My family and I love pasta and eat some form of bolognese pretty much every week. I love making it because its a great way to clear out the fridge of any scrappy or limp looking veggies, and I can cram a ton of vegetables in there that my kids wouldn't normally eat.
This is one of my favourite versions for two reasons:
1. It has split red lentils in it, and I absolutely LOVE these bad boys. Split red lentils are an excellent source of fibre, protein and magnesium as well as other vitamins and minerals. They also break down really well so can be easily hidden in meals for fussy eaters (i.e my 5 year old!)
2. It has eggplant in it. I don't know about anyone else, but I always buy eggplant and never get to use it because my kids won't eat where it has obviously been added. In this dish, it is completely broken down and hidden, but adds fantastic flavour. Eggplant are also a great source of fibre, copper and B1, as well as a good source of manganese, B6, B3, potassium and vitamin K.
This makes enough for 6-8 serves, when I make it I immediately freeze half for a quick meal later down the track. If you don't want to freeze it, just half the recipe.
I hope you enjoy this meat-free Monday meal!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
1 small eggplant, skin removed and cut into 1 cm cubes
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 carrot, grated
1/2 medium red capsicum, finely chopped
1 largish handful fresh oregano, marjoram and parsley (use 1 tsp of each dried)
3/4 cup split red lentils, well rinsed
500 g crushed tomatoes, salt reduced
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
pepper to taste
1/4- 1/2 tsp salt
2 large handfuls leafy greens, finely chopped
1 tbs olive oil
Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions, garlic and celery and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Fill the empty tin or jar of crushed tomatoes 3/4 full of water, shake it to loosen all the tomato-ey goodness inside and tip that in as well.
Bring to the boil, then drop to a medium heat and cook for 30 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
Add the chopped leafy greens and cook for another 5 minutes.
To make this a completely hidden veggies meal, take to the pot with a stick mixer or potato masher and process until the texture is to your liking.
Serve with pasta, rice, buckwheat, quinoa or zoodles. This is also a great base for lasagne, Sheppard's pie or can be used as a base for our 'Veggie Loaded Mexi Beans'