Vegan Lentil and Vegetable Hotpot a cheap, filling and nutritious dinner that will soon become a firm family favourite or student staple! This delicious veggie bake is piled high with soft, delicate lentils and packed full of sweet veggies galore; all smothered in a thick, warming tomato sauce. And if that wasn’t tasty enough, its all hidden underneath a beautiful crispy, melty cheese potato crust! Dairy free dinner delcious-ness at its be
Cheese (under Grill)5mins
Course: Hearty Lunch, Warming Dinner
Cuisine: British Seasonal
Author: Midge @ Peachicks' Bakery
1punnetMushroomsChestnut or Cup
3tbspFresh Mixed Herbs*(Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano)
4tspEnglish or Wholegrain Mustard Check for Egg & Wheat
Slightly crush and then finely chop or grate the garlic cloves.Slice one of the onions and finely dice the other. Chop the carrots into small cubes and pepper into bitesize chunks.Next chop the larger mushrooms, leaving any the diameter of a 2p piece whole.Drain the lentils into a sieve and rinse thoroughly. Rougly chop all the fresh herbs and greens (if using baby spinach leaves just leave whole and give them a wash)
Cook the Lentil base
In a large pan. Gently fry the onions and garlic over a medium heat for around 5 minutes in a tablespoon or two of Olive Oil.Next add the whole mushrooms and saute for a minute before adding the carrots, chopped mushrooms and peppers. Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring.
Stir in the lentils, chopped (or dried) herbs, large pinch of black pepper, balsamic vinegar and tomato puree before adding 350ml of water, the Mushroom stock pot and mustard. Sprinkle over the Parsley and combine well before piling the finely sliced chard (or whole baby spinach leaves) on top and simmering for about 4 minutes.
Assemble & Cook the Hotpot
Pour the Lentil Base into an ovenproof dish - choose a shallow one for greater potato to lentil ratio! At this point you can cover the lentil base and leave aside to cool if you are making ahead of time. Just add the potato slices and continue to cook from there. You may need to add a few minutes to the cooking time to make sure the lentil base is piping hot.
Spread over the potato slices, taking care not to overlap them as this will prevent even cooking.Dot over the dairyfree margarine and bake in the oven for 20minutes.
After 20minutes, remove the hotpot from the oven and sprinkle over the dairyfree cheese.Here you have two options. If you are not sure if your dish is suitable for going under the grill (or if it wont fit) put the hotpot back in the oven for a further 20minutes until the cheese is bubbly and melty!ORPlace under a preheated grill for around 5minutes to melt the cheese.
*Or 1tbsp dried mixed herbs
Other Top Tips:
Onions - finely dice one onion and slice the other. The diced onion will dissolve into the sauce and thicken & sweeten it while the slices will remain in the lentil base for flavour.Mushrooms - The recipe calls for chestnut mushrooms which are lovely and nutty with a good meaty texture. If you can't get hold of them, normal cup mushrooms work just as well. I leave the baby ones whole and quarter the larger ones, as this gives the hotpot extra texture for those missing meat.Lentils - Using tinned lentils saves time. I just used the only tin labelled lentils I could find and they became lovely and soft. If you prefer red lentils, then these would would disappear completely into the sauce. Beans would also be a good alternative for lentil haters! or you could semi-blitz the lentil mix!