Mushroom Lentil Slice

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This is a really versatile recipe, it can be eaten as a hot main dish, with rice or potatoes and some veg, or it can be eaten cold with any sort of salads.  Or even popped in a lunch box as a tasty finger food.  Because of this versatility, it is also a good recipe to take to bring a dish parties.

I do have a genuine love for lentils, I’d never really cooked with lentils at all before I became vegetarian, and now I wonder what I was doing all of those years, how did I possibly cook without them.  Lentils are the frugal cook’s best friend and they make an appearance in virtually every stew, curry, sauce and soup I make.  They are often added to thicken or bulk out a dish or to add texture, but very rarely does the lentil take centre stage in my cooking.  This slice however, despite its humble and frugal nature, celebrates the lentils for the wonderful source of protein, iron and fibre that they are.

This recipe also makes great use of mushrooms, one of those vegetarian staples, You either love them or heat them.  I love mushrooms for their deep savoury flavour and  robust texture, they make this dish a satisfying savoury part of any meal.

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I have adapted this from an old Rose Elliot recipe, taken from her Bean Book (of which I’m lucky enough to have an older edition, apparently the newer editions have some recipes altered or omitted) and made it dairy free, and in my endless quest to limit my washing up, I’ve simplified the processes slightly.

Serves 6

  • 200g of split red lentils (54p)
  • 400 ml of vegetable stock (20p)
  • 1 large onion (20p)
  • 200g of mushrooms (£1.45)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (10p)
  • 2 tbsp of refined coconut oil – or another oil for frying  (20p)
  • 1 tbsp of chopped parsley* (20p)
  • 15g of nutritional yeast (34p)
  • 1 large egg {** vegan idea!} (37p)
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 medium fresh tomatoes (60p)

In a medium saucepan, simmer the lentils in the stock until they are soft and golden coloured, this should take about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile heat the oven to 200 degrees.

While the lentils are simmering, slice the mushrooms, finely chop the onion and fry them in the oil in a large, ideally oven proof pan (I’ve used a 26 cm cast iron skillet – which is perfect for this recipe, but if you don’t have something similar, fry the ingredients and transfer it to an oiled oven proof dish later.) after a few minutes, add the sliced garlic and continue to fry for another 10 minutes, until the onion is soft and the mushrooms have browned.

20160219-174257.jpgOnce the lentils have cooked, beat in the nutritional yeast, the egg, the chopped parsley and the salt and pepper and pour the golden lentil mixture over the fried ingredients in the pan.

20160219-174241.jpgGently mix the mushrooms, onions and garlic into the lentil mixture and shake the pan to help even out the surface.  

Slice the tomatoes and arrange on the top of the lentils, then put the whole pan into the hot oven for around 30 minutes.

20160219-174207.jpgWhen it’s done it should be set and golden on top.  The slice can be cut and served hot straight from the pan, or left to cool for a finger buffet.

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Served here with ‘skins on’ mashed potato, and roasted carrot and sprouts – shoved in the oven with a little refined coconut oil and a drizzle of maple syrup, while the lentil slice was cooking. 

This recipe is the heart of a really frugal dinner, at just 70p a portion.  Here it’s accompanied by some good simple organic veg… or it can be dressed up with some gravy to become the centrepiece of your sunday roast… or cut into fingers for party food.  Tasty, simple and cheap.

 

*  If you have no fresh parsley, dried parsley or dill tips would work as a substitute, but only a teaspoon.

** In this recipe the egg is used as a binding and setting agent, I think the slice would crumble once baked without the egg beaten in and right now my hens are laying and I’m happy to include eggs in my recipes.  However, if you’re not happy to use eggs, in theory, maybe a handful of small cubes of sweet potato or squash, cooked in with the lentils and then mashed and beaten into the mixture should moisten it up and work as a vegan binding agent.  Please feel free to try out any vegan binding alternatives and let me know how it works out!

 

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. How delicious 🙂 There are loads of vegan egg substitutes I could think of to use here – I think I will try with chia egg or blended tofu.Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, yes, silken tofu would probably be a good one! Thanks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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