Vegan Moussaka Lentils

Recipes, Sculpt With Sasha

With a frost in the air and snow across parts of the country, I thought everyone could do with a warming recipe this week. Spice up your mid-week meals with this veggie twist on a Greek classic. This is a basic lentil recipe with lots of suggestions on how to use it below, but it also works very well as a comforting bowl of healthy, hearty goodness all on its own.

Hello to any Sculpt With Sasha members! I hope you enjoyed last week’s recipe and are ready for more. I’d love to see pics of you making this one and seeing where it takes you!

This week has already been cold and grey enough to send people into a bit of a new year stupor, but don’t feel disheartened. It’s all about the baby steps! Whether you complete a SWS workout this week, or try to make this recipe, or just get out of bed and shower: YOU ARE DOING GREAT!

Nourish yourself, eat well, move your body, sleep lots, do what you need to do to shake off the January blues. This year will get better. Put on some music and dance while you chop up some veggies for this week’s recipe…

Serves 2-3 (depending what you serve it with)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 onion, diced 
  • 1 fat clove of garlic, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1/2 courgette, diced 
  • 1 tbsp harissa
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 150g red lentils 

Method:

  1. In a deep frying pan or small-medium casserole dish heat a gulg of oil on a medium heat and fry the onion until beginning to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add in the pepper and courgette (or other vegetables of choice).
  2. Stir through the harissa, tomato purée and spices, coating all the veggies. Fry for 5 minutes until the veg are starting to soften and have taken on the flavour of the spices. Season. 
  3. Rinse the lentils – this will stop any scum forming on top of your dish while they cook. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan followed by the lentils and stir together. Fill the tomato can with water and use to add to the dish as required. You do not want to let the dish stick to the bottom or get too dry. The lentils will absorb a lot of water so keep adding if needed. Cover with a lid, lower the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, checking and stirring every so often until the lentils are soft and have the texture of a thick daal. 

To serve:

Basically, I couldn’t decide! Try out any combination of the options below:

  • Serve as it is with brown rice, spinach or kale for a nutritious dinner
  • Serve with flatbreads and hummus or natural yoghurt 
  • For a more traditional moussaka-style dish, double the quantities above and layer lentils with slices of lightly fried aubergine and top with cashew sauce (recipe below) or béchamel to serve 4
  • Or try a ‘deconstructed’ moussaka bowl like I did with slices of fried aubergine, a scoop of cashew sauce and a handful of fresh spinach for some greenery. This is great if you’re short on time but still want all the comforting flavours of a veggie moussaka 

Cashew sauce

This is one that I’ve picked up and altered over the years from a BOSH recipe but I don’t think I have looked at the recipe since I first saw it, but luckily it happily takes free styling in its stride. Increase the quantities and use in a vegan lasagne, add to a white sauce to give it an extra level of richness, or just spoon on top of your meals like I do!

Ingredients:

75g cashews 

50ml oat milk

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1tsp garlic granules

  1. Boil the cashews in a small saucepan for 10 minutes until they soften and start to lose a bit of their colour.
  2. Tip the boiled cashews into a blender with the rest of the ingredients and some seasoning. Blend until smooth and thick. If the sauce is too thick, add either more oat milk or a splash of the water you cooked the cashews in and blend again.
  3. Liberally spread, spoon and stir through everything you eat for the rest of your days.

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