Lentils are the perfect stock food for Veganuary, whether you are going green or not. They contain high levels of protein, making them a great alternative to meat. Lentils are also a source of fibre, folic acid, and potassium, nutrients which are good for the heart and are proven to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Additionally, lentils contain nonheme iron, which is crucial for non-meat eaters and helps fight fatigue.
After experimenting with different types of lentils, I developed this oven-baked Moussaka recipe. I combined the lentil and aubergine with carrot and red pepper, but you can try adding any vegetables you have left in your kitchen that need eating up.
For the base
1 red pepper
1 large carrot
2 cups/250g red lentils, washed and rinsed
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
2x tins of water (use empty tomato tin)
1 vegetable stock cube
1 tbsp mixed herbs
A pinch of fennel seeds
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves garlic
For the sauce
500ml oat milk
50g (3 ½ tbsp) rapeseed oil
50g plain flour
Salt and pepper
Prepare the Lentil Mix
1. Preheat oven to 160°C or gas mark 4.
2. Chop the aubergines into thin slices and season generously with salt. Set aside.
3. Cut the pepper and the carrot into small cubes and place them in a pot with the lentils, tomatoes and seasoning.
4. Cover with water. and bring to the boil. Simmer until the vegetables are cooked and the mixture is a thick consistency.
5. Rinse the aubergine and pat dry. Fry the aubergine in a hot frying pan until slightly charred.
Make the Sauce
6. Place the oil, flour and milk in a saucepan and mix together. Use a whisk to ensure that there are no lumps. If the mixture is too thick, add more milk.
7. Add the yeast, with some salt and pepper to season.
Put the Moussaka together
8. Place a layer of the lentil mix at the bottom of a pie dish, then add a layer of aubergines. Repeat.
9. Pour over the sauce.
10. Bake for around 30-40 mins, until slightly browned on top.