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Lentil Eggplant Lasagne

Lentils are a proven powerhouse food when it comes to fertility and pregnancy nutrition. Why? They are high in iron, low GI, and plant-based proteins have been linked with improving anovulatory infertility in many women, indicating their impact on hormone balance.


If you are struggling with thinking of dinner or lunch ideas that contain some plant-based protein then look no further! This one is a great "make in advance" option that freezes really well and can see you through a busy week.


Ingredients:


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 onion, diced,

  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves

  • 2 cans of lentils, drained and rinsed

  • 1 small can of tomato paste

  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes

  • 1 vegetable oxo cube + 250ml water

  • 4 cubes frozen spinach

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To assemble:

  • 2 medium-sized eggplants, cut into 1 cm rounds

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • Lentil ragu

  • 1 ½ cup grated edam

  • ¼ cup grated parmesan


Method:


  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion, carrot, and garlic for 7-8 minutes until soft and fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook it out for a minute, stirring constantly.

  2. Deglaze the pan with the stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to ensure nothing is sticking.

  3. Add the remaining lentil ragu ingredients except for the spinach and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid has evaporated.

  4. Turn off the heat and stir through the spinach until it is mixed. Season with salt and pepper and the finished ragu should be a thick mixture.

  5. Whilst the ragu is cooking, prepare the eggplant. Preheat the oven to 200C and line a large baking tray with baking paper. Arrange the eggplant rounds on the prepared tray, brush with oil (or spray lightly with oil spray), and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes or until soft and slightly browned,

  6. To assemble the lasagne, arrange the eggplant slices in a slightly overlapping manner to cover the bottom of a large baking or casserole dish, spread 1/3 of the ragu to cover the eggplant, and sprinkle with 1/3 of the Edam cheese. Repeat the layering process until all the eggplant is used up.

  7. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese and parmesan and bake for around 20 minutes until the cheese is golden brown and melted. Let it cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. This would pair nicely with a big green leafy salad.

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