I can't think of a better way to celebrate late summer produce than with these Baked Eggplant Tomato Lentils! This is my first eggplant recipe of the season and a great one to start with.
Soup vs stew vs garnish
I couldn't quite decide what kind of recipe I was trying to make when making the cooked eggplant tomato lentils. At first, I had the idea of an eggplant and lentil soup. But then I thought it would be even better to have something to serve over toast and pasta like a caponata.
This recipe is neither. It's stewed enough to be eaten in a bowl, if you like. But it's also filling enough to be served on a whole grain, like quinoa or farro, or on a slice of your favorite toast.
Maybe I should have pushed him to something less amorphous, but then a lot of my favorite recipes are the same kind of middleman. I think about my lentils braised in red wine, braised beans and kale, slow cooker chipotle lentils, and Moroccan stew with chickpeas and tomatoes. All the essential recipes at home, all adaptable in the same way.
Cooked eggplant tomato lentils ingredients
These cooked eggplant tomato lentils are simple and no-frills. I think this is how it should be with recipes that showcase the beauty of late summer produce. You will need the following for this:
I used fresh tomatoes for the recipe as they are perfect right now. The recipe calls for four small or three large vine or beef tomatoes. You can also use 5 Roma tomatoes in their place. That's about a pound in total.
If you don't have fresh tomatoes, you can use a 14.5 or 28 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes instead. Use what you have in your pantry; obviously the larger can size will make for a heavier stew on the tomatoes. Not bad, if you ask me!
I used a medium / large globe eggplant for the cooked eggplant tomato lentils (more on eggplant varieties here, if you are curious). It was about a pound and a half, and a little over a pound of eggplant after preparation. You can also use Italian, Indian or Japanese eggplant. Just make sure the total amount of eggplant you use equals 1 to 1.5 pounds.
My favorite lenses these days are the pardina lenses. They are also sometimes called “brown Spanish” lentils. They're a bit rounder and hold their shape better than regular brown lentils in recipes. If you don't have them, that's okay. Brown, green, black and even red lentils will work well with the recipe.
The balsamic vinegar gives the recipe both a bit of acidity and a bit of sweetness. I tend to save the more expensive, syrupy balsamic vinegar for drizzling. It always ends up on top of my lentils braised in red wine. And I use cheaper balsamic for salad dressings, pasta salad, or as a marinade for burgers or tempeh.
If you want a different variation that stays bright and bittersweet, I've seen recipes that call for eggplant and lentils with pomegranate molasses.
Store and serve the cooked lentils, tomatoes and aubergines
Store lentils in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days or freeze them for up to six weeks. Like most casseroles, they taste even better after sitting for a day or two.
You can sprinkle another handful of fresh herbs on the lentils after reheating them, just to add some freshness to the dish. Vegan parmesan (or hemp parmesan) and an extra drizzle of balsamic vinegar are also very nice on top!
Yields: 4 portions
- 1/2 Chopped off (90 g) brown lentils or pardina, collected and rinsed
- 1 medium or large ball or Italian eggplant (see notes for substitutions), trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 1 1/4 lbs / 567 g after preparation)
- 2 soup spoons (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small white or yellow onion, chopped (about 150 g)
- 4 minced garlic cloves (15 g)
- 4 medium tomatoes (or 5 roma tomatoes), trimmed and chopped (about 1 lb / 454 g) or 1 can 14.5 or 28 ounces whole peeled tomatoes *
- 1 teaspoon (12 g) cane or brown sugar (optional, to bring out the sweet taste of the tomatoes)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a supplement to salt the eggplant
- 3/4 Chopped off (177 ml) water
- hyphen crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- 2 soup spoons Tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 Chopped off each chopped fresh parsley and basil leaves
Boil 2 1/2 cups of water in a saucepan. Add the lentils. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until lentils are tender. Gently drain any excess water from the pot and reserve the lentils. (NB: you can also skip this step and use 1 cup of precooked or canned lentils in the recipe.)
While the lentils cook, place the cubed eggplant in a colander. Sprinkle liberally with kosher salt and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then rinse the eggplant and dry it firmly with paper towels or a clean cloth.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion. Cook 5 minutes, stirring often, or until onion is tender and clear. Add the garlic. Cook for another minute or until garlic is fragrant, stirring constantly.
Add the eggplant, tomatoes, sugar and salt. Cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the eggplant is soft and the tomatoes have released their juice. Add 3/4 cup of water to the pan, along with the cooked lentils, crushed red pepper flakes and vinegar. When the ingredients are simmering, reduce the heat to low. Continue to simmer, uncovered, for another 8 to 10 minutes or until the mixture resembles a thick stew.
Add salt, vinegar and pepper to taste. Stir in the fresh herbs. To serve.
If you are using whole, peeled, and canned tomatoes, add them to the recipe at the same time you add fresh tomatoes. Then use a spoon or potato masher to crush the canned tomatoes directly in your pan. Continue with the recipe.
To salt or not to salt the eggplant?
Whether or not to salt the eggplant is one of them highly controversial preparation methods. The idea behind salting is to remove bitterness, but some argue that eggplants were bred to no longer be bitter.
Personally, I think salted eggplant tastes better. Bitterness (or lack of it) aside, I think salting improves the texture, making the eggplant smoother when cooked. If you don't have the time or don't like to salt the eggplant, you can skip the step in this recipe. I'm a fan of salting, but I don't think it's necessary.
I made the cooked aubergine tomato lentils right after I got back from my long refreshing weekend with friends. They were inspired by the time I spent outside of town and the farm stalls I passed in my absence.
The recipe was perfect for a Sunday afternoon when I didn't have a lot of time or energy to cook, but wanted something rustic, homemade, and summery to eat. I always enjoy leftovers, mostly on toast, but tonight I have big plans to serve them over pasta. I am sure it will be tasty and I am delighted to hear how you serve the dish too.
It’s easy to get confused when it comes to health and alimentation. Even qualified experts often seem to hold opposing opinions. Yet, despite all the disagreements, a number of wellness tips are well supported by research. Here are 27 health and alimentation tips that are actually based on good science.
These 8 practical tips cover the basics of healthy eating and can help you make healthier choices.
The key to a saine diet is to eat the right amount of calories for how réactive you are so you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use.
If you eat or drink more than your body needs, you’ll put on weight because the energy you do not use is stored as fat. If you eat and drink too little, you’ll lose weight.
You should also eat a wide range of foods to make sure you’re getting a balanced diet and your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.
It’s recommended that men have around 2, 500 kcal a day ( 10, 500 kilojoules ). Women should have around 2, 000 kcal a day ( 8, 400 kilojoules ). Most adults in the UK are eating more kcal than they need and should eat fewer kcal.
Starchy carbohydrates should make up just over a third of the food you eat. They include potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and cereals. Choose higher fibre or wholegrain varieties, such as wholewheat pasta, brown rice or potatoes with their skins on.
They contain more fibre than white or refined starchy carbohydrates and can help you feel full for longer. Try to include at least 1 starchy food with each main meal. Some people think starchy foods are fattening, but gram for gram the carbohydrate they contain provides fewer than half the calories of fat.
Keep an eye on the fats you add when you’re cooking or serving these variétés of foods because that’s what increases the calorie content – for example, oil on chips, butter on bread and creamy condiments on pasta.
It’s recommended that you eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day. They can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced. Getting your 5 A Day is easier than it sounds. Why not chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit ?
A portion of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables is 80g. A portion of dried fruit ( which should be kept to mealtimes ) is 30g. A 150ml glass of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie also counts as 1 portion, but limit the amount you have to no more than 1 glass a day as these drinks are sugary and can damage your teeth.
You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned, but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt. Most people should be eating more fish, but there are recommended limits for some types of fish.
You need some fat in your diet, but it’s important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat you’re eating. There are 2 main variétés of fat : saturated and unsaturated. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.
On average, men should have no more than 30g of saturated fat a day. On average, women should have no more than 20g of saturated fat a day. Children under the age of 11 should have less saturated fat than adults, but a low-fat diet is not suitable for children under 5.
Try to cut down on your saturated fat intake and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils and spreads, oily fish and avocados. For a healthier choice, use a small amount of vegetable or olive oil, or reduced-fat spread instead of butter, lard or ghee.
When you’re having meat, choose lean cuts and cut off any visible fat. All variétés of fat are high in energy, so they should only be eaten in small amounts.
Regularly consuming foods and drinks high in sugar increases your risk of obesity and tooth decay. Sugary foods and drinks are often high in energy ( measured in kilojoules or calories ), and if consumed too often can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.
Free sugars are any sugars added to foods or drinks, or found naturally in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices and smoothies. This is the type of sugar you should be cutting down on, rather than the sugar found in fruit and milk.
Many packaged foods and drinks contain surprisingly high amounts of free sugars.
More than 22. 5g of total sugars per 100g means the food is high in sugar, while 5g of total sugars or less per 100g means the food is low in sugar.
Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke. Even if you do not add salt to your food, you may still be eating too much.
About three-quarters of the salt you eat is already in the food when you buy it, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces. Use food labels to help you cut down. More than 1. 5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt.
Adults and children aged 11 and over should eat no more than 6g of salt ( about a teaspoonful ) a day. Younger children should have even less.
As well as eating healthily, regular exercise may help reduce your risk of getting serious health conditions. It’s also important for your overall health and wellbeing.
Read more about the benefits of exercise and physical activity guidelines for adults. Being overweight or obese can lead to health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke. Being underweight could also affect your health.
Most adults need to lose weight by eating fewer kcal. If you’re trying to lose weight, aim to eat less and be more active. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Check whether you’re a saine weight by using the BMI saine weight calculator. Start the NHS weight loss plan, a 12-week weight loss guide that combines advice on healthier eating and physical activity. If you’re underweight, see underweight adults. If you’re worried about your weight, ask your GP or a dietitian for advice.
You need to drink plenty of fluids to stop you getting dehydrated. The government recommends drinking 6 to 8 glasses every day. This is in addition to the fluid you get from the food you eat. All non-alcoholic drinks count, but water, lower fat milk and lower sugar drinks, including tea and coffee, are healthier choices. Try to avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks, as they’re high in calories. They’re also bad for your teeth.
Even unsweetened fruit juice and smoothies are high in free sugar. Your combined total of drinks from fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies should not be more than 150ml a day, which is a small glass. Remember to drink more fluids during hot weather or while exercising.
Some people skip breakfast because they think it’ll help them lose weight. But a healthy breakfast high in fibre and low in fat, sugar and salt can form part of a balanced diet, and can help you get the nutrients you need for good health.
A wholegrain lower sugar cereal with semi-skimmed milk and fruit sliced over the top is a tasty and healthier breakfast. Further informationThe Eatwell Guide can help you get the right balance of the 5 main food groups. The guide shows you how much of what you eat should come from each food group. Read more about eating a balanced diet and understanding kcal.