Vego Challenge - Red Lentil and Vegetable Penne

I've survived 48 hours on this challenge and I'm doing pretty well. Aside from the fact I'm feeling hungry more regularly, I'm finding myself enjoying it. I'm a tad more energetic and I'm generally in a pretty good mood - which is rare when I'm hungry all the time. Last night I made a vegetable pasta with red lentils. It was the first time I'd cooked or eaten lentils and now I feel bad for having doubted it would ever be a good ingredient. I liked that it expanded as it cooked which thickened the sauce and made it a more satisfying and hearty meal. I think I'm going to try to use it as a carb subsititute when I can. 

This recipe is supposed to serve 4, but it makes a LOT of pasta. I halved the amount and still ended up with 4 big portions. Also, I used more eggplant instead of squash because the tight ass inside of me didn't agree to the $11 per kg price tag haha.

You will need -
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 200g yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 medium eggplant, chopped
  • 3/4 cup red lentils, rinsed, drained
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 700g bottle Italian tomato pasta sauce
  • 300g broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 375g dried spaghetti pasta
  • shaved parmesan cheese, to serve
1. Heat oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or until onion is just soft.
2. Add zucchini, squash and eggplant. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add lentils, tomato, pasta sauce and 1/2 cup cold water. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, covered, for 20 minutes.
3. Add broccoli. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until lentils are tender.
4. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a saucepan of boiling, salted water, following packet directions, until tender. Drain pasta when ready and set aside 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
5. Mix the pasta and 1 cup of cooking water into the vegetable sauce and season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
6. Divide pasta between bowls. Serve with parmesan cheese.

Little lentils....

BIG lentils... I'm such a child

Yum yum yum! I'm glad there's another pasta alternative rather than your average spag bol. I don't think I have to make dinner tomorrow as I have so much left over from the last two dishes I've made. Who says vegetables aren't filling??

If you guys have any suggestions for interesting vegetarian meals please write me a comment below :) I'd love to hear your ideas.


Nancy | 7 September 2011 at 10:00

Hey Wang!
Happy Happy Birthday for last week!
This is such a great challenge!

A Quick Easy one I love to do on those nights where you don't feel like spending too long in the kitchen is stuffed Portobella mushrooms! Its the vego equivalent to big meaty steak.

1. Pull the stalks out of the mushrooms
2. Put 2 teaspoons of Pesto in the middle (this can be home made or come from a jar)
3. Tightly stuff the rest of mushroom with ricotta cheese
4. drizzle mushrooms with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
5.Bake in the oven until ricotta starts to brown a tiny bit.
6. Serve with a nice crispy bread roll and a fresh salad.

Wang's Factory | 7 September 2011 at 16:06

Thanks Nancy! That's on the menu for next week :) We MUSTTTT catch up this asap!

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