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Vegan husband has been so amazing lately that I feel so blessed for having him in my life. He not only has a kind, sweet heart but he also really tries to make me happy. It’s not easy; I’m a tough cookie to please so that just goes to show how good he is at it. He has picked up making dinner one night a week, per my request. Even though we’re married, I never want either of us to lose our own sense of being and independency. So, the man has to know how to cook without burning down the kitchen. Lol.

After going vegan and eating healthy, it has been more difficult to find recipes – at least that is what he tells me. He does a good job though, so there are no complaints here. This last weekend he made me a large casserole perfect for the cold wintry night that it was outside. He chose Vegan Moussaka II by Ethnic Vegan and made it entirely by himself. Me, I tried to take a long hot bath and not direct him in anyway. I think it’s harder for me to stay out of the kitchen than it is for him to cook, but that could just be my personal opinion. This casserole beholds lentils, chickpeas, eggplant and some other ingredients. It’s a basic recipe, even though I won’t tell you it took him about two hours to complete. (Bless his heart!) Strange enough, we thought the recipe was “just okay” but the warmed-up leftovers were amazing! Don’t you love ingredients that really mess their flavors together in the fridge and the next day (or three) the flavor is unbelievably tasty. The charm of this casserole is hard to explain but for some reason it is warm, healthy and the Daiya Cheddar Cheese really made this comparable to the likes of macaroni and cheese (as far as the homey feeling it gives you.) Thanks hubby! I want this again soon.

Original Recipe can be found HereMakes about 6 servings

1/2 cup lentils
2 cups vegetable stock (he used Better than Bouillon)
1 bay leaf
Olive oil
1 large eggplant
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 14-oz can garbanzo beans (we used dry and presoaked ourselves)
1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated soy cheese (we used Daiya Vegan Cheddar Cheese Shreds)
2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped

1. Place lentils, stock, and bay leaf in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. While lentils are cooking, oil an 8″ x 8″ baking pan; set aside. Drain lentils and set aside.

2. Heat 3 Tbs. olive oil in a large saucepan. Slice the eggplant into 3/8-inch slices. Cook the slices until lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Set slices aside.

3. Preheat oven to 350°. In the same saucepan, heat 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add onion and garlic, and sautè for about 5 minutes. Add lentils, mushrooms, garbanzos, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and 1/4 cup water. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper.

4. Place half of the eggplant slices in the baking dish. Spoon half the lentil mixture over the slices. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices and lentil mixture. Bake for 35 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake another 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted and dish is bubbling. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

More Photos and Recipe Here on Recipage.