Monday, 12 September 2011

Easy mushroom, lentil and butternut squash bake

This warming winter bake combines a spicy savoury base with a sweet starchy topping.  It is vegan, nutritious, and easy to make.

Serves 2 as a one dish meal, 4 as part of meal with extra vegetables, potatoes etc

onion - 1 chopped
sunflower oil
brown or green lentils - 1 can or half a cup dried
mushrooms 600g, sliced
red pepper - 1
hot paprika 1/2 to 1 tsp
mustard 1 tsp
butternut squash 1 medium
olive oil 1 tbsp

Cook the onion in the oil over a medium heat until translucent.  Add the dried lentils to the pan and stir to coat, then top with enough water to cover the lentils.  Cook until soft, checking that it doesn't dry out - about twenty minutes.  If using canned pre-cooked lentils add these to the pan and then continue with the recipe.

Add paprika, mustard and pepper.  If you want a deeper flavour some gf soy or Umami paste can be added.

Add the mushrooms and the red pepper, cut into chunks.
Cook for ten minutes until mushrooms are soft.  The mixture will shrink as the mushrooms cook.

If your mixture is too dry add water, if too wet then either boil to reduce or add a little cornflour, mixed first in a little water.  Stir this in, bring to the boil, and this will give a thicker gravy.

Butternut squash- cut in half and microwave in a suitable container until soft.  This will take about ten minutes.  Let it cool until you can handle it, remove the peel and seeds, and smash.  If the squash is cooked then the peel will come off easily.  If you don't want to use a microwave peel and chop the squash and steam until soft.  Mix a little  olive oil in to the mash.

Put the mushroom stew into a suitable oven proof dish - about 1 to 1.5 litre capacity.  Gently put spoonfuls of mashed butternut squash on top of the mushroom mixture.  Bake for half an hour until the top begins to brown.  You can also eat this without baking, as a stew and side of mashed squash.

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