Baked Veggie "Parm"


Inspired by the traditional ratatouille recipe, our take includes mushrooms, ground red lentils, and has no oil. This hearty dish is perfect as a whole food plant-based meal, or can be adapted by adding a meat substitute. I added Hot Italian Beyond Beef Sausage in this recipe since my kids like it, but you can easily swap for another plant-based protein or even omit all together.

Serving Size:    6-8           Prep Time:   25 minutes         Cook Time:   20 minutes 

💚VEGAN    💚GLUTEN FREE    💚OIL-FREE

Ingredients

  • 2(15 oz) cans of fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/4 c low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 oz of baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2- 1 c ground lentil splits (see tips below)
  • 2 c spinach
  • 2 small yellow squash, sliced
  • 2 small courgette/zucchini, sliced
  • 1 eggplant, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp onion, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, to taste
  • 1/4 c. nutritional yeast+2 TB nutritional yeast
  • 1/2-1 lb of italian meat substitute sausage (optional). I used Beyond Beef Hot Italian air fried and drained.
  • 1/4 cup of panko or bread crumbs (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. In large saucepan, pour vegetable broth and add in garlic cloves. Cook 5 min on medium heat (reduce heat if veggie broth is drying up as you don't want garlic to burn)
  3. Add in fire roasted tomatoes, lentil splits, spices, 2 TB of nutritional yeast and cooked meat substitute. Add in spinach, reduce heat and simmer on low, stirring as needed.
  4. While the sauce is simmering, lay sliced eggplant on parchment lined baking dish (don't overlap) and bake for 15 minutes.
  5. In a 9x13 dish, layer the sauce, eggplant, squash, and zucchini, sprinkling nutritional yeast within the layering process. 
  6. Top with remaining nutritional yeast and panko/bread crumbs
  7. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes
  8. Serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers or freeze 1-2 months in air tight container.

Tips

- Lentil splits were washed, fully dried and ground in my Vitmaix blender. I keep these on hand in a container to add protein to meals, but if you do not have splits or a way or grinding, ok to omit. 

- Baking for only 20 minutes gives the squash the perfect texture, so don't overbake otherwise the texture might be more mushy.

- Omit salt to make low sodium - just season well with other spices.

- Meat substitute is always optional - we like beyond beef ground meat, TVP or beyond beef link “sausage” . 

NOTE: If you still incorporate meat and/or dairy in your plant-based lifestyle, a option to add more protein is cooking sliced sausage. I am vegan, and prefer to air fry to drain out excess oil even with my veggie links - then I add to simmering sauce. If vegetarian, feel free to also sub the nutritional yeast with shredded mozzarella.