Sunday, July 06, 2014

Luscious legumes

Hmmm. I always think of this dish as vegetarian shepherd's pie, though the name doesn't really make sense. No sheep or shepherds are involved in its construction! Suggestions for a new name are most welcome ...

1 kg potatoes
1 cup cheese, grated

1 cup red kidney beans (tinned, or rehydrated)
2 large onions, chopped
1 tablespoons butter
1 green capsicum, diced
2 tablespoons wholemeal flour
1 cup vegetable stock
basil, oregano, paprika and/or parsley (to taste)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
corn kernels
baby corn spears

Boil the potatoes, and when they are soft mash with the cheese and milk. While the potatoes are cooking, combine all other ingredients in a large microwavable container, and cook on high for about seven minutes, stirring occasionally. Put the vegetable mixture into a large casserole dish and top with the potato mixture. Bake at 180 degrees C for 30 minutes. Serves four to six, and is reheatable.

For a gluten free version, use tamari instead of soy sauce, and either omit the flour or replace it with a gluten free thickener such as rice or potato flour. For a vegan version, you could replace the cheese, milk and butter with vegan-friendly alternatives.

I took this dish to our friends' house for dinner last night, and we enjoyed it. The red kidney beans got me thinking about legumes, and what a delicious and versatile ingredient they are. Some of my other legume-y recipes include:

Dal makhani
Potato and pea curry
Hearty vegetable soup
Mushroom, lentil and rice casserole
Potato, leek, bacon and cannellini bean soup
Pea and tofu soup
Chickpea delight

All of these dishes freeze well so in addition to being nutritious evening meals they make excellent microwavable lunches. We've noticed that several Canberra cafes and restaurants now offer frozen dinners to take away. I like to keep the freezer stocked with home made frozen dinners ...


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