Whole Living Daily

Lunch Bunch: Gazpacho, Peach and Tomato Salad, and Veggie Shepard's Pie

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It's been about eight months since we started making a communal vegetarian, gluten-free weekly lunch, yet somehow we haven't run out of recipes suited for a crowd of 16. This week, we had delicious success with a cold soup, a hearty vegetarian casserole, and a quick salad of tomatoes, peaches, basil, and red onion.

8 large ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 4-6 pieces
1 white onion, coarsely chopped
1 large cucumber, coarsely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, smashed
½ cup olive oil
4 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 large jalapeno, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine. Cover and let marinate in the fridge overnight. Puree in a blender and serve chilled.

Dr. Weil's Vegetarian Shephard's Pie
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
6 white potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning

For the curried lentil filling:
3 1/4 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 cup lentils
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 cup sliced onions
2 cloves garlic
1 cup sliced shiitake or button mushrooms
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup yellow or red bell pepper
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 zucchini, cut in rounds
1 cup bread crumbs or premade croutons (We subbed in crushed gluten-free corn chips.)

Preheat oven to 350º F. Bring a pot of water to a boil, drop in the sweet and white potatoes, and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain the potatoes, reserving 2 cups of the water. Pour 1 cup of the water back into the pot and mash the potatoes. Add the olive oil, Italian seasoning, and Cajun seasoning and mash again until blended. Meanwhile, cook the lentils: Bring 3 cups of the water to a boil. Add the bay leaf, lentils, and Cajun seasoning and cook for 45 minutes. Let cool briefly. Drain off any liquid. Sauté the onions, garlic, mushrooms, broccoli, and bell peppers in the olive oil in a large saucepan for about 4 minutes. Stir in the reserved cup of potato water, nutritional yeast, salt and curry powder. Add to the cooked lentils. Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 1/4 cup water and stir it into the lentil and vegetable mixture. Continue to cook for 3 more minutes, until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Line the bottom of a casserole dish with the zucchini rounds. Sprinkle half of the bread crumbs or corn chips on top of the zucchini. Layer 4 cups of the mashed potatoes on top, then two cups of the curried lentils, then the remainder of the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle the rest of the bread crumbs or corn chips on top. Bake for 50 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Peach, Tomato, and Basil Salad
4 peaches, sliced
4 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
about 1 cup torn basil
rice wine vinegar (or any other you like)
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the peaches, tomato, and onion in a large bowl. Drizzle with vinegar and oil and sprinkle salt and pepper, and toss. Top with basil before serving.

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