You know food is going to be tasty when it’s bright and colourful, but this recipe really takes ‘orange’ to new levels. If the carrots weren’t vibrant enough on their own, there are also red lentils, paprika and cayenne, and a touch of tomato paste to create a tray-bake feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. The soft lentils hold onto all the flavours of the spices and the vegetables, making for a filling and delicious vegan dinner. Brown sugar might seem like a wild-card addition to a savoury dish, but it helps to bring out the natural sweetness in the carrots (and caramelise the onion).
- Chopping Board
- Medium oven tray with a rim at least 3cm/1inch high
- Medium saucepan
- 1 Large White Onion, sliced
- 4 Medium Carrots, cut into batons
- 3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and smashed under the knife blade
- 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 3 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Cayenne Chilli Pepper
- Salt and Black Pepper
- Vegetable Oil
- 1 cup Uncooked Red Lentils, rinsed
- 2 cups/500ml Vegetable Stock (1 stock cube)
- 1 Can Coconut milk
- 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
- Kale or Other Greens to Serve
- Preheat your oven to 160°C (Fan)/180°C (non-Fan).
- In the oven tray, scatter the onion, carrot and garlic cloves. Add the brown sugar, 2 tsp of paprika, the cayenne and season well with salt and pepper, then glug over some vegetable oil. Mix together, either with your hands or a spoon, until everything is well combined and the veggies are fully coated in spices and oil.
- Place the tray in the centre of the hot oven for 30 mins, taking out at 15 mins to stir.
- In the meantime, place your rinsed lentils in a saucepan and add all of your veg stock. Turn the heat onto medium and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 mins.
- When most of the liquid has been absorbed by the lentils, pour in the coconut milk and the final 1 tsp of paprika and cook for an additional 5 mins. If the mixture looks a bit over-saturated at this point don’t worry, it’ll be going into the oven where any excess moisture will evaporate off. Season with salt and pepper.
- Returning to the veggies, remove the tray from the oven and add the tomato paste to the mix, stirring until everything is coated. Pour over the lentil mix and incorporate into the vegetables, then return the bake to the oven for an additional 25 mins.
- Remove from the oven. The tray-bake should have a lightly crisp top, and should be soft and almost cake-like in the middle.
- Serve with a side of your favourite greens, and enjoy!
This makes around 3-4 servings, and stores very well in the fridge/freezer as leftovers.