After sharing this family dinner favourite on Instagram a few times I was made to promise I would get the recipe down and share it with you guys. Done and done. Here it is.... Ever the one to attempt to streamline any domestic tasks (hello more playing outdoors, less time cooking and cleaning!) and get as much bang for my time buck as possible.... lately I been making this one a lot as, when you skip the salt and blend it up, it is a popular one for our almost 9 month old daughter. Meaning with one extra step, we can all eat the same thing for dinner. *See cooks notes* In addition. This one doubles as the perfect meal prep recipe for all of us. It makes a nice big batch that you can portion and freeze or refrigerate. Once it is blended up you can barely tell it is packed full of veggies and lentils. I would be SO interested to hear how your children like it if you could be so kind as to leave a comment. I have also delivered a couple of batches to friends when they have needed the extra support as it re-heats so well. As usual I have included a detailed *cooks notes* section at the bottom of this post to answer your questions and provide a list of swaps etc. I am always all about using what you have on hand!
Serves 6 to 8 Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 40 minutes
2 onions, diced 4-6 cloves of garlic, finely diced or minced approx 2 med (700g/4 cups) eggplants, diced approx 1 large (200g/1 1/2cups) capsicum, diced approx 2 medium (250g/2cups) zucchinis, diced 2 cans (800g) diced tomatoes, or cooked whole tomatoes 1 can (400g) lentils, drained and rinsed 2 cups (500ml) vegetable stock 1 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
In a large saucepan, saute onion and garlic until soft.
Add chopped eggplant, capsicum and zucchini. Continue to cook over a medium heat, stirring until veggies become soft.
Add all other ingredients, stir well and simmer for a minimum of 30 minutes. Stirring periodically to avoid sticking to the pan.
Blend using an immersion blender. Optional: Blend before adding lentils then continue to cook for 20 minutes. This will give a more chunky texture.
Now it is ready to serve over your favourite pasta with a good sprinkle of cashew parmesan (recipe here) and some extra parley to garnish.
COOKS NOTES Uses - This recipe is perfect as is, portioned and frozen or refrigerated for meal prep, layered into a lasagne, or added to a 'neat ball' dish. Even as an extra nourishing sauce to spread over a pizza base. Pasta - For these step-by-step images I used what I had on hand which was regular gluten free pasta spirals I bought at my local bulk whole-foods store. You can use any pasta of your liking and there are some wonderful varieties available these days. Or go all out and make your own. This sauce is also super delicious served with gnocchi. For baby - We have a 9 month old living under our roof. When I am making it for all of us I replace the stock with water and add salt after removing her portion. This is her absolute favourite meal at the moment. I freeze small portions of puree in ice cube trays. Once frozen, I remove them from the tray and store in an air tight container in the freezer clearly labelled with the date and what it is. SWAPS AND ADDITIONS Herbs - Other herbs that work well in this dish - basil, thyme and oregano. Veggies - The eggplant really does help to make this recipe nice and creamy and I do think this combo is a winner. However, one of the beauties of this recipe is that you can add whatever veg you have on hand. Other favourites of mine are: pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, cauliflower, green beans and peas. Lentils - Lentils provide a great source of protein and fibre, not to mention all the other phytonutrient benefits of a whole plant food. You can easily swap these out for your favourite legume of choice though. Although they will lend a slightly different flavour and a different texture cannellini beans, kidney beans, black beans and chickpeas are all delicious in this recipe! Stock/Broth - This is a great opportunity to use some of your home-made or good quality store bought stock. When making this for the bubba I replace the 500ml of stock with water and 1 teaspoon good quality salt ( I used murray river salt). I simply cook as normal adding the water when you would add the stock, remove her portion, add the salt to ours and continue as normal. Cashew Parmesan - You can find my recipe HERE. You can make plant based parmesan with many nuts and seeds effectively. Cashews are great as they have such a mild flavour but you can also use brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds (pepitas) macadamias or even pine nuts.