Healthy and Hearty Casseroles for Fall

Sweet Potato Lentil Shepards Pie

 

Lentil, Mushroom & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Makes 6 servings

5 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1 cup brown or green lentils, washed and picked over
3/4 cup dry steel cut oats
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound cremini mushrooms, divided
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup low-sodium vegetable stock
1/4 cup red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 400&degF. Prick each sweet potato several times with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until very soft to the touch. Set aside to cool.

In a medium pot, combine the lentils, oats, bay leaf and salt with 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil and lower heat. Simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until lentils are soft but not mushy, stirring occasionally to keep the oats from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Discard bay leaf and drain mixture into a colander or sieve.

While the lentils and oats are cooking, finely chop half of the mushrooms and set aside. Cut the remaining mushrooms into quarters. Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the quartered mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook until browned and soft. Add the chopped mushrooms, onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent. Lower heat to medium and add the lentil and oat mixture, followed by the vegetable stock, wine, tomato paste, soy sauce, paprika, and parsley. Taste and add salt if needed. Simmer mixture for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add a few grinds of black pepper.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Peel sweet potatoes with your hands and place in a medium bowl. Use a fork to mash them into a smooth paste and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Evenly spread the lentil mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish. (For thicker layers, use a 9×9-inch pan.) Spoon the sweet potato mixture on top and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling at the edges.

Additional Notes:

• Both the filling and the roasted sweet potatoes can be made ahead and refrigerated up to 2 days before assembling and baking.

• This recipe freezes well; after assembling, cover and freeze. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake uncovered at 350°F for 35-45 minutes, or until filling is bubbling at the edges.

• Leftover mashed potatoes can be used in place of the sweet potatoes.

• Use tamari in place of soy sauce and double-check that you are using gluten-free oats if serving this to gluten-free guests.

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cauliflour and chicken sausage casserole

Cauliflower & Sausage Casserole

Serves 4 to 6 as a main course

1 medium head cauliflower, about 2 pounds
1 teaspoon fine table salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound uncooked herbed chicken sausage OR spicy Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 medium onion, about 1/2 pound, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 stems fresh thyme, leaves only
One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and liquid reserved
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with olive oil.

Cut the cauliflower head in quarters. Slice away the leaves and stem, and with an angled cut cut away the core from each quarter of the cauliflower head. Chop cauliflower roughly into bite-sized florets, each about 1-inch across.

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Stir in the salt. Add the cauliflower florets and boil for 2 minutes. Drain into a colander set in the sink. Run cold water over the florets to stop the cooking process and shake the colander to drain any excess water. Return the cauliflower to the cooking pot and set aside.

Place a 10-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and then, when the pan is quite hot, add the sausage. Use a spoon to break up the meat. Cook for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the sausage is cooked through and beginning to get crispy. If using chicken sausage there should not be a great deal of fat in the pan, but if using Italian sausage, drain all but 1 to 2 tablespoons of fat.

Turn the heat to medium-low and add the onion, garlic, and thyme to the pan with the sausage. Sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Scrape up any brown bits as you sauté. Crush the tomatoes, and add them to the sausage. Stir thoroughly, then add the reserved tomato sauce and cook for about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and taste the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the sauce with the cauliflower in the cooking pot. Spread the cauliflower and sausage mix in the prepared baking dish and distribute evenly. Mix the bread crumbs and Parmesan and sprinkle them evenly over the cauliflower. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.

Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until breadcrumbs have browned and the sauce is bubbling. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving

1cauliflour and chicken sausage casserole

 

Thanks to the kitchn for these healthy and delicious recipes!

 

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