Monday, January 27, 2014

Lentil Mushroom Ragu Sauce

Delicious tomato-lentil-mushroom sauce. Quite like the gritty texture of ground beef-tomato sauce. This makes a good large batch, stores well, and is great for packed lunches. Can be served onto of anything; spaghetti squash, spaghetti, potatoes, eaten directly from a bowl.... I choose to put it over baked spaghetti squash.

Lentil Mushroom Ragu Sauce
adapted from Fox Loves Lemons
serves 6 - 8

2 lbs. tomatoes
2 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, diced small
16 oz mushrooms, cubed small
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium carrots, cubed small
1 large bell pepper, diced small
2 cups lentils, rinsed and picked through
2 cups water (or as needed)
1/2 cup red wine
1 bay leaf
1 Tbs dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbs cumin
1 Tbs tumeric
2 Tbs fresh basil, minced
herbs to garnish (optional)

1. Core tomatoes and put into a frying pan on high heat, and cover with a lid. Every 5 minutes smash them down a bit until they're crushed.
2. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pot, and add onion and carrot and cook over medium-high heat until are starting to brown, stirring often. Add in bell pepper and mushrooms, and cook until both have softened.
3. Add in garlic, cook for 30 seconds more. Combine rest of ingredients (crushed tomatoes, lentils,  water, red wine, and all spices EXCEPT basil). Cover, and simmer on medium heat until lentils are tender, 30 minutes or more. Add more water as needed.

Baked Eggs in Avocados

Simple and delicious egg bake. I served this with quick-sauteed kale and sweet potato bread french toast for my friend while she was in town! Delicious weekend brunch plate : ) I think next time I will make a chipotle/southwest veganase sauce to cover over the top, and I'll pre-scoop out the whole avocados out of the shell and put them directly on a bed of lightly-salted steamed kale with corn muffins on the side.

Baked Eggs in Avocados
serves 2

2 avocados
4 eggs
sprinkle of smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste

1. Pre-heat oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with a silicon pad.
2. Evenly cut in half two avocados, and take out the pits. Scoop a little extra avocado meat out of each of the halves, especially if you have larger eggs.
3. Set each of the halves onto the lined baking sheet, make sure the tops are flat or you'll have egg matter falling out.
4. Crack an egg into each of the halves, and gently place in the pre-heated oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the egg whites have set.