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You know what day it is…
….It’s another “Meatless Monday”!
(Why is it whenever I say that I break out singing the Bangels?! )
Is it me or does it seem more and more people are going “meatless” these days? Even though we are a still a steadfast meat lovin familia, today, I’ve decided to give it a go with this meatless lentil loaf. I guess you could say on Monday’s I’m jumping on the “meat-free” wagon (or jumping off the chuck wagon).
Either way, I promise you will not miss the meat in this meal …. it’s super yummy and packed with flavor!
I actually gave this meat free meal a try a while back using lentils, eggplant and breadcrumbs. It was good but was missing something. After a little tweaking I gave it more of a Mediterranean flare and added some color and texture with peppers, tomato sauce, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. I mixed it all together and then layered it in a loaf pan. Similar layering concept of lasagna or eggplant parmesan.
As always here is my picture play by play for today’s recipe
Lentil Eggplant Parmesan
- 3/4 cups uncooked lentils
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 baby eggplant peeled and diced
- 3 mini peppers diced
- 1/4 cup chopped mini onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 14 oz basic tomato sauce
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 egg slightly scrambled
- loaf pan
- cooking spray
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
- Bring lentils to a slow boil in 2 cups of water and then cover and simmer until cooked (should be soft)
- When fully cooked transfer lentils to a bowl to cool
- Add olive oil to a hot skillet and saute the garlic, onions, eggplant and peppers for 5 minutes
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
- Then add ¼ cup of tomato sauce + 2 tablespoons water and cover slightly
- Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until vegetables or cooked down but not too soft
- In a bowl combine breadcrumbs and ⅔ cup of grated cheese and ¼ cup of shredded mozzarella
- Add the cooked vegetables and combine
- Then add an additional ¼ cup of tomato sauce and mix again
- Next add the egg and incorporate fully (using hands is best at this point)
- Divide mixture in thirds
- Spray oil on the loaf pan
- Take the first 1/3rd and layer evenly over the bottom of the pan - using a spoon.
- Sprinkle parmesan cheese and shredded mozzarella over the top
- Add 2 tablespoons of sauce and spread over the top.
- Repeat with one more layer of lentil mix, cheese and sauce
- Final Layer should be sprinkled with grated cheese and 2 more tablespoons of sauce
- Cover with foil and bake in oven for 25 minutes
- Remove from oven and remove foil
- Evenly spread the remaining Mozzarella cheese over the top layer and
- place back into the oven to continue cooking for another 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly
- Serve with extra sauce and grated cheese