One important thing to remember when cooking lentils is to soak them overnight first. They are relatively high in phytates which are enzyme inhibitors. These can affect absorption of minerals in the body like calcium and zinc. If you soak them overnight, you remove most of the phytates improves your digestion and mineral absorption.
- 80g (1/2 cup) Puy Lentils
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 beef tomato, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 beetroot, cut into small dice
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp chopped chives
- tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp water
- 400g butternut squash, thinly sliced lengthways
- 300g courgette, thinly sliced lengthways
- Preheat the oven to 170 or Gas mark between 3 ½
- Place the lentils in a small pan, cover with water and bring to the boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan and squash the tomato into the oil to make a base for the sauce. Add the garlic and beetroot with the tamari, chives and cumin. Add the water and cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes, or until reduced to a thick sauce. Add the lentils to the pan with a splash more water and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Season to taste.
- Layer half the butternut squash and a third of the courgettes in an ovenproof dish and spread over half the lentil sauce. Repeat the layers, finishing with the remaining courgettes. Brush the courgettes generously with olive oil, then bake for 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender.