Can you believe Christmas is nearly here?
Seriously it honestly feels like it was only yesterday I was carving pumpkins and eating sweets for dinner. I blinked and its all festive all the time – but I don’t mind, I absolutely adore Christmas. We always spend Christmas in Spain – I love the crisp mountain air, the bright blue days and the freezing cold nights that are just begging to be finished with a warming lightly spiced hot cocoa sitting in front of an open fire.
Every Christmas Day we head to our friend’s house to spend the festivities with them, and we all bring a dish with us. I always end up making a big lentil bake but I’ve never actually written the recipe down before – it’s always just mixed and matched on the day, which makes its extra special as it’s never the same as last years.
But I think, this year, I absolutely nailed it, in making the Ultimate Winter Lentil and Roast Vegetable Bake so I had to write the recipe down. Plus, so many of you saw this on my Social Media and asked for the recipe – so, here, my little Christmas present to all of you – my delicious and delectable luxury Christmas vegan main, that everyone will enjoy!
I’m writing this a little early – one, so you can all shop and prepare ready for the big day but two, because this year we are heading to a retreat in Kerala, India over the holidays – so lots of delicious, spiced Indian dishes and even more yoga for me.
I honestly can’t wait. I’ve travelled India a lot in my 20’s and it has such a special place in my heart, just like this dish has – which is why you are all here, I’ll stop my day dreaming and tell you more about this mouth-watering feast which I serve with steamed broccoli and sautéed vegetables and the ultimate vegan stuffing.
The base of this dish is made with lots of fresh vegetables that have been roasted to perfection. Something just magical happens when you roast vegetables, their exterior goes sweet, crisp and charred and they become almost custard-like in the inside making them the perfect acquaintance and component to the rich earthy lentils and crunchy walnut topping.
This dish is served in one pan – making it the perfect hearty healthy winter food, that everyone can share around the table and get stuck into family style. After all, isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Sharing delicious food with the ones you love.
Feel free to use your favourite winter vegetables in this dish, you can add in carrots and parsnips for an extra layer of deliciousness or remove the sweet potatoes for normal should you wish.
The caramelised onions can be made or store-brought to save time and you can add blitzed breadcrumbs to the walnut topping for extra crunch. Alternatively, you can use sunflower seeds if you don’t want to use nuts.
Green lentils can be used instead of red or pearl barely can be subbed – it will reduce the earthy rich taste but will still be super delicious. The mushrooms can also be removed, but I would recommend keeping them in as it really completes the texture and flavour of the dish – but then mushrooms are one of my favourite ingredients so maybe I’m a little biased here.
As this dish has quite a few elements and does take a while to prepare, you can make this dish the night before the big event, the flavours improve overnight as they soak into all the wonderful vegetables.
Feel free to cook all the night before and assemble and bake on the day, or bake the day before and re-heat, both work just as well as each other. Unlike the majority of my dishes, this one doesn’t freeze that well. But portioned in the fridge and re-heated the next day works amazing, especially when topped with a fresh cranberry sauce and a little splash of leftover gravy!
If you like this recipe, why not give one of my other tray-bakes a go?
My variant on a Winter Layered Smokey Lentil and Squash Bakehas a gooey ‘cheesy’ sauce that is perfect for cosy Sunday Lunches and my Roast Pepper, Tomato and Caramelised Onion White Bean Bake uses up all my favourite ingredients and is finished with a deliciously creamy and flavoursome spiced coconut milk sauce for the ultimate comfort dish.
I really hope you love this deliciously festive dish as much as I do; make sure to post and tag with @rebelrecipes #rebelrecipes if you make this dish so I can see and repost your gorgeous creations!
I hope you have the most magical Christmas – eat lots, spend time with your friends and family and just relax, rest and renew. I’ll be off eating lots of Curry!
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Here's a sneak peak...
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