Lentil gravy over potatoes

lentil gravy and potatoes
Yes, we’re still using our Christmas plates.

Both kids had upset stomachs yesterday (probably from overindulging on treats on New Year’s Eve) so I kept tonight’s dinner simple and easy to digest. Potatoes with lentils and carrots lightly seasoned. They went down very quickly!

This meal is based on something my husband and I used to have as kids – so it must be a common meal in our region – hamburger hash over mashed potatoes. Generally, I will make the gravy with caramelized onions, garlic, mushrooms and vegetable broth mixed with nutritional yeast and a few herbs to match the gravies we had as kids. But since my kids have upset stomachs, I decided to flavour this gravy with ginger and garlic to sooth their tummies.

This isn’t a fancy meal but it is ready in 30 minutes and is a family favourite.

Lentil gravy over potatoes

  • potatoes (enough to feed the family)
  • 1 1/4 cups of dried lentils
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ginger (about an inch, minced)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 onion chopped in large pieces (so the kids can pick it out)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 Tbsp starch (tapioca, arrowroot or cornstarch)
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 tsp salt

Chop and boil the potatoes until tender (about 15-20 minutes). Wash and pick through the lentils to make sure there are no stones or debris in the dried lentils. Cook them in a small pot with the vegetable broth for about 15 minutes.

While the potatoes and lentils are cooking, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant (about a minute). Add the onion and carrot. Cook until the vegetables are tender (about 5 minutes). When the lentils have cooked for 15 minutes, add them with the broth to the vegetables and simmer for a minute. Mix the starch with the cold water and add it to the lentils and vegetables. Cook until thickened.

Pour the lentils over the potatoes and serve. Because I wanted more flavour for mine, I sprinkled a savoury masala spice mix and hot pepper flakes over my potatoes before pouring the lentils on top.

vegan lentils and potatoes
I added masala spice mix, pepper flakes and some black pepper to spice my serving up a bit.

If you’re looking for something with more traditional flavours, skip the ginger and the garam masala. Add 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, 1 tsp of thyme and 1/2 tsp of rosemary or tarragon, a bay leaf and 1 tsp of soy sauce. You can also adapt it with the vegetables you use – mushrooms are a good choice.

Do you make a similar recipe? What flavourings do you use?

Greens with roasted chickpeas, salty seed mix and a tangy avocado dressing

Vegan salad with roasted chickpeas and avocado dressing
Lettuce topped with avocado dressing, roasted chickpeas and a salty seed mix.

People often tell me they couldn’t be vegan because they could never give up cheese. I don’t miss it at all. In fact, when I think of where cheese comes from and I remember the smell of the dairy farm I visited (that inspired me to give up dairy), it turns my stomach.

One food that I do miss, though, is caesar salad. In my early teenage years, I loved caesar salad dressing. I didn’t like that caesar salads don’t include much in the way of vegetables so I would order a garden salad with the dressing and cover it in fresh pepper.

I’ve tried every vegan caesar salad dressing I could find and I was always disappointed. This dressing on my salad above gets its creaminess from avocado and it hits the spot.

Full disclosure – it didn’t pass the kids’ taste test. It was too tangy for my daughter and my son wasn’t interested. They had spaghettini with tomato sauce and roasted vegetables without any salad.

vegan spaghetti dinner
Spaghettini with tomato sauce and roasted vegetables.

I topped their tomato sauce with a salty seed mix.

Salty seed mix

  • 2 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Combine the seeds, nutritional yeast and salt in a little bowl. Drizzle them with olive oil and toss it well to mix. Use to top pasta and salads.

Roasted chickpeas

Very simple stuff. Preheat the oven to 350. Drain a can of chickpeas and dry them off with a towel. Toss them in olive oil, salt and garlic powder and bake for 20 minutes. Bake further if you want them crunchy.

Vegan spaghetti dinner with salad
Salad, spaghettini with tomato sauce and vegetables

I won’t call my salad caesar because it isn’t a match but it is a nice change if you’re looking for a nice creamy dressing. Here’s how I make it.

Creamy avocado dressing

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 clove of garlic (I roasted my this time but raw is more caesar-like)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup water

Blend the ingredients together and serve.

To make the salad, I topped the lettuce with dressing to ensure ultimate coverage and topped it with the chickpeas and a sprinkling of the salty seed mix.

Find the recipe for the kid-friendly tomato sauce here. The roasted vegetables were chopped to bite-sized pieces and roasted at 425 for 30 minutes.

Bon app├ętit!