DENVER, CO - Serves 8
6 medium red potatoes, about 1 1/2 pounds
1 cup lentils (you can also substitute lean ground beef)
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 large chopped onions
2 large carrots, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cloves garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon thyme or rosemary
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup lowfat 2% milk
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 dash cayenne pepper
Scrub and wash potatoes. Cook potatoes in boiling water for about 25 to 30 minutes until tender. Drain well and set aside.
Pick over lentils to remove any tiny rocks, debris or shriveled lentils. Rinse and drain the lentils and then add them to a medium pot, add vegetable broth. Bring to a boil for a few minutes then reduce heat and simmer until the lentils are tender - about 30 minutes. If the lentils are not fully soft add a bit of water and cook until completely soft.
While the lentils are cooking, sauté onion, and carrots in olive oil until the onions are translucent and the carrots start to become tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat then stir in green peas, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. When lentils are done cooking, stir them into this mixture.
Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a medium size casserole dish (3 or 3.5 quart) by coating with cooking oil spray. Mash potatoes or use an electric beater to whip them up, add milk, butter (or oil), cheese, salt, and pepper. For additional spice you can add another dash of cayenne to the potato mixture. Blend until fluffy.
Transfer lentil mixture to casserole dish. Spoon mashed potato mixture on top of the lentils so that the potatoes are evenly distributed across the lentils.
Bake for 15 minutes or until potato mixture starts begins to form a crust.
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