If you’re looking for a super flavorful plant-based dish to ease you into a vegan diet, this one is for you! The lentils and walnuts bring great texture to the otherwise creamy filling and the tahini drizzle is just perfection!
One of the things that non-vegans often wonder about is how will I get enough protein if I start eating vegan. I was wondering about that too with my 5 year old who decided a few months ago that he no longer wants to eat any meat or fish. No idea where he got that from by the way, I am not a vegan! I eat a lot of vegan meals but I do eat the occasional meat, fish or eggs too.
So I tried to make more plant-based meals containing protein! I love dishes that are what I call comfort foods but still healthy. And this is one of them! This stuffed eggplant is so warm and flavorful and particulary lovely when drizzled with the eggplant & tahini sauce. Tahini is amazing anyways! I mean, sesame in general is on my love list, but tahini with it’s slight bitterness is just perfect. I decided to also use the pulp from the second roasted eggplant in the sauce so that it’s less rich. And it’s another way to eat more vegetables “hidden” in a delicious creamy sauce! Win win!
I decided on black lentils for the plant-based protein here because they hold their shape well. Brown lentils would probably also work but red lentils get too mushy. They’re perfect for other dishes though! Black lentils are also called Beluga lentils because they resemble beluga caviar. They have a deep, earthy flavor, firm texture and are the most nutritious out of all the types of lentils. I love using black lentils for dishes like this or in salads!
I also wanted to add lots of extra vegetables to the filling for the eggplants! One reason was that I absolutely love any kind of vegetable (yes, any!). And another one that the dish is more filling that way because you get lots of fiber. I chose to use carrots and mushrooms in the filling and then I also added some of the roasted eggplant before filling it again. I think any kind of root vegetable like parsnip, celeriac or even beetroot would work well too. And then I also added some chopped walnuts on top because I love dishes with different textures!
The dish in general is Mediterranean inspired so my spices were influenced by that as well. I decided on using a spice mixture called Italia Style which contains dried tomato, onions, pine nuts, red pepper, garlic, oregano, black pepper, capers, chili, basil, parsley, lemon myrtle and lemon oil. I love using this spice mixture for a lot of my Mediterranean dishes, it’s so flavorful!
Will you make this soon? Or how about my Curry Coconut Risotto?
Roasted Eggplants stuffed with lentils
If you're looking for a super flavorful plant-based dish to ease you into a vegan diet, this one is for you! The lentils and walnuts bring great texture to the otherwise creamy filling and the tahini drizzle is just perfection!
Pre-heat oven to 180°C (356°F). Cover baking tray with parchment paper.
Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Then cut a criss-cross pattern into each of the cut faces of the eggplants. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Roast at 180°C (356°F) for 50 minutes.
Wash lentils well. Add to a pot with the water and bring to a boil. Lower the temperature and simmer for 40 minutes until tender with a bite. Drain well.
Peel carrots and cut into small pieces.
Clean mushrooms and cut into pieces.
Peel and chop garlic cloves.
Heat up olive oil in a pan. Add garlic and fry for one minute. Add carrots and fry for another 3 minutes. Then add chopped tomatoes, salt, Italia Style spice mixture and drained lentils. Mix well.
Remove the pulp from one eggplant. Roughly chop it and add it to the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes, then put aside.
Remove the pulp from the other eggplant and add to a blender together with garlic powder, salt, tahini, water and lemon juice. Blend until smooth.
Add lentil & veg mixture to the hollowed out eggplants. Top with chopped walnuts. Bake at 180°C (356°F) for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with some nutritional yeast and drizzle with the eggplant sauce. Enjoy!
I used a spice mixture called Italia Style which contains dried tomato, onions, pine nuts, red pepper, garlic, oregano, black pepper, capers, chili, basil, parsley, lemon myrtle and lemon oil.