Ooooohhh-eeeee! I’m so excited to share a new creation, especially with those of you who like me, love creamy garlicy sauces. This is a proper balanced, hearty and filling meal that would go really well with a light and refreshing salad.
This is a really simple pie, or bake, that you can create and have straight away or freeze to bung in the oven when you need it. It’s better to do this dish in 2 stages if you want to lessen the bloating effects that lentils can have.
Start by thinking when you want to have this dish and make sure you leave enough time to soak your lentils – preferably overnight and then a bit more during the day. I soaked the lentils until they started to sprout – about 28 hours.
If you want to just cook your lentils from dried, then go ahead!
Preparation time: 20 minutes (plus an extra day or 2 if you are soaking or sprouting your lentils!)
Cooking time: 60 minutes in total
1 cup dried lentils, soaked or sprouted – or 2 cans of cooked lentils
1 large white onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
a big handful of fresh thyme
3 large bay leaves
2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 veggie stock cube
250 ml almond cream for cooking
1/3 bar of coconut cream or 1 can of rich, thick coconut milk
1 very large sweet potato or 2 medium ones, chopped into large chunks
a generous pinch of cinnamon
coconut oil (for the mash – optional)
a steamer or big saucepan, lid and colander/strainer
1. Soak or sprout your lentils. When they are ready, boil them on a medium heat. The time will depend on how long you have soaked or sprouted them for. For lentils that have been soaked for a few hours – they may need about 30 mins boiling, maybe even a little longer. For lentils soaked for more than 15 hours, they take a lot less time to cook – they may only need 20 minutes to cook. Keep checking yourself to make sure the lentils are still plump and not disintegrating – that’s when you know you’ve overdone them!
If you don’t want to do this – drain and wash 2 cans of lentils.
2. Bring a cast iron or ceramic pan to a medium heat with a few millimetres of water. This is called water frying – it created much less oxidative stress in your body like when oil is used for frying. Once the water starts to simmer, add in the onions, carrots and herbs (thyme, rosemary and bay leaves). Simmer/fry these on a medium heat until they are nice and soft and aromatic. This may take about 20 minutes. Keep topping up the pan with water to keep the whole thing from drying.
If you don’t want to use water frying – use coconut oil or odourless coconut oil.
3. At the same time, get your sweet potatoes steaming.
4. At the very end of the onion/carrot/herb mix water-fry, add the lentils, veggie stock and smashed up garlic. Give it one more minute simmering.
5. Add in the almond and coconut cream and give the whole thing a good stir. Add in the creme slowly – you want to get it to a rich sauce – that’s saucy enough to go underneath a layer of mashed sweet potatoes and be able to lubricate it sufficiently! Season with some Himalayan pink or Celtic sea salt and a good mill of black pepper. Take it off the heat. Let the mixture continue to infuse, stirring it occasionally.
6. Mash the sweet potatoes and add a good pinch of cinnamon powder. If you’d like to season it with salt and pepper then go ahead. You can also add in 1 or 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to give it some extra creaminess and added B vitamins, lauric acid (good for the immune system) and caprylic acid (antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral).
7. Now start to assemble! Take an appropriately sized medium fill oven dish (just not too deep) and pour your creamy lentil mix into it. Get your mash and with a fork, start to add it to the top, keeping it light a fluffy. This allows hot air to fuse into the dish when you warm it in the oven. Plus it looks much more inviting!
8. Put it in the oven for 15 minutes or so at about 170 degrees celcius to get it piping hot before you serve it. You can add goats cheese, desiccated coconut, pine nuts or many other delicious things to the topping to give it an extra pazazz! Go wild!
9. Carefully take it out the oven, get a serving spoon and dish up alongside a refreshing and light salad.