Hello there & welcome to my kitchen.
I’m so excited to bring this blog & website back to life again. There are so many recipes, cooking techniques, and preparation methods I can’t wait to share. My recipes are vegan, whole food plant-based with no oil and very little salt. They are generally low in fat, very often even fat free, but always high on flavor. Like the savory Bolognese down below, all my recipes are easy to put together.
We’ve been in LA for almost 3 months. It simultaneously feels as though we just got here yet feels like we left Denver so long ago. It’s been remarkably hot this summer and fall, but that hasn’t stopped me from breaking out the crock pot to help with meal prep. In setting up our new apartment, we’ve driven all over the city trying to find just the right pieces of furniture and odds and ends to make it feel like home. Throwing some legumes and eggplant into the slow cooker before leaving the house is a great way to ensure we have a delicious meal that comes together quickly upon our return.
That’s how this dish happened. I was inspired by the baby eggplants at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market and missed my lentil bolognese that I hadn’t made since before we left Denver. I figured I could add some whole baby eggplants and chop them after they braised into soft pillows.
Bolognese is an Italian masterpiece from The Emelia-Romania, traditionally made with meat. Lentils are a fantastic plant-based alternative. I like to use French green lentils because they hold they shape when cooked, but brown lentils, or a mixture of the two will work just fine.
The dish turned out quite well. The eggplant adds a nice dimension to the stewed lentils. We enjoyed the bolognese over bucatini pasta with chopped arugula, basil and hemp parmesan, but it would also be great over: quinoa or any other grain, toasted country bread, risotto, polenta or other pasta shapes. For something different with the leftovers, add fresh lemon juice and enjoy chilled over a salad or toast. See the notes in the recipe for an Indian version using the same methods.
- ½ medium Onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small Carrot, very thinly sliced
- 1 stalk Celery, diced small
- 1 or more Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 4 cups Vegetable Stock
- 1 cup French Green Lentils
- 4-6 small Eggplants, pierced with a knife in several places
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh Thyme
- 6-10 fresh Oregano leaves or ½ tsp dried
- 2 cups basic Tomato Sauce or chopped tomatoes
- 2 Tbs chopped flat leaf Parsley (optional)
- Place all ingredients, except for the tomato & parsley, in a slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours.
- Stir every now and then, turning the eggplant over for even braising.
- Add the tomato sauce and cook for an additional 2-4 hours, depending on your slow cooker)
- Remove the eggplants to a cutting board. Let rest until cool enough to handle.
- The tops should easily pull off the eggplants, discard. Dice the eggplant into medium – large cubes. Add the parsley and mix back into the sauce.
Omit all herbs, except for Bay Leaf.
Substitute: 1 tsp Turmeric, 1 TBL Curry Powder, 1 TBL fresh grated Ginger Root, ¼ cup chopped Cilantro (sub for Parsley)
I hope you enjoy the recipe. Let me know what you think, or if you have any questions, in the comments below.