I feel compelled to blog about this dish because I just ate it and I realised just how much I love it. If it weren’t for my ambition to eat a wide variety of foods I’m pretty sure I could eat this every day and not get sick of it. I’ve been cooking it pretty much once a week lately.
Its simple, cheap, filling and nutritious. Its versatile and holds up well to a night (or two) in the fridge, or freezes for a quick fix meal down the track
What is it?
Basic lentil Bolognese is what it is!
The recipe is very much a ‘bit of this, bit of that’ sort of recipe. If you end up with too much it freezes well for later on.
My base recipe uses:
2cans of chopped tomatoes (or a few fresh ones if I have them handy)
A few cloves of fresh garlic
About a cup of red lentils
About 4 cups veggie stock (or vegan chicken stock)
A generous handful of fresh parsley
A little olive oil or whatever oil you prefer.
1-2grated carrots, depending on how small they are, or how much you like carrot.
Optional spices to add – cumin, some dried chilli – have both cayenne and Birdseye available so I usually chuck one of each in as the Birdseye we grew were super hot.
Optional extra veggies – this recipe can be ‘beefed up’ with some extra veggies. Given I usually use it as a sauce for veggies on the first night I don’t add them. But I have added the following veggies to great success in the past: broccoli, capsicum, zucchini (also grated), celery, etc. Be creative!
How to make:
Chop the onion, press or chop the garlic and lightly fry in a dash of oil till translucent. If youre using other spices – chilli, cumin, etc -you will need to throw that in with it. Once the onion, garlic and spices is ready, add the veggies and give it all a stir.
Throw in the tomatoes, and the lentils. Stir through some of the stock – I don’t measure so I’m guessing one cup of lentils to 4 cups of water. I usually throw in what I think is right and add water as it gets absorbed.
It takes about 20 minutes for the lentils to be cooked through. Keep stirring it now and then and once they are tender you can season with a little salt and pepper, then throw the fresh chopped parsley on and dish it up.
Options: this sauce is great on top of steamed veggies, mashed potato, baked potato (any sort of potatoes really), pasta (its perfect with wholemeal spaghetti for a filling post workout meal), and it makes great lasagne. It’s awesome on its own, and it can be a side dish to meals as needed.