dry lentils, rinsed (I prefer brown lentils in this recipe) 1 medium head (not more than 2 pounds) cauliflower, cored and chopped into bite-size florets 8 ounces mushrooms, halved or quartered depending on size 2 cups lightly packed kale leaves, chopped 1 small onion, peeled and coarsely chopped 3 eggs, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons milk 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (or 1/4 teaspoon if using ground thyme) Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste (I use about 3/4 and 1/4 teaspoon, respectively) 1 large tomato, sliced and halved (or 1/2 – 3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved) 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheeseBring approximately 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the lentils, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, give or take, or until the lentils are tender. (I like to keep just a little “bite” to them. Taste early, as some varieties will cook faster, and remove from the heat when the lentils are cooked to your liking.) Drain well. Tip: The lentils may be prepared in advance and refrigerated. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and grease a 9×13 or similar 3-quart baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, thyme, salt and pepper. In a very large bowl, combine the lentils with all of the vegetables except for the tomato. Do not mix in the cheese either. Pour the egg mixture over the veggie mixture, and toss until evenly coated. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish. I find it easiest to use my hands and allow most of the lentils to settle to the bottom. This way, they will bind with the egg mixture and form a tasty bottom layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the veggies are becoming tender but still crisp. Remove from the oven, top with the tomato, and sprinkle evenly with the cheese. Return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the veggies are tender and the cheese is melted. All ovens vary but, in my oven, 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes yields vegetables that are lightly golden yet still crisp-tender.
So here's a cheesy vegan rice casserole that is super cheap to make (as I mentioned in a previous post, I don't have tons of funds for grocery splurging) and doesn't use any weird ingredients, unless you count tahini as a weird ingredient, which you should reevaluate because tahini is magical