Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Tomato, lentil and vegetable pasta - a syn free, dairy free, vegan recipe

These days my diet is best summarised as 'nearly vegan'. Health wise, I've not noticed any particular benefits, although I'm sure my weight loss is connected. The main focus of my diet is that it's sensitive to Harry's allergies and whilst there is plenty of processed food that is allergy friendly, I mainly focus on whole foods, cooking and eating a wide variety of beans, vegetables, lentils, fruit. That's not to say I'm perfect by a long shot - vegan cake is a food group as far as I'm concerned.

Making filling, healthy food that appeals to a toddler's burgeoning taste buds and my husband's carnivorous tendencies whilst being allergy friendly is not easy. I was over the moon at the reception this pasta dish got - Harry inhaled his, M did similarly(and he didn't even suggest it could have been improved with chorizo or bacon) This is based on a recipe I've used on Brownie holiday - so for the Guiders out there, it scales up to feed large quantities easily and, topped with grated cheese is a favourite with our girls. 

Tomato, lentil and vegetable pasta
Dairy free, vegan recipe. Syn free
Serves 8

Fry light/ olive oil
2 red onions
3 cloves of garlic
2 sticks of celery
4 small-medium carrots
3 peppers - I only use red & yellow as a personal preference
2-3 small to medium courgettes
150g mushrooms
1 cup of frozen peas
1 cup of frozen sweetcorn
1 cup of red lentils
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 400g carton of passata
large splodge of tomato puree
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper
Handful basil, shredded

I prep all the veggies for this in the food processor - but if you're not, then finely dice everything aside from the carrots, and grate those.
Liberally spray a pan with Fry light (or add a good glug of olive oil) and when warm add the onions and garlic and cook over a medium heat until softened
Add the celery and carrots and continue to cook for another 5 minutes of so
Add the rest of the veggies and cook down for another 5 minutes
Add the tinned tomatoes, passata and tomato puree and stir well.
Bring to a gentle simmer, and add the lentils, oregano, salt and pepper

The next two steps are purely optional - for me I do this for the Brownies, but don't bother at home - 
Cook down well for about 30 minutes or so
Take off the heat and allow to cool before blitzing with a stick blender

Add a good handful of fresh basil, before stirring into pasta

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