Meat-free mushroom and lentil casserole

We enjoy a meat free Monday in our home. It has so many benefits. I don’t need to think too much about dinner ideas as I know it’s a plant-based supper those nights. I find that takes the some of the stress out of the start of the week! It is good to have a bit of direction as to what I am going to whip up 😉 It is healthy and nutritious. It boosts our fibre intake. It is great for the environment.

If you haven’t adopted this Monday menu yet, why not give it a try? It is easy, quick and allows for delicious family meals. I challenge you… Monday is around the corner 😉

What you need:

  • 1 and a 1/2 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 250g button or portabellini mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp whole cumin
  • 2 cups water
  • 250ml brown lentils, sort through them to check for small stones and debris
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 5ml marmite
  • 125g smooth, full cream cottage cheese
  • 60ml parmesan cheese or mature cheddar, finely grated
  •  Seasoning of choice

Optional:

  • Extra parmesan cheese or mature cheddar, finely grated
  • Pea shoots, chopped 1cm long

OR

  • Curly kale, steamed and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp butter

What to do:

  • Pour ½ a Tbsp olive oil into a thick based pan. Heat and add the onion and sauté until softened and golden brown. Set aside.
  • Add ½ Tbsp oil, heat and add mushrooms. Fry until golden, tender but still firm. Set aside.
  • Add the remaining oil and the ground coriander and cumin and the whole cumin. Fry for 30 seconds to enhance flavour. Be cautious to stir so that it does not burn. (You will know it is ready when you can smell the aroma of the spices)
  • Add the water, lentils, cooked onions and coconut milk and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on until the lentils are soft. (This should take about 30 – 35 mins.) Stir from time to time and check the consistency. If it gets too thick, add additional water ¼ cup at a time until the sauce consistency improves.
  • Add mushrooms and mix well.
  • If using kale, pan fry the cooked kale in butter.
  • Add pea shoots or kale to the lentils and stir well. (If you have chosen these optional extras)
  • Remove from the heat and add the marmite, parmesan or cheddar, cottage cheese and seasoning to taste (Remember the marmite is salty, so be cautious when adding seasoning).
  • Serve sprinkled with a few whole pea shoots and finely grated parmesan or cheddar. This is delicious served on a bed of brown rice, barley, spelt or quinoa.
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