Thursday, 21 August 2014


With the colder weather we've been having, I've been craving comfort food & this really pie hits the spot.
this is a gluten, dairy, nut, meat free version of shepherd's pie, so it should be good for most intolerances.
Shitake mushrooms make a brilliant "gravy" and they really are so good for you. I find they go a bit rubbery when cooked, so making them into a soup or sauce is my favourite way to use them. The Chinese have long used them for boosting the immune system, and they are full of B vitamins and
Iron too.
This served 3 of us. simply double the amount of all the ingredients to serve 6

1 400g can of green or puy lentils.
125g shitake mushrooms
150ml vegetable stock  (homemade or from a cube)
1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce (please note REGULAR soy sauce is NOT gluten free)
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (leave out if you don't have any to hand)
2 tablespoons red wine
100g button mushrooms
1 shallot
200g sweet potato (peeled weight)
200g potato            (peeled weight)
light olive oil
fresh thyme  & some gluten free breadcrumbs to top (optional)

preheat the oven to 180c
Drain the can of lentils & rinse well. set to one side.

1  peel the shallot, chop it up, and slice the button mushrooms. Saute in a little oil of your choice ( I use light olive oil) in a frying pan over a medium heat for a few mins until the shallot/ mushrooms start to soften & brown. set to one side.

2  put the stock in a saucepan and bring to the boil,  then reduce the heat, pop in the shitake mushrooms, cover and simmer until the mushrooms are cooked. (this will only take about 5 mins)

3  transfer the shitakes and the stock they cooked in to a blender (as if you were making soup) and add the Tamari, balsamic vinegar & red wine.
blitz.  you want a thick soup like texture. Add some salt & pepper to taste.

4  mix the lentils, button mushrooms & shallot into the shitake "gravy".  transfer to a baking dish

5 peel and chop the potato & sweet potato. place in a saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer until the potatoes/ sweet potatoes are well cooked. (timing will depend on how high your heat is, and how small you chopped the veggies.)
Once cooked, drain the water away and then mash with a little milk of your choice (I used soy) and a little olive oil (optional if you want to keep the fat/ calorie levels down) until you have a nice smooth, creamy mash.

6 pile the mashed potato/sweet potato on top of the lentil & mushroom mix. At this point I crumbled a slice of gluten free bread on top and dotted with some chopped thyme (optional). You could also slice a tomato to put on top & If you're fine with dairy, then you could add some grated cheese.
Bake in a moderate oven (around 180c) for about 30 mins.

7  if you want a crispier top you can put under a hot grill for a few minutes.

                                                         Served here with buttered peas & spinach

Happy weekending everyone!

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