Ohhh yes, this just in! Potato Lentil Tomato Bake is everything that you could have dreamed of and more! A delicious, healthy, and satisfying meal, all-in-one! Flavorful lentils, sandwiched between yummy layers of potato and tomato. A fabulous Whole Food Plant Based recipe. Vegan, Oil free, sugar free, no highly processed ingredients.
Hi! Robin here.
Have you ever made a dish so profoundly delicious that you surprised even yourself? That, in a nutshell, is how I would describe this dish. It was soooo gosh darn tasty! TP went crazy over it. Let me tell you the story behind this dish.
Philip, Cook Extraordinaire
As most of you know by now, Michael is Lebanese. Michael’s father, Philip, is an excellent cook. He works hard in his kitchen every day cooking up a storm for his grandchildren. He loves to cook and bake. He comes from a long line of Lebanese cooks who are very well known in their mountain region in Lebanon for their culinary skills. He takes great pride in creating amazingly delicious food for his family.
Philip lives six months in Lebanon and six months in the USA. Before he heads back to Lebanon, he likes to cook some dishes for his family to freeze and eat later while he is gone. There is one dish that Michael absolutely loves called “Baked Kefta.” However, this specific dish is similar to a lasagna with potatoes on the bottom covered in tomato sauce or juice, then a layer of spiced meat, topped with tomatoes, then baked.
Our twist on a Lebanese Classic
We were thinking of new ways to get Michael to try our Whole Food Plant Based food by disguising it to look like something he was familiar with, so I came up with this recipe. It was inspired by the Lebanese dish, but I transformed it into a beautiful Whole Food Plant Based dish that turned out amazing!
TP109 flipped out!
TP was pacing the kitchen when I put this baby in the oven. He told me that he just “knew in his heart that this dish was going to be amazing.” LOL. I am not sure if he really meant it because he was hungry and wanted to eat it right away before it got photographed, or he just knew that it would be that good. He was right, it was THAT good!
Use a large 10 x 13 x 3 inch baking dish or similar lasagna pan. Place some of the tomato juice on the bottom of the pan. Then place the thick-sliced potatoes in the pan. You want to cut some of the thick -sliced potatoes in half or thirds to fill in the gaps, kind of like a jig-saw puzzle. Sprinkle the potato layer with some sea salt.
Place the remaining tomato juice on top of the potatoes and sprinkle with some flat leaf parsley.
Next, gently place the lentil-paste mixture on top of the potatoes/tomato juice/parsley layer. You want to place dollops of the lentil-paste mixture in 8 large spoonfuls across the top in different sections of the dish. This is so it is easier to spread the lentil-paste without mixing the tomato juice into the lentil-paste layer.
Once you have all the lentil-paste mixture in the pan, gently spread the lentil-paste mixture to even it out across the top, moving it to cover the entire baking dish.
Note: Make sure you cover the entire dish all the way to the edges without leaving any gaps or holes. This helps seal in the potatoes to ensure even baking and tenderness. Sprinkle the lentil mixture with 2 Tablespoons of freshly cut flat leaf parsley.
Cut the tomatoes into 3/8 inch slices. Then place them across the top of the dish. Sprinkle the tomatoes with a tiny bit of sea salt, then sprinkle the entire top of the dish with 2 Tablespoon of freshly cut flat leaf parsley.
TP literally couldn’t wait until we finished photographing this dish. We were barely able to snap some pictures and he was hounding us for a helping. Then, before we knew it, he was back for another piece, as you can see in the photo, he was making a dent in our dish!
The big question: Did Michael try it?
I will let Monkey tell you the story on this. LOL
This dish was absolutely delicious. I loved it. It was so good. Mom outdid herself on this one.
When I told Michael that we made baked kefta, he was so excited, but then I couldn’t lie to him. I told him it was Whole Food Plant Based “baked kefta”. His face fell, and he was so disappointed. I felt so bad to have gotten his hopes up, but I promised him that the WFPB version would be amazing. Unfortunately, he didn’t try it. *heavy sigh* I refuse to give up. One of these days he is going to eat ALL healthy meals!!!
- Ceramic/enamel lined Dutch oven or other large kitchen stock pot.
- Immersion blender
- 10 x 13 x 3 baking dish or similarly large baking dish
Potato Lentil Tomato Bake is everything that you could have dreamed of and more! A delicious, healthy, and satisfying meal, all-in-one! Flavorful lentils, sandwiched between yummy layers of potato and tomato. A fabulous Whole Food Plant Based recipe. Vegan, Oil free, sugar free, no highly processed ingredients.
- 2 medium yellow onions, fine dice
- 1 celery rib, fine dice
- 1 carrot, fine dice
- 2 cups uncooked brown lentils *
- 5 cups water (or broth)
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth*
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
Lentil Herb/Spice Ingredients:
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 2 Tablespoons dried minced onions
- 1 1/2 to 2 ½ teaspoons sea salt (+/- ) *
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper (+/-)
Other Essential Ingredients:
- 8 – 10 Russet potatoes (enough to line a 10 x 13 x 3 baking dish), sliced 3/4 inch thickness
- Sea salt (+/- to taste)
- 1 – 1¼ cup tomato juice (divided), possibly more depending on the size of the dish – see Notes
- 6 Tablespoons flat leaf parsley (fresh), chopped and divided
- 5 medium tomatoes, thick slices, approx. 3/8 inch thickness
- In a large ceramic/enamel-lined Dutch oven or similar stock pot, add the finely minced vegetables (onions, carrots, and celery) and sauté until they begin to soften, approx. 4 to 5 minutes. If needed to prevent sticking, add 1- 2 Tablespoons of vegetable broth or water.
- Add in all the remaining Lentil Ingredients (including the Lentil Herb/Spice Ingredients), and cook for 30 to 40 minutes until lentils are soft. The liquid should be pretty much absorbed into the lentils.
- In the meantime, peel 8 to 10 Russet potatoes, then cut into thick 3/4 inch thick slices. Place the potato slices in a bowl of cold water until you are ready to assemble the Potato-Lentil-Tomato Bake.
- In the meantime, start checking the tenderness of the lentils around the 30 minutes. We have found that it typically takes about 40 minutes for the lentils to get tender. Once the lentils are soft and the liquid is pretty much absorbed, remove the lentil mixture from the stove, using an immersion blender, blend the lentils until a paste forms. You are looking for a paste-like mixture with some elements of the lentils still visible, forming a very thick paste. If your lentil mixture is not thick, then place it back on the stove to evaporate more of the liquids. (You want the lentil mixture consistency to be similar to tomato paste or mashed potatoes, but less thick than tomato paste as you need to spread it easily when layering the dish – keep that in mind) when using the emersion blender except do not break down all the lentils into a paste, leave some partially visible. If unsure, it is always better to blend more than less).
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Create the layered dish: Take 3/4 cup of the tomato juice and line the bottom of a 10 x 13 x 3 inch baking dish. (you may need to add more to cover the bottom of your baking dish).
- Then remove and thoroughly drain the water from the thick-sliced potatoes. Place the potato slices on top of the tomato juice in an organized fashion with the cut side up/down. Cut additional potatoes to fill in gaps like a jig-saw-puzzle. (You may have left over potato ends that you can boil and use later as a snack.) Lightly sprinkle/season the potato layer with some sea salt.
- Place the remaining ½ cup (or more if needed) of tomato juice on top of the potatoes. (Again, reference the picture so you get an idea. You want them just barely covered in tomato juice, but not swimming).
- Then sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of freshly cut flat leaf parsley.
- Next, gently place the lentil-paste mixture on top of the potatoes/tomato juice/parsley layer. You want to place dollops of the lentil-paste mixture in 8 large spoonfuls across the top in different sections of the dish. This is so it is easier to spread the lentil-paste without mixing the tomato juice into the lentil-paste layer.
- Once you have all the lentil-paste mixture in the pan, gently spread the lentil-paste mixture to even it out across the top, moving it to cover the entire baking dish. Note: Make sure you cover the entire dish all the way to the edges without leaving any gaps or holes. This helps seal in the potatoes to ensure even baking and tenderness.
- Sprinkle the lentil mixture with 2 Tablespoons of freshly cut flat leaf parsley.
- Cut the tomatoes into 3/8 inch slices. Then place them across the top of the dish. (Note: You may have left over ends that you can cut up and place into a salad for later).
- Lightly sprinkle/season the tomatoes with a tiny bit of sea salt.
- Sprinkle the entire top of the dish with 2 Tablespoon of freshly cut flat leaf parsley.
- Cover tightly with foil or place a baking sheet over top to lock in the heat.
- Place the covered Potato-Lentil-Tomato Bake into the oven and bake at 350 F for 45 minutes.
- Increase the oven temperature to 400 F. Remove the foil and immediately bake for 15 minutes uncovered (the oven temperate does not have to reach 400 F – remove the foil and place immediately back in the oven). Note: The tomatoes will release a lot of water while baking. This is fine. When you place the dish back into the oven, most the juice will be evaporated and absorbed back into the dish, and will continue to absorb after you remove it from the oven so don’t worry if you still have some water sitting on top of your dish. It will get absorbed while resting on the counter. This will ensure a moist and tender dish when served.
- Test the potatoes for tenderness. Simple slide a knife into the dish, make sure you hit a potato. If the knife slides into the potato very easily, then the dish is done.
- Remove from the oven – allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes to settle before serving.
*Tomato Juice: Reference the photos, the tomato juice should just cover the potatoes. You may need slightly more than one cup (or less, largely dependent upon the size of the pan you are using).
*Small Brown Lentils (Pardina/Spanish Brown): We used Palouse Brand Small Brown Lentils. We love their nutty flavor. They are exceptionally tasty lentils. You can substitute any type of lentil for the brown lentil (other than red); however, you may need to adjust the cooking time. Small brown lentils typically cook a little faster than green lentils. We have found that the Small Brown Lentil works beautifully with this recipe.
*Vegetable Stock: We use Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary restrictions.
Storage: Cool to warm, place in glass/plastic storage and refrigerate. Freezes well.