoon of mustard, a grind of salt and pepper, and blend. You’ll need to blend it for a few minutes, and keep adding your liquid of choice until you have a runny cottage cheese type consistency. This is your cashew cheese white sauce.
Chop the garlic, fry it off in coconut or olive oil until golden, then add your lentils, mushrooms, peppers, oregano. Give it all a good stir for a while to let the flavours go through, then add the tomato puree – a decent table spoon full, and the tin of chopped tomatoes. Stir it all about, shut off the heat, and there’s your filling (hint, adding splashes of dark soya sauce and Worcester sauce can give it a bit more punch if desired.
Grab your dish or metal casserole, you’re going to peel your sweet potato, then use your peeler to carve into thin sheets. Build a layer of sweet potato sheets, then a layer of your spinach/chard/greens.
Add a decent amount of your lentil tomato sauce, then a layer of your cashew cheese sauce. Repeat for 2 to 3 layers of each. Make sure you finish with a layer of your white sauce.
If you like crumble goats cheese over the top (so it’s no longer vegan), or leave it as it is. Cover and pop in an oven at around 180 degrees centigrade for 45 minutes.
Top tip take the cover off for the last 5 minutes or so to crisp up the top. As you can see from the pics I left mine a little bit too long, someone distracted me with wine…
Serve, smile and enjoy!