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Vegan stuffed grape leaves | Dolmades | Sarmi

Vegan stuffed grape leaves | Dolmades | Sarmi

Traditional stuffed grape leaves with rice and veggies Stuffed grape leaves are a traditional recipe in Eastern cuisine. Called dolmades in Greek or sarmi in Bulgarian cuisine, this dish is originally vegan.  In Bulgaria, stuffed grape leaves or sarmi is always served on Christmas Eve.…

Sweet potato filo pie

Sweet potato filo pie

A delicious and easy vegan sweet potato filo pie with apples, nuts and dried fruit You’re probably wondering what exactly filo pie is. Also, why is this recipe on a blog specifically for cheap and easy recipes? A quick Wikipedia check-up tells us: Filo or…

Vegan lentil moussaka – gluten free

Vegan lentil moussaka – gluten free

My easy recipe for vegan lentil moussaka – healthy and gluten-free!

Also check out my Hearty winter red lentil stew – vegan

Moussaka is a popular main dish in Eastern Europe. There are many variations, depending on the country, but the base is always potatoes and minced meat. Bulgarian classic moussaka includes tomato sauce or chopped tomatoes, while the Greek version has eggplant in it.

Regardless of the specific recipe you may have tried, the moussaka is a filling dish, great for a big family. Luckily for us, it is very easy to veganize

ready vegan moussaka platter 2

My vegan lentil moussaka is healthy, hearty and filling. It’s a great main course and can feed a crowd with no problem. Meat eaters will also enjoy it – tried and confirmed!

Typically, you would see this dish prepared with a heavy topping of bechamel sauce or some cheesy mixture. My recipe today is for a topping-free vegan lentil moussaka. It’s easier to make and a bit lighter on the stomach. However, there are great variations that include vegan topping. One such recipe is Elavegan’s vegan moussaka with lentils and auberginesGo check it out, it looks amazing!

ready vegan moussaka

Ingredients

  • 5-6 medium sized potatoes, peeled
  • Cup of white mushrooms (around 200-300 g)
  • Half a cup of red lentil, dry
  • 1 medium sized zucchini
  • Can of chopped tomatoes
  • Handful of walnuts
  • 1 medium white or red onion
  • Spices: salt, paprika, cumin, salt to taste

Preparation

My vegan lentil moussaka is a 2-step dish. You will need a wok pan to prepare the stuffing and an oven pan to bake the dish. A rectangular oven pan is preferred for aesthetic reasons, but I had an oval one at hand.

before baking vegan moussaka

Start by very finely chopping the onion, walnuts and mushrooms. You can use a blender for a very fine result, like me. Heat your pan and add oil of choice (optional). Add the chopped ingredients and sautee over medium heat for about 10 minutes. At this point your filling will have a creamy texture, similar to ground beef. 

moussaka filling before red lentil

Add your spices and half cup of red lentil. After 1 minute, add 1 1/2 cups of water and broil over medium heat for 15 more minutes until the red lentil soaks up the water and your filling has now uniform texture.

ready vegan moussaka filling

Your filling is now ready. Chop the potatoes and zucchini in small cubes and add the filling. Pour in your oven pan and bake in pre-heated oven at 390° F/200° C until golden brown. It should take around 25 minutes or so.

The vegan lentil moussaka is ready! Serve hot with a spoonful of vegan yogurt or hummus dip and freshly baked bread.

Did you make this recipe? Show me your photos in the comments below or share with your friends!

My 30 minute red lentil bolognese sauce

My 30 minute red lentil bolognese sauce

My quick and easy recipe for red lentil bolognese sauce – ideal for pasta! Before going vegan, my favorite pasta sauce was bolognese. The thick tomato-based sauce is the go-to choice of many people. The great news is that it can be veganized very easily…

Clean out the fridge vegetable soup

Clean out the fridge vegetable soup

Easy clean out the fridge vegetable soup – when you don’t want to waste leftover veggies Often when I go to the market, I buy a lot of veggies that I don’t use later. It’s happened to you too, right? I know it has. To…

Hearty winter red lentil stew – vegan

Hearty winter red lentil stew – vegan

Delicious winter red lentil stew – step by step guide with photos

It’s getting colder with each day and winter is here. We’re looking forward to the holiday season. This weather, this time of the year gets me in the mood for warm, hearty food. Yes, cinnamon and cookies too, but also hot stews and soups. Warming, easy food for comfy days.

Country bean soup + my secret ingredient

I am in the mood to cuddle with my cats and just relax on the couch with a warm bowl in hand. So, naturally, I got wandering – what are we having for dinner today? I checked my pantry – you know me, all for quick, easy and affordable recipes. So, here I am and a jar of dried red lentils before me. There it is!

My decision – I am making a hearty, winter red lentil stew to warm me up in this cold day. Let’s make it together with this step by step guide!

 

winter red lentil stew needed ingredients 2

 

Ingredients

The ingredients are simple and available everywhere:

  • 2 roasted red peppers
  • 1 cup of dry red lentil
  • 1/2 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 big red onion
  • salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary

Vegan green lentil stew with mushrooms and broccoli

Preparation

I start by chopping the onion finely and sauteeing for 5 minutes in a large wok pan. Meanwhile I chop the roasted red peppers and fiter the water for cooking.

Then I add the chopped red pepper and the can of chopped tomatoes and sautee for 5 more minutes.

winter red lentil stew sauteeing veggies 2

I leave it on medium heat for another 5-10 minutes. This is when I also add the spices and mix it alltogether. In my experience, sauteeing in a bit of oil releases the aromas in the food. 

After I’m happy with the sauteed onions, peppers and tomatoes, I add the red lentil and also sautee it for a couple of minutes.

winter red lentil stew sauteeing lentil and veggies

Now it’s time to add some water – about 3 cups of water per 1 cup of red lentil. This will make a hearty, thick winter red lentil stew. I like to use filtered water even when I cook so I prepared it while the veggies were sauteeing.

Let it brew on medium to low heat for about 45 minutes or until it thickens to your liking. Red lentil is much quicker to soften and boil through than green lentil, for example.

winter red lentil stew ready 2

Note – I use dry lentil in this recipe. If you use canned, the boiling time will be shorter.

We’re ready! You can serve the stew with potato mash or rice with veggies. It’s also great on its own.


Did you make this recipe? Show me your photos in the comments below or share with your friends!

4 ingredient rainbow ratatouille

4 ingredient rainbow ratatouille

Easy 4 ingredient rainbow ratatouille – vegan and gluten-free Also check out my recipe for not soggy veggie pizza We’ve all seen the heart-warming animated movie Ratatouille about an unusual wanna-be French chef. The dish ratatouille gained real world-wide popularity after that.  To be honest, I’ve…

Balkan style green beans and potato stew

Balkan style green beans and potato stew

Easy recipe for green beans and potato stew. Balkan-style, one-pot dish. The recipe for this stew is adapted from what I remember having for dinner in my childhood. You can find it all over the web – this typical dish for the Balkan region is…

Not soggy veggie pizza

Not soggy veggie pizza

Easy trick to make a not soggy veggie pizza at home!

Veggie pizza is the go-to food for every vegan. When starting out, many new vegans find out just how easy and delicious it is to make a veggie pizza. Lots of people love it and there are so many ways to make one! You don’t even need to be vegan to love it.

Often I hear from people that putting more than 1-2 kinds of veggies on a pizza makes the dough soggy. It’s happened to me too. The raw veggies release their water when heated and the dough just soaks through. No matter how long you bake it – it’s left soggy and unpleasant.

Frozen vegetables curry – vegan and easy

This is why I had to re-make the way I cook my veggie pizza at home to avoid soaky, wet dough. In this recipe I use ready-made dough I buy from the local convenience store. I’m sure it’s vegan because it contains only flour, water and salt. It’s locally made by a small bakery and I’m happy with the quality.

You can also choose to work with home-made dough. If this is what you prefer, the website Vegetarian Times have a super easy dough recipe for beginners. You can check it out here – vegan pizza dough – and let me know in the comment section how it turned out!

sauteed veggie pizza reaady
A slice of my sauteed veggie pizza

Ingredients

  • Two sliced raw red peppers
  • A cup of sliced white mushrooms
  • One red onion, sliced
  • Half a cup of broccoli, separated from the stem
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh basil and oregano
  • Pizza sauce of choice
  • I used 1 packet of ready-made dough

Preparation

The trick to making a not soggy veggie pizza is sauteeing the veggies before putting them on the crust. This is the crucial step I use when I make my pizza. The reason for this is that when the veggies are sauteed beforehand, the water is already released while they are being cooked. This way they don’t soak through the dough when you bake your veggie pizza.

So, start by slicing all veggies you have. I used broccoli, red pepper, mushrooms and onion, but you can experiment with whatever you have in the fridge. Once ready, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a big pan and throw all veggies in. I also seasoned them with fresh basil, oregano and a pinch of salt.

Cook the veggies for around 15 minutes on medium heat. You will notice when all the water is released and evaporates. Once they are dry, you’ll know it’s ready. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to medium temperature – 220 C or 430 F will do.

sauteeing veggies for veggie pizza
Sauteeing veggies for veggie pizza

Grease your baking pan and spread the crust thinly or thickly – however you prefer. Shaping the dough is a difficult task, so you can make it easier by oiling your hands so the dough doesn’t stick. 

Pour your pizza sauce of choice – I used a simple tomato sauce. Spread your cooked veggies and bake the pizza for about 15 minutes. Since the veggies are cooked, your pizza will be ready as soon as the crust is baked.

That’s it – easy-peasy!

Did you make this recipe? Show me your photos in the comments below or share with your friends!

 

Bulgarian chickpea salad

Bulgarian chickpea salad

Appetising, quick and easy Bulgarian chickpea salad If you’re familiar with Bulgarian cuisine, you must have heard of the Shopska salad. It is a traditional Bulgarian salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, pepper and white cheese. It’s available everywhere and it’s very popular for tourists. As…