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Red Lentil and Olive Lasagne

Updated: Oct 22, 2023


There are a few steps to this recipe however I believe each step can be deemed worthy of being it's own complete meal, making the time invested in creating each of them, extremely valuable.


I am a self declared 'flexitarian' and love all good, honest and sustainably sourced food, however I can't seem to beat the gains of plant based eating in terms of its nutritional value and affordability. Recently, for these reasons, I have found myself eating less and less meat.



Let's start with the


Red Lentil, Olive and Sunflower Seed Sauce


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds

  • 1/2 cup pitted olives

  • 1 1/2 cup red lentils

  • 2 tbs each of sweet paprika, oregano, onion flakes, dried basil

  • 2 tbs olive oil

  • 12 brown onions

  • 4 garlic cloves

  • 2 tins canned tomatos


Directions


  1. In a large fry pan, fry off onions and garlic in a little olive oil.

  2. Add herbs, red lentils, sunflower seeds and drained olives. Stir fry these until pan appears dry and needing moisture.

  3. Add vegetable stock one cup at a time and when each is absorbed add another. Complete this process until stock is absorbed and lentils are semi cooked through.

  4. Add tinned tomatoes, 2 cups of water and simmer on low heat with lid on until sauce thickens, flavours richen and the lentils are cooked through.

When buying olives, it is important to buy them in brine. Avoid buying olives in vegetable oil or oil blends. If you're not a fan of olives, I strongly encourage you to chop them finely and add them in anyway, I promise they will hide but still provide you with a delicious and salty Italian flavour or they can be substituted by doubling the sunflower seed quantity.


This sauce makes for a delicious meal in itself! Be sure to add this sauce into your pasta meal repertoire.



Now we prepare the béchamel layer


Cauliflower & Pumpkin Béchamel Sauce


Ingredients


  • 1 kilo Cauliflower - leaves stalks and all!

  • 850g pumpkin pieces - peeled and chopped

  • 4 cups of vegetable stock

  • 1/2 cup parmesan* optional

  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast

  • Salt and Pepper to taste.



Directions


  1. Bring prepared veggies to a boil in 2-3 cups of stock.

  2. Slowly simmer until veggies are tender and cooked through. You may need more stock during this process.

  3. Add nutritional yeast, parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Using a basic, Nutri bullet or potato masher, blend the veggies until your desired thickness is achieved.


This sauce is very versatile. I like to also use it as a topping to shepherds pie. It is also great as is and served as a mash underneath Salmon. You can also add more stock to thin it out and create a soup or base to a creamy pasta sauce.


  1. Pre heat your oven to 180dg


Have you ever built a Lasagne?


It is really very very simple,


Layer upon, layer, upon layer..,




I like to start with a inital layer of lentil sauce.

To this, I add my first layer of lasagne sheets. I use Barilla sheets. You can substitute for gluten free or even use layers of zucchini, sweet potato or eggplants.



For the second layer, I add the cauliflower béchamel. at this stage I love to add a layer of fresh spinach for colour, taste and extra nutrition too.


I then add more lasagne sheets before beginning the layering process again.



Complete this process until your pan is full. Finish your lasagne with a layer of béchamel and for extra flavour add dried herbs, parmesan or nutritional yeast.



Now it is ready for the oven!.

  1. Bake Lasagne for 45 minutes or until golden brown and lasagne sheets are tender and cooked through.


If by chance you have any leftovers.., Lasagne is always better eaten the next day.

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