From Ilene: Lentils were one of Baby V’s favorite first finger foods, and she used to make such a mess trying to pick them up one at a time and get them in her mouth. I’m thankful that her aim is much better now, since this recipe is one of her very favorites. This dish is always a dinner win for us, since Ross loves anything with a “meaty” texture, and he says it reminds him of a plant-powered version of “meat lover’s” pizza. I think everyone in your family will love it, too.
Total time: 50 minutes Active time: 10 minutes Makes: 4 servings
4 medium zucchini
1 cup tomato sauce, plus extra for drizzling
1 cup cooked lentils
1 cup diced cremini mushrooms
¼ cup diced red onion
¼ cup sliced black olives
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh basil (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. To prepare the zucchini, slice off the ends, then slice each zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds, and slice a little off the bottom of each zucchini “shell” so it will lie flat. Place the zucchini shells on the baking sheet.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the tomato sauce, lentils, mushrooms, onion, and olives. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into the hollowed-out part of each zucchini half. Drizzle the olive oil on top of everything.
4. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake for another 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
5. To serve, garnish with the fresh basil (if using) and an extra drizzle of tomato sauce on top.