Saturday, May 7, 2011

Incredible Edible Lentil Shepherd's Pie

This meal is for my dinner at the hospital on Day 2 of the Cleanse.  I made it today because I am working the day shift tomorrow on Mother's Day and wanted to eat something healthy.  The food at the hospital cafeteria could literally kill ya.

To make this incredible edible lentil shepherd's pie,  I used the following ingredients:

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 diced onion
2 cups organic fresh shitake mushrooms
1 heaping cup of diced zucchini
1 to 2 cloves of garlic (to taste) minced
Fresh Market sea salt and herb seasoning (thyme, rosemary and basil)

I sprayed a large stir fry skillet with olive oil and then added the teaspoon of evoo and as I was heating it, I added the onions and began to sautee them.  If they got a little dry, I added a splash of water.
Then, after about 5 minutes, I added the mushrooms, zucchini, garlic, and seasoning and sauteed until things started looking tender - I sprayed on another coat of olive oil.

Two carrots, diced
1 cup French lentils (the green ones)
3 cups vegetable broth

I tossed this into the skillet and brought it to a near boil, then covered it and simmered for about a half hour.

While this was simmering, I took:

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets and placed it in a large sauce pan covering it with water and season salt.

I brought this to a boil, and cooked it until it was tender to the stab of a fork.  Then drained it and placed it in my Vita Mix (or food processor).

I took a few ounces of the broth from the veggies and as I processed the cauliflower, I drizzled this into the mixture and processed until it looked like mashed potatoes.

By now the veggies were done.  To tell, eat a lentil and if is to your liking, its done.  I added a mere splash, a whisper, a hint of vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional) and:

1 cup frozen peas

If I were plating it and serving it at this time, I would do as I did in the small bowl (photo above), ie, fill the bowl with the veggie mixture, and then drop a dollop of the mashed cauliflower on top.

I also make a larger serving that I can dig into for future lunches/dinners this week, again, veggies first, cauliflower on top.

I lighted sprinkled the cauliflower with a southwest seasoning just to kick it up a little.  If I weren't on this cleanse, I would probably top it with Panko whole wheat crumbs, spray with olive oil and heat until the top got golden brown.

As I was eating the first batch (from the small bowl), by stirring in the mashed cauliflower, it got deliciously creamy.  This would be a great winter comfort food dish.   It's a keeper. 


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The Story Behind the Garden of Eden Vegan Blog

For those of you who knew me prior to December 30, 2009, I was a veteran of the fast food culinary institute. My son, when he lived with me would ask if I had ordered the "Shabbat pizza" yet as the sun was setting Friday nights.

My idea of a good meal was a McFish sandwich, fries with extra salt, and a medium diet coke.

Everything was better covered in a rich creamy sauce and the idea of a naked baked potato was as foreign to me as walking naked in Manhattan.

In June of 2009 I decided to formally become a vegetarian. Although I had dabbled with this, it was not until I read Skinny Bitch that the gauntlet was thrown.

Now being a vegetarian does not sign you up for good health. I was proof of that. Chubby when I started, I indulged in pizza, french fries, cheese, cheese, butter, cheese, pizza......and became very over weight, tipping the Toledos at 200 pounds at 5'4". And taking an assortment of meds for cholesterol and GERD and who knows what else.

As the decade was waning, and with my 60th birthday approaching in the year 2010, there was a perfect storm that snapped my beak and got me in gear. The same friend who gave me Skinny Bitch, turned me on to the John McDougall website. At the same time, there was a Grand Round lecture at the hospital where I work on the book Eat to Live, and at the same time, I was tired of how I looked and felt and needed to make a change.

I regret that I did not start this blog when I changed my lifestyle, but it is better late than never.

My weight is down about 35 pounds, my size has gone from a tight 16 to a loose 12. And I am on no meds, although my vegetarian doctor and I will review my blood work within this month to see if I need anything (like b12) boosted.

I began as a Vegan Minus. Or what I call a Garden of Eden Vegan.

As you know, a Vegan eats no animals nor animal products - none. But then I subtracted oil, sugar, and processed foods.

That is a big subtraction -- but it is this subtraction that helped with weight loss, lack of cravings, increased energy, health, and vibrancy.

Now I am dabbling in raw foods and have signed up to learn with Russell James (google him).

I like the taste and health aspect of raw foods, but worry about the increased calories. So I will (hopefully) use the raw creations as a supplement to my Gan (Hebrew for Garden -- I am in a Hebrew mood today) Eden Vegan lifestyle.

My doctor said that I should write a book about this since most of her patients need it. I said, "Who, or how many, would want to do this?" We shall see. It has been easy (no cravings) and exciting as life and energy unfold before me, just as it was meant to be. (It didn't unfold over a fried fish sandwich, extra tarter sauce.)

Join me or not. Walk with me the whole journey, day trips, part of it, or not. This is my 60th year -- buckle up life, here I come.