Not only are low-fat lentils richer in protein than many other legumes, but their slightly smoky flavour makes a great base for this tasty nut roast, packed with colourful vegetables and served with a quick tomato sauce.
Rinse the lentils in a sieve under cold running water. Drain, then tip into a pot. Add the stock and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, then cover and cook for 15 minutes until the lentils are soft and pulpy and the stock has been absorbed. Stir once or twice towards the end of the cooking time to prevent the lentils sticking. Discard the bay leaf.
Meanwhile, put the cashews in a frying pan and toast over a medium heat until lightly browned, stirring often. Cool, then coarsely chop. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line the bottom of a 1.4 litre loaf pan with parchment.
Add the oil to the frying pan and cook the onion over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove half the onion and reserve for the sauce. Add the leeks, pepper, mushrooms and garlic to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Stir in the lemon juice.
Tip the lentils and vegetables into a bowl. Stir in the breadcrumbs, nuts and 2 tablespoons of the parsley, followed by the cheese and egg. Season, then spoon into the loaf pan. Level the top and cover with a piece of lightly oiled foil.
Bake the loaf for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a further 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before carefully turning out and cutting into thick slices.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Put the reserved onion and remaining ingredients in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until slightly reduced. Stir in the remaining parsley before serving with the loaf.
Cook's tips: If you don't have a loaf pan in this size, use an alternative pan with a similar capacity. The mixture should come to a depth of 4-5 cm. The mixture should be warm, not steaming hot when adding the egg. If necessary, allow it to cool for a few minutes.
Per serving: 22.5 g protein, 29.5 g fat of which 8 g saturates, 37 g carbohydrate, 9 g fibre, 545 Calories