Vegetarian or Vegan Layered Lentil Bake
Layered Lentil Bake
Comfort Food at its Best.
Lentils are not used enough in recipes today, in my opinion. On cold winter nights filling, wholesome, comfort food is the order of the day in our house and this recipe for layered lentil bake is just perfect for a night in front of the fire, watching your favourite shows on tv. This lentil bake is a great vegetarian-friendly dish that is substantial enough to satisfy even the most dedicated of meat eaters. Lentils are high in protein, vitamin B and fibre, so they not only taste good but they do you good too. A win-win situation.
Lentils are of particular use for committed vegetarians as they are a very good source of iron, something that can be lacking in a vegetarian diet. This recipe can also be made using chickpeas, black lentils or yellow split peas, they all taste just as good and are good for you too. You can even use a mixture of lentils and peas if you want. If time is short you can make this dish using tinned lentils or beans, they work just as well and cook in a fraction of the time of dried ones.The boiled eggs add protein too, as does the grated cheese if you use it.
For a vegan-friendly version of this layered lentil bake simply leave out the eggs and cheese and substitute extra virgin olive oil for the butter. You can add a tin of your favourite beans to provide the extra protein.
Lentils are Packed Full of Goodness.
Lentils are a great source of fibre, vitamin B, iron and are a good source of protein too.
- 10oz red lentils
- 2 large white onions, chopped
- 1 large can tomatoes, chopped
- 3oz butter, softened
- 3tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 6 large free range eggs, hard boiled
- 5oz brown breadcrumbs
- 1 1/2 pints vegetable stock
- 2tsb dried herbs
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 6oz hard cheese, grated
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Oil a shallow baking dish, a medium sized lasagne dish is perfect for this recipe.
- Put the 6 fresh free range eggs on to boil.
- In a large based pan put the lentils, onions, mixed herbs, vegetable stock and the can of tomatoes. Season well with the salt and black pepper and give the mixture a good stir. Bring up to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for twenty minutes.
- Stir occasionally using a wooden spoon and check the lentils to make sure they are cooked through, they should be soft and yield when you squeeze them between your fingers.
- When the eggs are done they should take around ten minutes to boil, remove them from the heat and run cold water over them to cool. If you crack the shells at this stage it will prevent the eggs from turning black around the yolks.
- Melt the butter and extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan or shallow saucepan and then stir in the breadcrumbs. Remove the oil and breadcrumb mixture from the heat and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Remove the shells from the eggs and slice them into rounds. In the lasagne dish start to make up your lentil bake. Put in alternate layers of the lentil mixture and the boiled eggs. Finish with a layer of sliced egg.
- Sprinkle the brown breadcrumbs over the top and bake in the oven for thirty minutes, or until the top is crispy and brown. You can add some grated cheese to the top for added protein at this stage. Cheddar and double Gloucester taste really nice and they also melt well in the oven.
- Serve at once straight from the dish with some hot fresh bread. This isn’t a good recipe to reheat so use it all up once, it shouldn’t be too hard as it tastes really good.
Recycle Your egg Shells
Whenever you use eggs in a recipe don't throw the shells away. Wash them out then crush them and spread around your garden, they add calcium to the soil and naturally deter pests such as slugs and snails.
There are quite a few vegan cheeses on the market now and some of them are pretty good. The hard cheese versions work really well in this recipe as they grate well and melt when heated. If you want to make this lentil bake vegan use vegan spread or olive oil, swop the vegetarian cheese for vegan and omit the hard boiled eggs. It tastes just as good and is good for you too.
© 2010 Galaxy Harvey