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eHow Video: North African Lentil Casserole

┬áThis dish has undergone several revisions and I can now confidently say it is officially FANTASTIC. The ingredients are very simple but they come together to make something really elegant. Mr. Goldhouse, with his ever impressive ability to articulate the heart of the matter in as few words as possible (unlike his wife), describes this casserole as “fancy poor man’s food.”

I recently served this to some new friends we had over for dinner and received praise every vegan chef loves to hear from a non-vegan: “I had no idea vegan food could taste so good!”┬áPlus, as regular readers already know, I am a huge fan of dishes that lasts for several meals because it makes life so much easier, and this one really lasts well. I suggest making this on a Saturday or Sunday for dinner and then bringing it for lunch or having it for dinner during the week. Whenever I make it, even though I’ll eat it for several dinners in a row, I am still always sad when it’s finally gone because it is just so delicious. This one is a MUST for your cooking repertoire!

(Serves 8-10)
Ingredients:
1 large onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 small can of no-salt added tomato paste
2 cups dry green lentils
1 cup dry quinoa
6 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth or water
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (canned is fine)
1-2 lbs of frozen spinach
1 large lemon
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Instructions:
1. In a large saucepan, saute the onions and carrots with 1-2 tablespoons of water over medium heat until the onions become translucent, approximately 10 minutes.
2. Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.
3. Add the paprika, cumin, allspice, crushed red pepper, turmeric, and tomato paste. Stir until throughly combined.
4. Add the lentils, quinoa, and broth or water. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then lower the heat to medium and cover for 45 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, to prepare the top layer, mix the cinnamon with the sweet potatoes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
6. Once the lentils are fully tender, add the frozen spinach to the saucepan and cook until the spinach is fully heated.
7. Zest and juice the lemon and add to the saucepan.
8. Pour the mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Spread the sweet potatoes evenly over the mixture and bake for 30 minutes. Garnish with cilantro when ready.
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