So winter is rolling in and we all begin to crave a little comfort and heat. But we still need to make sure we are eating healthily and not sidelining our vegetables or protein. Soups and bakes are just perfect for the cold months. They provide infinite variety of ingredients are very simple ‘one-pot’ meals that can provide extra quantity for the tomorrow’s lunch or a deep freeze saviour when you have a pressured day. Not forgetting they are very cheap to make without sacrificing nutrition!
RED LENTIL AND FENNEL BAKE
1 bulb of fennel
half a packet of red lentils
1 onion, 1 tablespoon of olive oil
juice of a half a lemon
breadcrumbs and/or 4 potatoes for topping (optional grated cheddar or cheese of your choice)
Take the fennel bulb and slice it into several medium/small pieces. Put into a pot of a couple of inches of boiling water and cook until just about soft drain off water and scatter fennel pieces in baking tray.
Heat olive oil in pot and add sliced onion, saute gently until soft. Pour red lentils into pot fill with boiled water until it is approx 1 inch above line of lentils bring back to boil, then turn down to a simmering heat to cook for 20-30 minutes. Until all the water is absorbed and you have a red lentil soup. Squeeze in lemon juice season with black pepper and sea salt, Top with breadcrumbs and grated cheese if you like. Put into pre heated oven at 180 celsius and bake for 25-30 mins until topping is golden brown.
This is delicious with a raw green salad and dressing or any green veg of your choice steamed and lightly dressed with some Tamari or soy sauce. It also cuts in slices and is just as delicious cold.
For variations- while you are cooking the red lentils bake or steam some peeled potatoes and mash them for a potato topping instead of or with! The breadcrumbs before cooking in the oven. You can leave out the lemon juice and add sweet/hot curry powder instead to the red lentils if you like or saute the onions for the lentils with coconut or peanut oil for a different taste to the dish, they are also healthier oils to heat than olive oil as they take a much higher heat point than vegetable oils.