Penne with French Lentils in Creamy Tomato Sauce and Apple & Pineapple Cake

I’ve been really unwell the past few days with the flu and my doctor told me yesterday that I needed a hit of protein. She suggested chicken and boiled eggs to increase my immunity. However since I’m trying not to eat either, she suggested pulses. So tonight I wanted to make a hearty meal of lentils.

Our fridge was filled with stuff that was half used or needed to be used, so that’s what inspired tonight’s meals. The cashew cream from a couple of days ago, only lasts for few days in the fridge, so I decided to mix it with the left over pasta sauce. I really miss napoletana sauce with a dash of cream. My mum would always cook that for me at the restaurant with gnocchi.

I’ve never used French Green Lentils before. I found some organic one’s at Woolworths and figured they are similar to cook to Green lentils. They are meant to be a bit firmer, which explains why they took so much longer to cook. They are extremely nutritious, containing protein, calcium, fiber, magnesium. Plus they are a pretty green colour with blue specks and they hold together while cooked.

The cake was a bit experimental. I cooked mine a bit more then I probably should have, I think 40mins is probably the correct amount of time. Really I needed to use the apples and canned pineapple. I was worried that it would be too sweet, but according to my boyfriend it still needed a bit more sugar. Usually when I cook vegan cakes he adds nutella, because they are never sweet enough. Tonight I convinced him to add some maple syrup instead. He agreed it suited the cake better then chocolate spread, so win win.

Penne with Lentils in Creamy Tomato Sauce (gfo, sf)

Ingredients- 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped, 1 onion finely chopped, 1 carrot diced, 1 red capsicum diced, 1/2 jar passata sauce (its all I had left), 1 cup french green lentils, filtered water, 2/3 cup cashew cream + 1/3 water,  2 tbsp basil chopped, 1 cup baby spinach chopped, sea salt, black pepper, 250 g penne/gf pasta

1. Boil water for pasta and cook according to pack instructions and set aside.

2. Heat oil in a large pan, add garlic, onion, carrot and capsicum. Saute for 5 mins.

3. Add lentils, passata sauce, and water (same amount as sauce). Bring to the boil then put on a medium heat. Stir regularly and add water when need be (I think I added 3 cups). Cook for 30 mins or until lentils become soft.

4. Add basil, spinach, cashew cream, salt and pepper to taste.

5. Add pasta and heat till pasta is hot.

Apple & Pineapple Cake (gfo, sf, nf)

Ingredients: 2 cups wholemeal flour/gf flour, 1 tbsp ground flax seeds, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 cup desiccated coconut  1/2 cup raw sugar, 1 cup almond milk/other plant milk, 4 apples sliced, 1/4 cup pineapple (I used canned).

1. Preheat the oven 180 degrees and grease a cake pan

2. In a large mixing bowl mix flour, flax seeds, sugar, baking powder and coconut.

3. Add almond milk and fold in apple and pineapple. o

4. Place in the oven for 40mins or until you can cleanly stick a knive through it.

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