I have been scratching my head trying to decide on the vegetarian option for Xmas dinner. Myself and our sons are vegetarian, I can't eat gluten and my sons don't like mushrooms or nuts very much. We have all the veg and trimmings and for my sons I wrap veggie bacon around veggie sausage, but I still wanted something that looked a bit special and xmassy We all love lentils so I decided on a lentil bake with cranberry sauce.
For the ingredients I used
300g red lentils washed
1 large onion
1 red bell pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1 tblsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
salt and pepper
1 cooking apple
50g breadcrumbs ( I used gluten free)
Put the lentils in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for 10 mins then cover and simmer for a further 15 to 20 minutes until soft. Drain any excess water by putting it in a sieve and letting it drip, it should be a thick paste.
Chop the onion and pepper and saute until soft, add pressed garlic, herbs, tomato puree and salt and pepper and cook for a further minute.
Add the lentils to the onion mix along with the grated cheese (make it as cheesy as you like) breadcrumbs, egg and grated apple. Give it a good mix.
I used mini loaf tins which I greased well with a little oil then filled with the mix. You can see from the size of the wooden spoon how small they are so they are ideal for individual bakes. It makes about 4 or you could make one larger bake, which will take longer to cook. Alternatively you could make tinier bakes in a muffin tray.
I then baked them for about 30 to 40 minutes at 200 c until they were heated through and browned.
Use a knife to loosen the edges and carefully turn onto the plate, they may be a bit soft. I then warmed some cranberry sauce to serve on the top. They can be made ahead and put in the freezer in the tins covered with foil before you cook them. Cook them from frozen but make sure they are cooked through. Remove the foil about half way through to brown them.