Before I moved in with and married my husband, I ate very little meat. I suppose I was a student then and couldn’t afford a lot of it. I also lived in lots of share houses over the years with vegetarians, and with communal cooking, it was generally just easier to cook vego. Canned tuna and chicken were probably my main meat source, maybe a lamb kebab after a big night out… although I did waitress at a few cafes and probably had a beef salad here or there and a good weekend fry-up with bacon.
These days, we eat a fair amount of meat. I was seriously anaemic earlier this year and it really knocked me around so I have been more conscious of the amount of iron I’m getting in. That, and I live with 3 meat loving males.
I still aim for about two, sometimes three, meat free dinners per week. Always ‘Meat Free Monday’ and generally an omelette, a frittata or something bean or vegetable based else where. The reality is, organic or good quality, grass fed meat is more expensive but ethically, it is all that I’m willing to buy. I like to think the animals we eat have had a good life and have been treated well. Factory farming is an absolute disgrace and it is pleasing to see the beginnings of a move away from that sort of food production in this country.
Anyway, as I said, my men love their meat so I tend to entice them into their vegetarian meals by making them hearty and with simple flavours. This one is a real people pleaser… Especially if it’s a little chilly where you are!
Lentil Pot Pie (Serves 4)
4 large potatoes (or sweet potatoes) peeled and chopped.
* I used red potatoes tonight as they were on special and for a bit of a treat. We eat very few potatoes, usually opting instead for the sweet potato for its low GI (slow release energy) properties.
1/2 an onion, diced
1 garlic clove, finely diced
1.5 cups diced vegetables (I use frozen peas, corn and carrots in this, as they are kid friendly, quick and easy)
1 tin organic tomatoes or 4-6 diced fresh tomatoes
1 tin organic brown lentils, drained and rinsed. (look for BPA free tinned goods. I use the Global Organics brand)
1 tablespoon organic BBQ sauce. (I use the Macro brand)
Cracked sea salt and pepper (use pink Himalayan, Celtic sea salt, or Murray river salt – hasn’t been stripped of all it’s nutrition!)
Optional: Vegan butter, plant milk, olive oil, vegan cheese etc… for mashed potatoes.
Boil your potatoes in a large pot.
Gently sauté onion and garlic.
* if using fresh diced veggies instead of frozen, add now and sauté.
Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and bring to a boil then reduce heat.
Add frozen veggies, lentils and BBQ sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Fill individual ramekins (or one large oven proof dish) dividing the mixture as you see fit. I put a little less in the kids ones.
Mash potatoes to your liking – I add grass fed butter, salt and pepper and a splash of full cream, organic milk.
Top each dish with potato and if using, a sprinkle of grated cheese.
Place under a grill or in a hot oven to melt the cheese.
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