Now it's officially autumn it's officially time for comfort food! Yey!
This vegan potato and lentil bake is my take on one of my Mum's vegan recipes. We call it Monday Bake because Mum would cook it on Sunday night in the oven with the Sunday dinner then reheat it to eat on Monday after we'd all had a busy day at work and school.
I still call it Monday Bake, although it can be eaten any day of the week, and it's even good zapped in the microwave at work for lunch too.
You will need
2 large carrots
3 medium sweet potatoes
6 medium potatoes
3 cloves garlic
6 handfuls fresh spinach, or a couple of handfuls of frozen spinach
2/3 cereal bowl of red lentils
a little oil
2 oxo cubes.
serves 6 (you can make it in a big huge oven dish, or split it into smaller dishes to store or freeze)
How to make your yummy vegan lentil and potato bake
Put the kettle on, or get some water boiling in the steamer pan.
First slice all the root veg into slices about half a centimetre or so thick. Peel any veg you think needs peeling, but I usually make do with giving everything a good scrub. Mix up the sliced veg and add it to the steaming baskets, then steam until they're soft.
Put the red lentils in the cereal bowl, and top up with water, just to soak them and help speed up the cooking time.
While the veg is steaming, cut the leeks up into fine slices, then fry in a little oil until they're soft and a bit caramelised. Add the garlic, sliced or crushed, about 5 minutes before the leeks are finished.
Roughly chop the spinach.
Make up some vegetable stock, I do about 500ml boiling water with 2 veg oxo cubes.
Ok, so that's your prep all done and you're ready to layer up the bake then bake it!
Put a layer of the leeks in the bottom of your dish, then a layer of lentils, then a layer of spinach, then a layer of the potato, sweet potato and carrot slice mixture. Pour a little stock on to just cover the layers. Carry on building layers until the dish is full up, or you've run out of mixture!
Pop the dish in the oven to bake, about 200 degrees for an hour. If you use a glass dish you can see all the layers and keep an eye on the lentils to let you know when it's cooked, if they're still orange and hard looking it needs more time!
After an hour you can eat it, or let it cool and fridge or freeze it. It's waaay better eaten the day after, the flavours get better the longer you leave it. And it's best served with homemade garlic bread!