Lentils are one of my most loved staple foods. They’re satisfying, comforting, versatile & nutritionally rich. Lentils are part of the legume family, they are high in protein, vitamins, minerals & fibre. Studies have found that a diet that regularly includes the intake of lentils is associated with lower body weight, lower cholesterol, increased diversity in beneficial bacteria in the gut & decreased pathogens in the gut. A diverse microbiome has a positive effect on almost every function of the body including immune function.
Aside from all of the good things that lentils do in your body, this dish is like a warm blanket, perfect for warming you up on a chilly day.
375g Mt Zero black beluga lentils (can use brown or green)
1 carrot, peeled & diced
2 celery sticks, outer side peeled & diced
1 onion, peeled & diced
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp of chopped rosemary
1 can of crushed/chopped tomatoes
1 tap of salt
For the mash topping
5 potatoes peeled
½ cup milk
¼ cup of reserved cooking water
1 & ½ tsp salt
100g grated cheddar
Put lentils in a pot of water & bring to boil, lower to a simmer & cook until just tender. About 20-30 minutes. Drain, set aside.
In a large heavy frypan, cook onions in olive oil for a few minutes on medium heat. Add the celery & carrot & cook for a further 3 minutes, add the garlic & cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes, salt & lentils, cook for 15 minutes.
To make the mash potato topping. Bring potatoes to boil with a pinch of salt & boil until soft & they break when you test with a fork. Drain.
Add the ingredients apart from the reserved cooking water, mash with a potato masher, add extra water if you need to loosen it up. Place the lentil mixture in a baking dish, carefully top with mash potatoes then grated cheese.
Bake in the oven at 180C for 45-50 or until golden on top. Serve with some cooked green vegetables or a leafy salad or both.