This weekend was pretty darn near perfect here in sunny Charlotte. The pool was officially opened up and the kids had no problem swimming in the cool (ice cold!) pool. Not me – I need the pool to be a tad warmer for me to get in. Yesterday, we enjoyed our perfect day by hitting up the big farmer’s market by the airport. I love this particular market, not just for the vast selection of food, but to also people watch! It’s like being in an airport at this market… different cultures all gathering to buy produce, flowers, plants and more. Later in the evening, we invited our neighbors over and made a spread of food, all delicious ideas that I have either created in the past or grabbed from my favorite bloggers. So thank you dear foodies for your recipes. You made me look like a rock star for the night!
Looking at my fridge today, I noticed that I had hardly any room due to the leftovers, but also due to the amount of veggies that I bought at the market the day before. What to do with so many different types of veggies? Well, I actually am having a very difficult time researching vegetarian meals, as my recipe books are all focused on having a meat or seafood as the main course. I’m learning that it’s waaaaaay different in the vegetarian world. Ok, to clear the air, I’m not going vegetarian, but I’m watching how I eat lately, largely due to my cholesterol history. It’s sort of a personal challenge to see if I change my diet, how that will exactly affect the levels. My Dad has to unfortunately take meds for his levels and I’m a bit competitive and want to see if I can change my course that could be set for me. Just this past week, I have seen how terrible I was eating. Whoa. Eggs? Cheese? Two loves of my life are now very guarded. I do have a “splurge day” just to keep my head sane. 🙂
With my monster amount of veggies I bought, I decided a shepherd’s pie would be fun. Because eating such heavy food on a 85 degree day is smart. Ummmm well, I like to break the rules I guess. The result of the pie was outstanding. I could tweak a couple of things here or there, but keep in mind I have 2 children that wouldn’t like it much if I spiced the pie up too hot. Me? I love spicy foods, so bring it on.
- 1 cup of lentils (soaked for 15 minutes – more if the bag says to do so, mine said no soaking required)
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 2-3 cloves of minced garlic
- 2 carrots chopped
- 1/2 an eggplant chopped
- 1 stalk of celery chopped
- 1 fresh tomato chopped
- 1 + 3/4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. Chef Troy’s spice mix
- 1/4 tsp. Cumin (optional)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3-4 medium sweet potatoes, diced
- 4 Tbsp butter or margarine
- 1/4 milk
- sprinkle of cinnamon
In a fry pan, heat up to medium high heat, and put olive oil in pan. Saute up the onions and garlic. Add in the chopped vegetables (except tomatoes) to the onions and garlic. Let cook up for about 5 minutes – keep a close eye on veggies to not let them burn. Place in the tomatoes, herbs, salt and broth. Add lentils and heat up to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer. Once most of the sauce is cooked down remove from heat and set aside.
Place diced sweet potatoes in boiling water and let cook until softened. Drain and mash potatoes. Add butter and milk and using a hand mixer, combine the ingredients.
Place vegetable mix into a deep dish pie plate or ceramic tart plate. (I used the ceramic plate b/c of the depth needed). Place mashed sweet potatoes evenly on top of veggie base. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings