Daily Vegan Lunch for 30 November, 2013: Reuben Lentil Casserole with Mashed Potatoes

sauerkraut mashed potato lentil casserole


This was a great way to use leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving.


1.5 cups onion, chopped
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups cooked lentils mixed with 1 cup vegetable broth OR 2 cups prepared lentil soup, I used the former
2 cups sauerkraut, drained
2.5 cups mashed potatoes


1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/3 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Fry the onions in 1 tablespoon oil on medium-high heat until translucent, set aside.

Mix cooked lentils with 1 cup vegetable broth.

In a 9 x 9″ casserole dish, pour the layer lentils or lentil soup. Spread sauerkraut on top of the lentil layer, then onions, then spread the mashed potatoes evenly on top.

Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl, whipping them with a fork if necessary. Drizzle or spread the sauce over the top of the assembled casserole.

Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 21 November, 2013: Lentil Loaf with Small Roasted Potatoes

vegan lentil meatloaf vegan lentil meatloaf

3/4 cup dry lentils (about 2 cups cooked)
4 – 5 cups water for cooking lentils

2 cups onion, chopped
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped

1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika

1.5 cups panko or breadcrumbs
1/4 cup flour, I used chickpea flour
Up to 2 cups vegetable broth, to moisten
Salt to taste
1.5 cups ketchup


Bring lentils to boil with the water.  As soon as it boils, turn heat to medium and let simmer for about 30 minutes.  Taste test the lentils for doneness, adding more water if needed depending on how soft you like lentils.

In a large pan, fry celery, carrots, and onions on medium heat in the tablespoon of oil until they begin to caramelize, about 20 minutes.  Add sage and paprika, stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.  Add cooked lentils, panko, and flour and stir to make a dry mix.  Slowly pour and mix in the vegetable broth and stir until everything sticks together and makes a thick dough.

Grease a loaf pan and press mixture into the bottom of the pan, smoothing out the top to make it even.  Squirt ketchup in an even layer or zig zags across the loaf.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

For the potatoes, wash about 5 cups of potatoes thoroughly and put them in a medium casserole dish.  Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil on them and then toss them with your hands to coat.  Add about a teaspoon of salt if desired.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then flip the potatoes and cook 20 minutes more.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 15 November, 2013: Lentil Tomato Pinto Bean Soup

This recipe makes a huge pot of soup that will last for days. Freeze it if you don’t eat it all. It is one of those soups that is good the first day and fantastic the second day.

lentil pinto vegan soup



2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced

1 cup dried lentils or 3 cups cooked
1 can pinto beans, about 2 cups
4 cups crushed tomatoes, I used canned
8 cups vegetable broth

1.5 cups frozen corn
1.5 cups chopped sweet red bell pepper, I used some from a jar
2 legs celery, chopped (1.5 cups)
1 cup chopped carrot

2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked or regular paprika, I used smoked
Hot sauce or Sriacha, to taste
2/3 cup flour, I used chickpea flour


Pre-cook lentils in 3 cups water a crockpot on low for 4 hours or on high for 1 hour.  Alternately, use 2 cans of pre-made store bought lentil soup.

In the bottom of a large soup pot, sauté onions and garlic on medium high heat until onions are translucent.  Add cumin, chili powder, and paprika to onions and garlic, sauté 30 more seconds.  Douse mixture with lentils and their cooking water, pinto beans, carrots, celery, corn, and all but 1 cup of the vegetable broth.  Turn on high and bring mixture to a boil.  Once it boils, bring heat down to medium-high and boil until celery is al dente, about 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes.  Add salt or additional spices at this point if needed.  Add red peppers and stir in hot sauce to taste.

Mix remaining cup of vegetable broth with flour until it is a slurry, dump into soup.  Stir until soup is thickened.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 6 November, 2013: Lentil, Tomato, and Greens Soup

tomato peanut butter greens soup


1 tablespoon oil
1.5 cups onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic (1 tablespoon) minced
1 teaspoon jerk seasoning (or 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne)

2 cups cooked lentils or one can store-bought lentil soup
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or stewed tomatoes and their juice
3 cups chard. chopped
3 cups spinach leaves

1 tablespoon peanut butter
4 cups vegetable broth

Fake bacon bits, to serve


If you are making lentils from scratch, combine half a cup of lentils with 3 cups broth in a pot on the stove. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to medium. Let simmer for 30 – 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

In a large pot, fry onion in oil at medium heat until onion is translucent. Add peanut butter, garlic, and jerk seasoning or spices, fry until peanut butter dissolves. Add the spinach and chard and tomatoes. Simmer until greens wilt, about 2 minutes. Douse in 4 cups vegetable broth. Heat through and serve with fake bacon bits on top.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 31 October, 2013: Shepherd’s Pie With Puff Pastry

Delicious lentil stew underneath a puff pastry crust.

vegan shepherd's pie with puff pastry



1 cup dry brown lentils
4 cups water for cooking lentils

1 tablespoon oil
2 cups onions, chopped

1.5 cups carrots, chopped
1 cup peas (I used frozen)
1.5 cups chopped potato

4 plus 1 cups water
2 broth cubes or 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon

2 cups stewed chopped tomatoes or fire-roasted tomatoes

1 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika
1 teaspoon sage

3/4 cup flour

1 thawed puff pastry crust, I used Pepperidge Farm brand


Thaw puff pastry sheet overnight in the refrigerator. Alternately, thaw it by letting it sit on the countertop for 2 hours.

In a small pot, combine lentils and lentil cooking water. Bring to a boil. Stir and turn heat down to medium. Simmer uncovered for 50 – 60 minutes, or until lentils have absorbed the water and are soft.

Meanwhile, fry onions in oil in a very large pot on medium-high heat until onions are translucent. Add the carrot and potato, stir-fry for about 1 minute more. Add sage and paprika, wait about 30 seconds. Douse with 4 cups water and bouillon cubes/Better Than Bouillon, reserving 1 cup of water for later. Cook until potatoes are tender. Depending on the potato, this can happen in anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes. I used red potatoes and for some weird reason, they took a small eternity to cook. I suggest using Yukon Gold potatoes. They are a fast cooking potato. Add the peas once the potatoes are either nearly done or done.

Add tomatoes to stew.

Mix reserved 1 cup of water with 3/4 cup flour into a slurry. Add this slurry to the stew and stir until it thickens, about 2 minutes.

Dump or ladle half of the stew into a 13 x 13 casserole dish. There will be enough stew to make another casserole (puff pastry usually comes in packs of 2 by the way), to freeze, or just to eat. Cover the 13 x 13 dish with thawed puff pastry sheet. Trim the edges to fit and make sure to vent the top so you don’t have exploding Shepherd’s Pie.

Cook in the oven for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 19 October, 2013: Black Lentil, Potato, and Spinach Stew

vegan black lentil, potato, spinach stew indian


1/2 cup black or brown lentils
3 cups of water

1 tablespoon oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups potatoes, peeled and chunked
2 cups additional water

3 cups fresh spinach leaves (or use 1.5 cups frozen spinach)
1 heaping tablespoon fresh minced garlic
2.5 cups pureed tomatoes (I used tomatoes from the garden and put them in the food processor for 45 seconds)

1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin

Salt to taste

In a small pot or pan, combine lentils and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer on medium heat. Cook uncovered until lentils soak up all the water.

Fry onion in the bottom of a large soup pot on medium-high heat until translucent. Turn heat down to low. Add spices and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Bring heat back up to high. Add potatoes and 2 cups additional water and boil until potatoes are tender and 1 cup of the water is boiled off. Add spinach, garlic, and puréed tomatoes and cook until spinach wilts, about 5 minutes.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 18 July, 2013: Jerk Black Lentil Soup

vegan jerk black lentil soup


1/2 cup black lentils, washed and picked over
2 cups water
1 cup onion
2 teaspoons oil
2 legs celery, chopped
1 teaspoon Jamaican jerk seasoning (if unavailable, use 1/2 a teaspoon of thyme and 1/2 teaspoon allspice)
1 vegetable broth cube or 2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup chopped sweet red bell pepper or green pepper
3 more cups water


Cook the lentils in water in an uncovered in a pot on the stove by bringing them to a boil and then turning heat to medium, stirring them infrequently and watching for when they become dry, if they do, add more water.

In a separate pan, fry the onion in oil on medium-high heat until it is translucent. Add celery, bell pepper, and jerk seasoning. I like to make a well in the center of the veggies, deposit the seasoning there, and add a few drops of oil to fry them.

After about 20 minutes of cooking the lentils, taste test them. Add water 1 cup at a time and cook longer if necessary until they are tender. Add 3 cups of water to the lentils and the broth cube and salt. Scoop the celery/bell pepper/jerk seasoning mixture into the soupy lentils. Stir well and heat through.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 2 June, 2013: Chewy Black Lentil Sausages

Hubby made a sandwich.chewy black lentil vegan sausages

1 cup onion, chopped
2 teaspoons oil
1 cup cooked black or regular lentils
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil (I used fresh)
1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika (I used smoked)
2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon or 1 veggie broth cube
Salt to taste
2 cups cold water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil, optional


3 cups vital wheat gluten flour


Chill a large mixing bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes.  Pre-fry onions in oil on medium heat until translucent.  Combine onion and all other wet ingredients in a blender, blend until it turns into a pureed thin soup.  Taste soup and add salt until it is a bit too salty.  Pour mixture into a covered bowl or into the cold mixing bowl already in the freezer.  Chill the resulting soup in the freezer for 25 minutes.  We are chilling all of this stuff because vital wheat gluten tends to solidify too fast & becomes harder to mix when it is warm, though it is fine to mix everything warm too.

Now for the big moment: Mix the gluten flour with the cold soup until well blended.  Shape into sausages and bake on greased cookie sheets or pans at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  I thought about casing these in cheesecloth and steaming them (I won’t use aluminum foil because I believe it causes brain problems) but today I did not have that sort of energy, I took a nice walk outside instead. 😀

Daily Vegan Lunch for 31 May, 2013: Black Lentil Curry

vegan black lentil curry



2 teaspoons oil
1 cup onions, chopped
2 to 2.5 cups cooked black lentils


1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon coriander

1/2 cup cashews
1 broth cube or 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon
2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 to 1 cup water
Salt to taste


Black lentils need no presoaking.  1 cup dry lentils equals about 3.5 cups cooked.  Combine black lentils and 4 cups water in a pot on the stove and bring to a boil.  Turn heat to medium and simmer until black lentils are soft and absorb all the water, about 35 minutes.
In another pan, fry onions in oil until transparent on medium heat.  Add spices, stir until fragrant.  Add lentils, garlic, cashews, water, and broth cube or Better Than Bouillon paste.  Add 1/2 cup of the water.

Transfer mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.  Add more water if necessary or if you like a thinner curry.  Salt to taste, serve over rice.

Daily Vegan Lunch for May 10, 2013: Lentil and Greens Burritos

vegan lentil and greens burritos


Tortillas, any kind (I used whole wheat tortillas)

1 cup brown lentils
3 cups vegetable broth
1.5 cups chopped onions
4 – 5 cups mixed organic greens or spinach
1 cup minced parsley
2 cloves garlic

Balsamic or apple cider vinegar, to taste
Salt to taste

Combine lentils and 1 cup broth in a pot. Bring to a boil on high heat and turn down immediately. Add another cup of broth and simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Add onions. Add last cup of broth and simmer for 10 – 20 more minutes. Once water is almost entirely absorbed, add greens/spinach and parsley. Stir until greens wilt. Add garlic and salt if needed.

Add vinegar to taste. I used about 1/4 cup because I like vinegar.

Eat plain, over rice, or rolled into burritos. I like lentils cold as much as I like them heated.