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Chunky Red Lentil Tomato Sauce
VN, GF, SF Red Lentils

Yield: 8 servings

"Red lentils are the fastest cooking of all dried legumes. This sauce can be prepared in about 20 minutes and simmered in a crock pot all day or cooked on top of the stove for about 1 hour. 'Chunky' refers to the vegetables; you can use those listed here, or select others. The lentils almost dissolve into the sauce, and add protein. Use more or less lentils, depending on your taste preferences."


1 onion, diced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, sliced diagonally
1 stalk broccoli, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms (fresh or canned)
1/2 cup diced sweet green pepper
1 small zucchini, sliced or grated
28 oz can stewed tomatoes, whole or diced
28 oz can prepared tomato sauce
1 cup water
1/2 to 1 cup uncooked red lentils
2 tbs each fresh basil and oregano (or 2 tsp dried)


Place all ingredients in crock pot or saucepan. Stir. If using stove top method, bring ingredients to boil, then turn heat down and simmer sauce for 1 hour or more. If using crock pot, cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for about 4 hours. Serve with your favourite pasta, or spaghetti squash.

Tip: Be adventurous with pasta! Try quinoa, spelt, kamut, vegetable or other varieties. Fresh pastas make a meal extra special.


Try other vegetables in this recipe: chopped cauliflower, celery, spinach or kale work well. For an extra fast sauce use precooked lentils, and saute vegetables in 1 tbs olive oil until tender. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.

Nutritional Note

This spaghetti sauce is packed with nutrients yet derives only 4 percent of its calories from fat.

Source: Becoming Vegetarian: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Vegetarian Diet by Melina Vesanto, R.D., Brenda Davis, R.D. and Victoria Harrison, R.D.

"This recipe is very tasty, and as the book says, the lentils pretty much dissolve into the sauce and do not compete with the vegetable flavours at all. Very easy to make. More nutritional information on this recipe is available in the book, a must-have guide for anyone considering a vegetarian diet. If you are on a gluten-free diet (GF) be sure to select pasta made from gluten-free grains such as quinoa, corn or rice."

Robin Russell, tester

Recipe published: Winter, 2007

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