When I first became vegan, I was secretly worried that I’d be really really hungry, alll the time. I’m a gal who really likes to eat, so I stocked up on carbs, carbs, carbs (like, the white, complex kind). “BEING VEGAN IS SOOOOOO EASY!!!!” (I wanted to yell from the rooftops, as I stuffed my cakehole with pasta, baguettes, bagels, pizza, burgers, etc.) Turns out, it’s not actually so good to fill up on that stuff…and totally misaligned with a mantra I’ve been trying to remember more and more these days:
every time you eat, is an opportunity to nourish your body.
Trust me, there are many meals that are questionable in terms of nutrients (i.e. the Fritos and tequila I refer to in my “about me” page), BUT, for the most part I tried to keep things healthy and nourishing.
This dish is a grand slam in terms of nutrition, taste, effort required to make it, and ability to satisfy a hungry crowd. It’s a modified / veganized version of a recipe by the same name in “The Ontario Table” by Lynn Ogryzlo (which has lots of lovely vegan recipes, btw).
Prep time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour (total)
4 large sweet potatoes
3 cups cooked lentils
2 tbsp canola oil or Magic Vegan Bacon Grease (if you really want to impress)
2 pkgs Yves original veggie ground
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
8 sprigs fresh thyme sprigs, leaves removed
3 tbsp soy or almond milk
1 veggie bouillon cube
2 tbsp Earth Balance or other vegan margarine
Salt and pepper
2 cups mixed veggies (fresh or frozen): try broccoli, carrots, corn, peas, mushrooms)
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1/3 cup whiskey (optional, but tasty) or water
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F (190C). Peel sweet potatoes. Cut into chunks and put in a pan covered with salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook sweet potatoes until done, about 20 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil or “bacon grease” over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic for 1 minute or until onions are soft. Add the veggies and cook for 5 minutes. Add the veggie ground and lentils and cook for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the mixture and mix well. Add whiskey or water, bouillon cube, thyme and season well with salt and pepper. Cook stirring for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
Mash sweet potatoes with margarine and soy / almond milk. Spoon veggie ground/lentil mixture into a 9 x 13 in pan. Top with sweet potato. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Feeling Lawless? This dish requires three things: protein/grain, veggies, and potatoes. Depending on what’s in the fridge, you can mix it up! A friend of mine doesn’t like ground round, so exclusively uses lentils. The veggie options are endless too – use whatever is in the fridge/freezer. And if you don’t like sweet potatoes, use regular potatoes! Spices can be as simple as salt and pepper and whatever dried options you have on hand. The other thing that is nice on this dish is a bit of melted vegan cheese – sprinkle on the dish during the final few minutes of cooking.