I haven’t done a vegan meatless Monday in a while, so I decided it’s time to get back to it. I think the fact that Ben & Jerry’s now has 4 vegan ice creams INCLUDING CHUNKY MONKEY maybe got me motivated. I am super excited to try those, but they aren’t yet in my area. The guy at Whole Foods (I figured they were the best bet) said it could be about 2 months before it’s offered widespread and I may be able to find it. Boo, but probably worth the wait!
Anyways, back to meatless Monday. I couldn’t decide what to try and make today, but as it was 4:30 Sunday evening and I still had to figure it out and go grocery shopping, I voted for something quick and easy. What’s quicker and easier than a casserole? Decision made.
I thought squash sounded appropriate for January, and decided to add some beans to make it more of a main dish and less of a side dish. Being short on time I went with lentils as they don’t have to soak before cooking. Plus, I really like lentils.
So lo and behold, spaghetti squash and lentil casserole was born. And I have to say, is was pretty dang good and very comfort foody. Plus my two teenagers even liked it and you KNOW how teenagers are if you aren’t serving pizza. My son even took a second helping and he’s one of those that would typically be going to try something, find out it’s vegan and change his mind. My favorite thing to tell him is “You probably shouldn’t eat that apple (or whatever), it’s vegan”.
Here’s the ingredient list:
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 2 cups thin sliced zucchini
- 1 cup dry lentils
- 2 cups water
- 1 diced white onion
- 1 diced bell pepper
- 1 can diced tomatoes (I used the ones with basil, garlic and oregano)
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic (heaping, of course)
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 6 servings instant mashed potatoes (it’s what I had)
Start by cooking the lentils in the water. Just bring them to a boil and then simmer covered for about 40 minutes, until they are tender.
Cut the spaghetti squash in half, seed it, and put it in a dish with about an inch of water. Microwave until tender, 10 to 15 minutes and them scrape the flesh out into a large bowl. As each thing (besides the mashed potatoes) is finished just throw it all into this bowl.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Pan fry the onions, peppers, garlic and zucchini. I don’t use oil for this, the onions put off enough liquid to get the job done. When the onions are translucent and the zucchini is a bit tender add this to the big bowl.
Cook the mashed potatoes according to the package directions. I used Earth Balance butter(ish) and Rice Dream milk and they came out great.
Mix all ingredients except for the mashed potatoes in the bowl and then turn them out into a greased 3 quart casserole dish.
Spread the mashed potatoes over the top, and rough them up a bit so that they will get nice brown spots on them.
No need to cover, just put the casserole dish I the oven for half an hour and you are done.
I have to admit, I used a lot of pans and it took a bit more time cooking from scratch and cutting all the veggies, but this was totally worth it and is going to be a part of our regular cold weather meals.