Tomato Sauce with Lentils

You know those days when you really need to go to the grocery store and you’re scrounging to pull together a decent meal? Spaghetti is a staple pantry item to keep on hand. Whether I am about to go out of town (so I don’t want to go to the grocery store) or I just returned from a trip (and haven’t had time to go to the grocery store yet) or if it’s the end of the month (and I’m waiting to go to the grocery store once the budget refreshes), I turn to my trusted spaghetti recipe with red sauce and lentils.

Everyone enjoys a good bowl of spaghetti, and red sauce is the most common topping. You can use a basic jar of sauce, or simmer up a fresh pot in less than 10 minutes. A can of pureed or diced tomato forms the base of the sauce. Add in fresh or dried herbs of your choice; Italian ragu typically incorporates basil, oregano, rosemary, and parsley. If you’re up for it, simmer diced garlic and onion in olive oil before you add your tomatoes to the pot. 10 minutes later, your sauce will be simmering and your noodles should be cooked al dente.

But when I’m trying to make this meal healthy and nourishing, I add lentils to my sauce. Bonus: lentils have outrageous amounts of protein so they are an excellent ground meat substitute. Plus, they’re cheap. Boil them in water or broth for 20-30 minutes (according to the package directions); drain and stir into your sauce. They don’t add much flavor, so no worries about your picky eaters, but they will nourish your bodies with extra protein.

And there you have a fresh and filling meal with ingredients straight from your pantry. No need to make a grocery store run for this easy dinner!

Yield: 6

Eggplant & Meat Casserole Recipe with Video Tutorial

Eggplant & Meat Casserole Recipe with Video Tutorial

Eggplant & Meat Casserole Recipe with Video Tutorial

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant, diced
  • 2 to matoes, diced
  • ½ pound of ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cooking cream, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Place ground beef in a pan with a dash of salt and pepper. Heat until the beef is no longer red. Set aside.
  3. In a separate pan, cook the eggplant, tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic until eggplant is fully cooked.
  4. Place the ingredients in a greased casserole dish layer by layer in this order: eggplant mixture, ground beef, then cheese on top.
  5. If you would like it to be more creamy, then you can add 4 tablespoons of cooking cream.
  6. Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 194 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 39mg Sodium: 134mg Carbohydrates: 9g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 3g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 11g

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