In continuing with my coconut theme, I thought I would give you something savory, instead of the usual sweet.
Lately, I have been craving vegetables. Which is unusual for me, since I normally crave sugar, crunchy things, or cheese. For some reason, I think my diet is very vegetable deficient. When I look at it on paper, I do get a lot of vegetables, but I still feel like I'm not eating enough veggies, so I'm constantly looking for ways to eat more vegetables.
I like to go to the local vegetable stand before I take stats for the High School Football Team I volunteered for. Their sweet potatoes always look tempting, and this time they had cheap leeks and fennel (or anise).
I will admit, I blatently stole the idea of using sweet potatoes as a top from lollcakes. I drooled over that recipe for a long time. I've also made chicken curry pot pie before, from an episode of Alton Brown. After my trip to the veggie stand, I thought a vegetable version of Shepard's Pie was a good idea. I decided to make it curry for something a bit different.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this dish is healthy. I know it's not vegan, since I used butter in the sweet potato mash. AND, it has been a long time since I have purchased food with a purely vegan slant, and I'm sure I have forgotten things I didn't eat. I'm sure it's easy to convert to a vegan recipe, though.
And now for my tip. As you can see from my description, I recommend you add the curry powder to the sauteed vegetables. This sort of wakes up the spices and they taste better. It also makes your kitchen very fragrant.
I hope everyone gives this a try. I put the recipe in measures of the vegetables. So feel free to substitute away with different ones if I included one you don't like. Sorry if the recipe is a bit hard to understand, I tried with this one to be as descriptive as possible.
Vegetable Curry Pie
Serves 4 generous portions
Recipe by: Twisted Kitchen, with inspiration
Approximately 1.5 lbs sweet potatoes, baked, taken out of the skins, and mashed with 2 T. butter, 1/2 t. salt, and 1/4 t. nutmeg.
1 medium fennel bulb (aka anise), only the white portions (I'm not even sure if you can eat the fronds), chopped into 1" pieces.
2 medium to large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 medium onion, or 1/2 of a huge onion, diced
8 oz mushrooms, I used crimini, cut into 1/2 if small mushrooms, cut into 4 pieces if large
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 small anaheim pepper, cut into very small pieces (you can add a jalapeno if you want more heat, or a bell pepper if you want less)
2/3 c. brown lentils, boiled in salted water until almost done, but still a little crunchy (I cooked mine about 15 minutes)
1 16 oz can coconut milk (approx. 2 cups)
1 T. curry powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 t. salt
1 t. pepper
2 T. oil
Heat oven to 350. In a large saute pan, saute mushrooms 3-4 minutes. Add onions and continue sauteing until onions are translucent. Add garlic and curry powder, and saute 1-2 minutes more. Stir in coconut milk until curry is evenly distributed.
Add salt, pepper, anaheim pepper, fennel, parsnip, carrot, celery, and pre-cooked lentils. Stir until well combined. Place in a very deep 9" baking pan or a casserole dish. Top with precooked sweet potatoes and smooth into an even layer. If you want more browning on top, you can pat a little more butter on top. Bake 60-75 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Serve hot.