A week or so ago, I was delighted to find out that my blog is now part of the Sainsbury's Blogger Network so when I was asked to write about my signature dish, I was more than happy to say "yes". But what is my signature dish? I asked the family for some ideas. My husband thought it was my lemon pie recipe. My eldest remembers his favourites from the past and thought it was "square pizza" - I used to make a fantastic home-made pizza.
My vegetable lasagne recipe was definitely a firm favourite with everyone for years and years and I suppose this could have been THE signature dish of the past but I rarely make it now. In the end, after much discussion, my daughter and I both agreed that my true signature dish is lentil pie. I've been making it for ever! Even though I may vary the ingredients from time to time, we absolutely love it! It has to be the greatest of all comfort food and a dish which really can't fail. It's also very economical and a great store cupboard recipe!
I vary the toppings of the lentil pie depending on the diets I'm making it for. I don't eat potatoes very often but others in my family do, so this time I've made the topping with mashed potatoes - mashed ORGANIC potatoes. Why do I cook with organic potatoes? Because potatoes were found to be in the top twelve fruits and vegetables most affected by pesticides.
However, you could opt for the following, mashed or puréed, depending on your diet :
- sweet potatoes
- swede (rutabaga)
- butternut squash
- carrot and swede
- carrot, swede and celeriac
If you are following the SCD you can choose from the last four options, in fact I posted the SCD legal recipe a while back. This recipe is an updated version with the herbs we prefer at the moment and easily serves 6.
Lentil Pie GF SCD
1 kg potatoes (about 2 lbs) or choice of topping
almond milk (or milk)
knob of butter or dairy free spread (optional)
4 medium carrots
2 large onions
175g red lentils (1 cup)
400ml water or vegetable stock
1 carton Sainsbury's organic green lentils or 225g cooked green lentils
400g tin Sainsbury's organic chopped tomatoes
350g Sainsbury's organic passata (half the bottle)
2 tsps dried thyme
1 tsp dried parsley
½ tsp dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
fresh parsley to garnish
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
I have been buying these particular Sainsbury's organic ingredients for many years. As well as being great tasting and of excellent quality, they are also safe for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and I reuse the passata bottles for almond milk, juices and smoothies.
The lentil pie can be placed under the grill after it's assembled but I always think it gives the flavours more time to mingle if it's browned in the oven. Set the oven to 190°C.
Prepare your choice of topping or peel and boil the potatoes for 20 to 25 minutes until soft and mash with milk or almond milk until smooth. You could also add a knob of butter or dairy free spread if you wish. Set on one side until the filling is cooked.
Gently heat a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a deep frying pan and add the chopped onions. Cook over a medium heat for about five minutes until translucent.
Add the dried herbs and the sliced carrots.
Measure and rinse the red lentils under cold water then add to the pan. Pour on enough vegetable stock or water to cover the vegetables (about 400ml).
Bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes until the water has been absorbed. Rinse the green lentils well. Add the tinned tomatoes, passata and green lentils to the pan.
Season well with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper and add the bay leaf. Stir and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes until the mixture becomes thick, adding some more vegetable stock or water if necessary.
Take out the bay leaf then pour into a medium sized casserole or glass oven dish. Mine measures 9" x 7" x 3".
Top with the mashed potatoes or your choice of topping. I always think it's a good idea to place the dish on an oven tray in case the liquid boils over the top of the dish. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until the topping is golden or put under a warm grill.
Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve with broccoli, garden peas or spring cabbage or just on its own!
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