Saturday, 22 December 2018

Green Dragon Pie - comfort food for damp chilly days

Green Dragon Pie fresh from the oven

This one is Vegan by accident as the pesto I happened to have in the cupboard is a dairy free one from Sacla.

Named in tribute to the yummy Red Dragon Pie from Sarah Brown that uses aduki beans. As an aside - if you ever come across one of her vegetarian cookbooks in a charity shop - snap it up - all her recipes are really tasty and great to play with!

This is what I used to make a main meal for 3 hungry people in a 2 pint casserole dish. Oven to Gas Mark 6. 

In a large (c. 20cm) saucepan

Lightly fry to bring out flavours

  • half a dozen chopped mushrooms
  • 2 medium carrots diced

Stir in

  • Approx 200g cooked green lentils
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder (if using fresh onion replace this with 1 small one chopped and fried lightly with mushrooms)
  • 1 tablespoon (vegan) pesto
  • 1 tablespoon mixed herbs
  • black pepper
  • dried ground garlic (or 1 large clove crushed)
  • approx 150ml passata 
Cover, bring to bubbling and then turn heat down and allow to simmer until carrots are just tender.

In another pan cook peeled floury potatoes until tender - you will need at least 200g for a nice deep covering but when I know they are for mash I cut them small and fill the pan to save time and energy (another 20cm pan).  
When the potatoes are cooked (yield to a fork stabbed into one of the larger pieces!), drain and mash adding a little soya milk or margarine for creaminess. 

Put sufficient lentil mix in your casserole dish to cover  2/3 of the depth and then spoon on the mashed potato  - proportions can easily vary according to your tastes but I find 1/3 potato to 2/3 base is right for us!

Bake for approx 30 minutes until the potato is golden brown on the peaks.

No food waste here!

Leftover lentils cooling for the freezer
Any leftover lentil mixture keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days and can also be frozen very successfully. It makes a great pasty filling, baked potato topping, pasta sauce or basis of a stew or soup.
Any leftover potato can be either mashed and frozen for another day and is great to have on hand for quick meals, soup thickener, rissoles or they can be left whole to use them in a potato omelette or roasted/shallow fried.

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