2015 Lenten Potluck #6: Earthy Mac n Lentils

Seems to me pasta with some kind of creamy, possibly cheesy, sauce is one of the best foods ever in the whole world. I guess that’s why I grabbed this weird gluten free, 100% lentil penne from Uddo’s Kitchen, I just couldn’t resist. But the first time I tried some, something really odd happened. The water thickened and turned milky. I started to think maybe the lentil-y water would make a good soup base, so I drained it into a jar and put it in the fridge. And when I looked at it the next day…

I saw it separated, and there was a sort of a lentil paste at the bottom of the jar.

Hey, what if I made my coconut milk cheese, but left out the tapioca/corn starch and the agar agar, and added in this lentil mush? Lentils have a very earthy flavor, so this isn’t gonna be like Kraft mac n cheese. That’s okay. We’ll expand our horizons.

So, I boiled the remaining pasta (two of the three bags, you get three bags when you buy a box from Costco). My pasta pan with the special lid for draining wasn’t really big enough for all the water called for in the directions, so I just used enough water to cover the pasta…that was sort of a mistake. Because although it cooked through just fine, I could. Not. Drain. The pasta. The water really thickened up this time. Oops.

I added a tablespoon of tahini and stirred. Then seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic. Stir. Careful not to mash the pasta, gluten free pasta seems to be more delicate than it’s gluton-full counterpart.

Add the earthy cheez sauce…

stir to coat.

This really made a lovely sauce. As you might imagine, there is a very strong lentil taste. This recipe is oil free, but on an oil day sauteed onions and garlic would be an excellent addition. Maybe even crispy fried onions, like the kind used to garnish mjuddara.

We had a smaller crowd today,

but those who came brought the good stuff!

I did very well today taking small portions – it only took six weeks to gain self control!
For the first round, I had a small bowl of Dr. Fuhrman’s Anti-Cancer Soup, a stuffed grape leaf, some delicious bread, a wonderful rice with veggies that was topped with slivered almonds, baba ghanouj, and a stuffed cabbage roll with tomatoes. Not pictured, I had a small bowl of minestrone that was packed with chickpeas and veggies and lots of black pepper, and a little square of wacky cake with walnuts and cranberries.

This is the last of our Wednesday evening Lenten potlucks, but we also have a tradition of throwing together a coffee hour after the Liturgy for Lazarus Saturday. Then for Palm Sunday (remember, we Orthodox are a week behind Western Easter this year) we’ll have a parish lunch and bring Lenten desserts to share.

Does your parish do anything special for Lazarus Saturday?

Recipe Recap
~2 C Lentil broth/paste from previously boiled & drained lentil penne
1 13oz can full fat coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp vinegar
2 tsp salt
1/4 C nutritional yeast
1 heaping tsp smoked paprika
garlic powder to taste
onion powder to taste

24oz Uddo’s Kitchen red lentil penne
1 heaping Tbsp tahini
salt, pepper & garlic to taste

In a saucepan over low medium heat, combine coconut milk and lentil paste. Add remaining ingredients and whisk to incorporate. Allow sauce to boil lightly for a few minutes so it will thicken. If you do not plan to use the sauce right away, let it cook and store it in an air tight container, probably best to use within one to two days.

Boil penne according to instructions, but using just enough water to cover. When done, penne should be coated in the creamy, thickened boil water. Add tahini and stir to coat – you may need to add a little more water if it seems too thick. Season pasta with salt, pepper, and garlic to taste.

Add sauce. Stir gently to combine, careful not to mash the pasta.

0 thoughts on “2015 Lenten Potluck #6: Earthy Mac n Lentils

  1. Looks like fun my friend! We had a Pan Orthodox Presanctified last night at the Greek church – Annunciation – in Downtown. Fabulous church!! and they served such an amazing Lenten dinner. Yumminess. AND I believe I know your Sunday school teacher from 20/22 years ago LOL Whom I have known for at least 18 years – I will have to message you about that…crazy small Orthodox world…right?

  2. I’m crazy for mac & cheese, too, and finally have figured out a ridiculously easy version of vegan “mac&cheese”: I buy the 100% whole grain elbow noodles at Meijer (any brand is good) and I just cook ’em, and then add hummus, the plain unflavored un-garnished kind, any brand. It is totally delish and has all the “comfort-food” quality I want/need.

      • Yeh hummus is a perfect vegan cheese paste or sauce. It is creamy, rich, flavorful, nicely seasoned but not overly spiced, loaded with protein, low in fat, etc.

    • Yeah, we’re thinking we may have to do something to keep the potlucks going throughout the year 🙂 I found the mason jars at Meijer last year, they were actually pretty cheap!

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