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Thursday 8 May 2014

Sluttishly Vegetarian: Spicy Lentil Protein Overload

"Hi everyone. My name's Sara and I'm a carboholic."
"It all started when I became vegetarian, and simply cut out meat from my diet without replacing it with anything. Except bread. And rice. And more bread. Also pasta."
"And now I'm 34, weirdly tired all the time, and wondering if carb overload has something to do with it. I think - I think I'm ready to embrace protein."
*crowd goes wild*

Fellow vegetarians, I have made us a quick and healthy and protein filled meal so we can stop having naps after dinner and instead get on with the serious business of going to the pub / hanging out with the cat / watching reruns of Don't Tell The Bride. Spicy lentils mixed with plenty of veg and topped with an egg make for an easy, comforting and brilliantly filling dinner.

You've probably got all the ingredients knocking around already, and can swap them for whatever you've got in the cupboard. I've used red lentils and split peas as the red lentils break down quickly while the split peas retain some texture, but you could only use red lentils or add puy lentils 

Spicy Lentil Protein Overload (serves 2)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

You will need:
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 small onion
  • Tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 75g red lentils
  • 75g split peas
  • 2 eggs
Make it!
  1. Heat a good splash of oil in large saucepan over a medium heat. Chop all the vegetables and add them, along with the garlic, to the pan. Fry for 8-10 minutes until they're starting to soften and smell amazing.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes and garam masala and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Rinse the lentils and split peas and then add them to the pan along with the stock. Turn the heat down a little and let it simmer away until the red lentils are soft.
  4. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. If you're using an oven-proof pan, make two wells in the lentil mix and carefully crack an egg into each. If not, transfer the lentils to a small roasting dish before adding the eggs. 
  5. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the whites are opaque and the yolks are done to your taste.
  6. Serve with salad or a mini naan bread. MINI. Don't ruin your good work by adding a mattress of bread.

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