Lentil and Vegetable Bake
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A Frugal Recipe
This recipe is straightforward to make and, like most of my recipes, it doesn't matter too much about getting quantities exact so you don't have to spend ages weighing and measuring. The bake does need some time in the oven (that's why it's called a bake) but even with that, from start to finish this recipe takes little over an hour to make. It's filling, loaded with nutrients, low in fat and cheap to make - especially if you substitute a few fresh tomatoes for the sun-dried ones.
This recipe is also very flexible. If you haven't got all the ingredients to hand there are many substitutions you can make. I have made some suggestions below the ingredients list.
Lentil and Vegetable bake served with garlic bread
Equipment needed for Lentil Layer Bake
The Lentil bake is made in layers, with two layers each of lentils, aubergine/eggplant and pepper and tomato mix. This means you need to prepare each layer separately. To do this it is easier if you have one saucepan for the lentils and 2 frying pans or skillets for the vegetables. If you only have one frying pan you can still make this, but will need a little more time because you will need to cook the aubergine and vegetables are after one another.
The bake is cooked in the oven in an ordinary lasagna dish. If you don't have one of those, any large ovenproof dish will do.
- Tip: be sure to grease your lasagna dish before using it.
Lentil and Vegetable Bake ingredients
- Around 225 grams/8oz lentils, (red, brown or green are all okay)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large or 2 small aubergines/eggplant
- 1 medium onion
- 1 medium pepper, (red, yellow or orange are all fine)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs, (or a handful of fresh herbs)
- one small jar sundried tomatoes, drained, (will be around 50 g/2oz when drained)
- passata, (sieved tomatoes)
- About 3 tablespoons grated cheese, (optional, leave out for dairy-free)
- wholemeal or gluten-free breadcrumbs or ground almonds, (optional)
- seasoning to taste
small pulse, such as aduki beans or small haricot beans
extra eggplant or zucchini
4 fresh tomatoes (or omit altogther)
basil or oregano (fresh or dried)
for a vegan dish omit the cheese
Because this recipe is flexible, you can try out different ingredients, or use whatever you have in your store cupboard or fridge.
The passata cannot be substituted, but almost everything else can. For instance, if you don't have lentils you could use a different small pulse, such as adzuki beans. Check the table opposite for other substitutions.
If you are on a tight budget, then a simple cheddar cheese will do instead of the Parmesan - it won't have quite such an interesting flavor and won't make you feel as if you are in an Italian restaurant but it is a good deal cheaper!
Chop the vegetablesClick thumbnail to view full-size
1) Wash the lentils and place in a pan. Cover with water until it is about double the quantity of the lentils. (This will be around 300 ml or 1½ cups.) Bring to the boil and cook quickly for 10 minutes then turn the heat down and simmer. While the lentils cook, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2) Wash the vegetables.
3) Thinly slice the aubergine (eggplant). For the aubergine to cook properly does need to be sliced thinly, so be sure to use a very sharp knife.
4) Chop the onion.
5) Chop or slice the pepper.
6) Crush the garlic.
- Tip: the quickest way to cook the vegetables is in 2 separate frying pans - one for the aubergine (eggplant) and one for the other vegetables.
Cook the vegetables in oilClick thumbnail to view full-size
7) Over a low heat, warm about one tablespoon of oil in one frying pan, and add the onions and peppers.
8) Meanwhile heat a little oil in a frying pan or skillet till very hot and cook the aubergine/eggplant slices in batches for a minute or so on each side. You will probably need to cook three batches.
- Tip: don't add to much oil because aubergine will soak it up.
8) When cooking the last batch of aubergine, add the crushed garlic to the onion and peppers.
9) Add the passata and herbs to the peppers and onions.
10) Season to taste.
11) The lentils should be ready at the same time as everything else. Check them, and if they are soft you are ready to assemble the bake. If they aren't yet soft cook for a few minutes more. Remove everything from the heat.
12) Spread half the lentils a greased lasagna dish.
13) Cover with half the aubergine slices.
14) Cover with half the pepper and passata mixture.
15) Dot all the sundried tomatoes over the mixture.
16) Repeat the first 3 layers.
17) Sprinkle with grated cheese, breadcrumbs or almonds if you are using them.
18) Bake for 20 - 25 minutes at 200ºc/400ºF/gas mark 6 until the cheese is golden and bubbling.
Serve with crusty garlic bread.
The Cooked Lentil and Vegetable Bake
|Serving size: 435|
|Calories from Fat||126|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 14 g||22%|
|Saturated fat 3 g||15%|
|Carbohydrates 66 g||22%|
|Sugar 20 g|
|Fiber 27 g||108%|
|Protein 23 g||46%|
|Cholesterol 6 mg||2%|
|Sodium 311 mg||13%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
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