Can you tell I dig lentils?
This recipe is amazing. I did not develop it on my own but I wish I did. I mean, I could have. Unknowingly I one day had all the ingredients, was trying to decide what to do with my acorn squash that I found for 99c and was browsing Laura Miller’s Raw. Vegan. Not Gross. videos on the Tastemade AppleTV app.
As soon as I saw her video I was like, “yuuup this is happening” and immediately pulled out my shiitake mushrooms and lentils and got to cooking.
It’s a pretty low-maintenance recipe. I cook it often and it always turns out well. It does take a while to roast the squash so it’s not a recipe for those nights when you’re dead tired from working all day but it all comes together in roughly 1hr so it’s still in my regular rotation.
Start off by roasting the squash. Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, drizzle with EVOO and salt, and pop in a hot oven at 400*F. One thing I really hate is the feeling of squash juice all over my hands. A lot of people get a rash on their hands after touching squash and other gourds, sometimes even mangoes. Getting squash juice on your hands from acorn or butternut squash can cause itching, peeling, blistering red skin.
I remember once working at an old fogue home where one of the recipes we prepared involved peeled, cubed butternut squash. My first time making the recipe I must’ve prepped at least a dozen squash with bare hands, and I will never make that mistake again. Nothing soothed the burning, peeling itchiness of my hands for days after. No amount of washing, exfoliating or applying hand cream helped… Yuck. So, despite weird looks from my boyfriend, every time I prepare squash I now wear a pair of latex gloves. And luckily since I’m a dental assistant now, these are easy to come by for me.
Next step, while the squash are roasting, get your mirepoix sauteeing.
When it’s soft, add those tasty shiitakes. You can use whatever mushrooms you want here. But I only want shiitakes. I love that meaty, earthy taste. Add your herbs and garlic here as well. Herbs will release more flavour when cooked in oil rather than just thrown in with the stock. I love using fresh rosemary picked right off my little windowsill rosemary shrub. Add your mirin, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar as well and let all the flavours come together. Yum. Smells so good.
Add the lentils and vegetable stock and simmer about 30 minutes until lentils are soft. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
When the squash are ready, take them out of the oven and carefully fill with the lentil mixture. Drizzle with a nice extra virgin olive oil (or sprinkle with parmesan or other cheese substitute) and roast for an additional 5-10 minutes.
Try it out and let me know what you think of this recipe! Whenever people ask me “what’s a good vegetarian/vegan recipe I can make for my friend?” or “you’re vegetarian? what do you eat?” this is my go-to example of an easy, plant-based recipe that anyone would love. So tasty and comforting, and who doesn’t love food stuffed into other food?
- 1 acorn squash, cut in half
- 1 cup green lentils
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. sage, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. rosemary, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. thyme, chopped
- ¼ cup mirin
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 lb. shiitaki mushrooms
- Pre-heat oven to 400* F
- Prep squash, by first scooping out seeds of squash with a spoon, then cut a small slice off bottom of squash so it balances easily. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season w/salt and pepper. Roast for approx. 45 minutes. [meanwhile…]
- In a large saute pan or sauce pot, add coconut oil. Once heated, add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
- Saute for 10 minutes until soft and golden brown, stirring frequently. Add shiitake mushrooms and mirin, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Saute 5 minutes.
- Rinse and drain lentils and add to pot with vegetable stock.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Cook and cover for 30 minutes.
- Pull out squash and carefully begin filling the squash with heaping spoonfuls of the lentil/mushroom filling.
- Drizzle with olive oil (or sprinkle with parmesan) and place back in the oven for 5-10 more minutes.
If you’re following my tweak on the recipe, you will have some leftover lentils for lunch tomorrow. And they are tasty!
This video is 7 minutes long if you want to watch Laura Miller make it slightly differently (but you’ll probably need more than 7 minutes because if you’re like me you’ll go down a rabbit hole and watch all the videos on the playlist….)