Next level comfort food, slowly simmered lentils and leeks topped with fragrant rosemary mashed cauliflower. Vegan, gluten-free, and totally delicious!
I am currently cozied on the sofa wearing my most comfy sweats with Penelope mushed against me. A Sex and the City marathon is on TV, and my Christmas tree is twinkling away like a boss. I am wishing this day never ends, wishing this quiet bit of the holiday season lasts just a little longer. A few more lazy days, a longer break from social media, a bigger excuse to just tune out the world and tune into the peaceful lull of post-holiday bliss (while watching an obscene amount of junkie TV, naturally).
After a super fun and totally chaotic Christmas eve and Christmas day, the 26th of December blessed us with an ice storm. It was the perfect excuse to light a fire, curl up, munch on leftovers, and literally do nothing. “La dolce far niente”, the sweetness of doing nothing. Oh lord it is so sweet. I have lovingly taken the energy of the 26th and brought it back home to NYC.
Life is begging to restart, school is right around the corner and January for nutritionists is like April for accountants, so I am holding tight to my last moments of nothing.
Luckily I saved some of my killer lentil leek Shepherd’s pie from Christmas eve. Today all that was required was defrosting, making a fresh batch of rosemary cauliflower mash, and popping the entire bit of perfect goodness in the oven until bubbly and hot.
I am over the moon with this recipe, officially obsessed, and also totally enamored with the single serve style.
What’s better than a Sex and the City marathon with a festive ramekin of vegan Shepherd’s pie? Nothing. Nothing is better. This day is BLISS!
The beauty of this recipe is that it’s perfectly appropriate to make in a traditional casserole dish (or a Shepherd’s pie dish. Yes, I have one of those) or you can portion it into one-cup ramekins for that grab and go, stand and savor, lounge and lavish, style eating. Whatever suits your fancy 🙂
Today is clearly a day for the lounge and lavish style. A bright green ramekin, a spoon, and nothing more. No plate required. Curled up eating. Oh yes!
This recipe may look like it has many steps, but it is worth the time. You can certainly use cooked lentils for a simpler, faster version but the results will not be as good. You can also sub out the mashed cauliflower for mashed potato, that’s what I typically serve on Christmas Eve, but today I wanted cauliflower. More veggies please! For a fully vegan version sub out the butter for a vegan butter (like Earth’s balance) and for a fully gluten free version simply use GF flour rather than AP flour.
The result of slowly simmered lentils in wine and fresh herbs is heavenly, meat lovers included will adore this version of a very traditional home cooked meal. It is the perfect party food (stand around, grab a ramekin, continue socializing), and the perfect lazy day food. Make enough that you can freeze some of the lentils, they defrost beautifully and make a quick weeknight meal.
Well, the Sex and the City movie just started (can this day get any better????!!!!!) so I better run, a really cheezy closet montage is mere moments away 🙂
Happy New Year!!
Thanks for reading Abra’s Kitchen! To see what goodness I’m whipping up be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. If you make this recipe tag #abraskitchen on Instagram so I can see your creation 🙂
- 2 cups dry lentil
- 2 bay leaf
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 6 cups water
- 2 tbsp butter (or vegan butter sub)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2½ cups sliced leeks (about 4 medium leeks, white and light green part only)
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine
- 3 cups veggie broth
- ¼ cup AP flour (or GF flour)
- ¼ tsp paprika
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- ½ cup veggie stock
- 3 tbsp butter (or vegan butter sub)
- 2 large sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Add lentils, water, onion, and fresh herbs to a saucepan. Cook for 40 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain, remove onion and fresh herbs and reserve.
- Gently heat olive oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium heat, add leeks, carrots, and garlic. Sauté for 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper
- Add tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add red wine, scraping bits on bottom of pan and cook for 5 minutes. Add flour and stir well, cook for 2 minutes. Add fresh herbs and veggie stock, stir well and cook for additional 25 minutes until sauce has thickened. Remove herbs and set aside.
- While lentil mixture is cooking prepare mashed cauliflower
- Place cauliflower florets in a steamer basket set over boiling water and steam until tender. (Alternatively combine cauliflower with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan, cook until tender, drain and set aside.)
- In a small saucepan combine veggie stock, butter, rosemary, and thyme. Bring to a boil over medium heat, turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 minutes until fragrant.
- Place cauliflower in blender or food processor, strain butter/stock mixture over cauliflower, add salt and pepper and blend until creamy
- Using 10 one-cup ramekins, fill each ramekin ¾ full with lentil mixture, top with mashed cauliflower and a sprinkle of paprika. Bake in a 350° oven for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
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