One pot wonders are a great way of feeding a family or group of friends at this time of the year.
They don’t always have to be made with meat, I like to use a selection of root vegetables along with beans & lentils, they take a bit of time to assemble but once that is done you can place it in the fridge and cook it when you need it. Mixing chickpeas in with a one pot wonder of vegetables gives a good balance of protein.
1lb/450g Aubergine, cut into round discs
4oz/112g Red or Green Lentils
1pt/568ml Vegetable Stock, use a stock cube
4tbsp Olive Oil
1 Bouquet garni
1 Onion, sliced
2 Cloves of Garlic
8oz/225g Mushroom, sliced
1 can (14oz/395g) Chickpeas
1 can (14oz/395g) Chopped Tomatoes
2 tbsp Tomato Puree
pt/284ml Natural Yogurt
2oz/56g Cheddar, grated or Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper
Place the lentils, vegetable stock and bouquet garni in a saucepan and bring to the boil, cook for about 20 minutes, you can add more water if you need to, drain and keep to one side.
Place 1tbsp of olive oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic then stir in the mushrooms and toss around for a few minutes. Add in the cooked lentils followed by the chickpeas, tomatoes and tomato puree, season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes, set to one side. Place the aubergines in a flat roasting tray, season with salt & pepper and drizzle with the remaining olive oil, you can fry them on a pan or place in a very hot oven, 220, for 15 minutes.
Now it is time to lay it all up in an oven proof dish or Pyrex dish, arrange a layer of aubergines on the bottom of the oven dish, then spread some of the lentil and chickpea mixture on to, continue to do this until all the aubergine and lentil mix is used up.
Beat the yogurt, egg and some salt & pepper together and spread over the top of the aubergines mixture, sprinkle with the cheese, place in a hot oven at 180 and cook for about 45 minutes.
Allow to rest serve with a green salad and some bread. You can change this recipe to suit your own taste, use courgettes or potatoes instead of aubergines, you can put in some celery or parsnip, some ground cumin mixed in with the lentils give a nice flavour also. You could use this as a filling for a vegetarian lasagne.
VERSATILE BABY VEGETABLES
I notice in the vegetable shops a lot of baby vegetables on special offer, buy one get one free or 3 packs for €2, so make hay while the sun shines.
12 Baby Potatoes, cut in half
16 Baby Carrots
16 Baby Courgettes or Sweet Corn
1 tray Green Beans
16 Baby Onions
1 Clove of Garlic, crushed
Red Chilli, chopped
2tsp grated fresh Ginger
16 Cherry Tomatoes
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Place the potatoes in a saucepan along with the carrots, bring to the boil, after about 12 minutes add the courgettes or the sweet corn and beans, bring back up to the boil until all are cooked, then strain off the water.
Get a large frying pan or wok and add in the oil, fry off the onions until nice and brown, lower the heat and add in the chilli, garlic and ginger, taking care not to burn.
Add in the cooked vegetables and toss around in the wok, add the cherry tomatoes and give a good stir until some of the tomatoes burst, season with salt and pepper.
You could add in a can of cooked chickpeas to make a complete meal of this. I like to serve this as a chunky sauce over some cooked penne sprinkled with parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.