Thursday, 22 January 2015

Catherine's Famous Lentil Bake


Healthy Vegetarian Lentil Recipe

A lentil bake makes for a great inexpensive family meal. 

This is Catherine's Famous Lentil Bake Recipe. It could also be known as a Lentil Hotpot, but however you describe it - it's a great vegetarian dish and famous throughout Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and probably Norfolk! Catherine is my friend from school (not my school, but our children's school!). We spend hours yacking about food at the school gates - and why not? We all need some inspiration.

My weekly Bean Stew is wearing a little thin now. Don't get me wrong - it's a tasty supper dish, but the kids are getting a little bit bored now. Catherine mentioned her Lentil Bake the other day and it sounded like a super yummy mid-week meal, so I thought I'd give it a try. She also told me how she's been making it for years and it's always a winner!


We're not a family of vegetarians and we all like meat - but I don't want to eat it everyday. Lentils are a great inexpensive source of protein. They also contain dietary fibre, folate, vitamin B1 and minerals - perfect for a well-balanced non-meat meal. My mother has been a vegetarian for over thirty years now, so I was brought up with plenty of very tasty veggy meals.

Now my three children are getting older, they are eating a lot more - especially the boys. I know they are going to cost me a small fortune in food when they are teenagers, so this dish is a great frugal meal that won't blow the weekly budget and can be bulked-up to feed very hungry adults and children! And you will probably have most of the ingredients in your fridge and cupboard if you are ever stuck for something to cook. It's great to prepare in advance too.

This is my version of Catherine's Lentil Bake, but you could try many variations too. I know Catherine only uses red lentils in her recipe, but I've added green too. You could also try topping the lentils with mash potato, or even mashed sweet potato. I'm sure you won't be disappointed!


Catherine's Famous Lentil Bake



10 mins 60 mins

Serves 5

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
1 small sweet potato, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
100g red lentils
100g green lentils
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
600ml stock
Salt & pepper
1kg potatoes, par boiled
25g butter, cubed
25g strong cheddar, grated
Salt & pepper

    1. Start by frying the onions in the oil until soft and translucent.

    2. Now add the celery and carrots and garlic, sauté for a few more minutes.

    3. Add all the rest of the ingredients for the lentils and simmer for 30 minutes.

    4. Add more liquid if the mixture seems too dry.

    5. Take a large oven-proof dish and spoon the lentil mixture in for the bottom layer of the bake.

    6. Now boil your spuds, whole for 10 minutes. Drain and cool before cutting into slices.

    7. Top the lentils with the sliced potato. Add the cubed butter, seasoning and cheese. Bake at 170C for 40 minutes.

Recipe by Mrs Mean



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