Vegetable & Lentil Bake

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-6
Prep: 30-35 mins (*Depending upon knife skills, kitchen helpers and/or if you have a gas or an electric hob!)
Cooking Time: 40 mins (*In a fan-assisted oven)
Cooling Time: 5 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Sieve, chopping board, sharp knife, non-stick pots (*2), wooden spoon, non-stick frying pan, casserole dish, silicone spatula

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & K, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and per serving is low in added sugar, salt and saturated fats!

Bakes can be a healthy, hearty and versatile comfort food that are wholly satisfying, especially when the cooler weather makes an appearance! We made this one earlier on in the year (pre-heat wave!) and thoroughly enjoyed it. 🙂

Try experimenting with an unlimited combination of: veggies, legumes, pulses, herbs and/or simple seasoning’s! Consider the overall cooking times; naturally squash can take a bit longer to cook (and prepare!) than other veggies. Try precooking/softening it in a steamer pot or microwave first, as it could shave off approx.10 mins of ‘oven time’! Alternatively, if you happen to have ninja knife skills, try cutting the squash a bit thinner (than we have shown below) to help shorten its overall cooking time. 

Also, it’s good to consider the size of your casserole dish. The quantity of vegetables can vary; if you’re using a larger or smaller casserole dish, adjust your quantities appropriately!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

NB: Not all of ingredients are shown  and we only used about half of the squash and sweet potato shown here! The remainder was roasted and used in a salad later on in the week. 😀

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

  • Wash the lentils in a sieve. Remove any stones or seeds. Cook the lentils according to packet instructions. Drain.
  • Peel and chop the garlic and onion. Remove the stem & core and roughly chop the bell pepper.
  • Wash and slice the mushrooms. Peel and slice the sweet potato into 1/2 cm pieces. Peel, trim the ends, remove the seeds and slice the squash into 1 cm pieces.Thinly slice the tomato.
  • Trim the ends off of the squash, peel the skin, deseed and then chop into ¼-½ cm slices. Wash, remove the stem and then shop the tomato into slices.

 

 

  • Heat a non-stick pot over a medium heat. Spray it some low-fat cooking oil. Add the garlic, onion and bell pepper. Gently fry for 2 mins or until just softened.
  • Add 15g tomato purée, 1 tin of tomatoes, 250ml vegetable stock. Simmer for about 6-7 mins (allowing the tomatoes to break down slightly). Season the mixture to taste. Remove from the heat.
  • In the meantime, heat a separate frying pan over a medium heat. Spray it with some low-fat cooking oil and add the mushrooms. Gently fry for 3-4 mins or until just softened. Remove.
  • Add the cooked lentils into the tomato mixture. Stir together.

 

 Preheat the oven to 220ºC/420ºF.

 

Now create the white sauce (using our adjusted ingredient suggestions above!).

 

 

Assemble the bake!

1. Pour half of the tomato and lentil sauce into the base of a large casserole dish.

2. Layer the squash over the tomato and lentil sauce in a single layer.

3. Pour over the remaining tomato sauce.

4. Create a final (single) layer of vegetables using the sweet potato. Press them into the sauce.

5. Pour over the white sauce, spreading evenly. Tip: Help guide the sauce over the vegetables with a silicone spatula! 

6. Layer over the cooked mushrooms and the tomato. If desired, add a sprinkling of dried herbs. Season it with some salt and black pepper to taste. Place the casserole dish onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 30-40 mins or until the sweet potato and squash are cooked (test its tenderness with a fork!). Remove.

 

 

Allow to cool for 5 mins. Serve warm.

 

 

Spoon into large serving bowls (if preferred, with some steamed greens!) and enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable and air-tight container; reheat and consume within 2-3 days. Alternatively freeze individual portions in resealable and air tight containers; defrost and reheat within 1-2 months.

 

 

If preferred…

  • If you know when you’re going to be short on time, try preparing this dish a day ahead; just refrigerate and then bake it the following evening! Alternatively, meal prep this baby and then pop it into the freezer; defrost and reheat it on a day when you just don’t have time to cook!
  • Make the white sauce a little ‘cheesy’! Try adding some nutritional yeast (fortified with B12!).
  • Make your bake as seasonal, frugal or as simple as you desire! Some spinach, chard, or broccoli could also make a great for a great alternative bake!
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