We are on a somewhat tight budget at the moment being on unpaid maternity leave. I love a good budget meal!!!
Here I have created a Chicken, Red Lentil and Veggie Sauce that was enough for two separate meals using just one large size chicken breast.
The flavours in this are fantastic if left to develop overnight once cooked.
I cook the sauce with chicken breast chunks and let the tmx shred it down. I like the slightly shredded but slightly chunky style chicken in this sauce.
You can add more lentils and liquid to make more if desired however I find the lentil texture can then be too overpowering and takes away from the flavour and other textures.
It’s starts as a sauce and can be used many ways. Here I have used 2/3 of the sauce as a pasta sauce one night served on pasta alongside my garlic bread balls. If you are wanting to stretch it further, add additional vegetables to it in the last 8 minutes such as frozen corn and peas. Or serve alongside steamed vegetables or salad.
Sometimes I find it stretches further by doing a lasagna style dish – a very thin layer of the chicken mixture in an ovenproof dish, top with some cooked spiral pasta, chicken mixture, cooked spiral pasta, chicken mixture then topped with a serve of bechemal sauce from the EDC and a little cheese then bake at 180 degrees until golden. I find this to be far more filling served along with a salad or steamed vegetables and a garlic bread of some sort.
After using 2/3 of the mixture for the pasta sauce I had some left over which I turned into pies.
A third of the below recipe is enough for 8 pie maker sized pies. I spoon 1/8 of the mixture into each pie (I use store bought puff pastry) and cook for 8 minutes in my pie maker. It will vary depending on your pie machine. If you don’t have a pie maker, use a large muffin tin or make a family sized pie.
Again you can use additional vegetables or legumes to bulk it out if you need more than 8 pies. A tin of chickpeas or kidney beans are a great addition.