I try my best to eat healthy, and that includes eating vegan at least once a week. I’ll admit, it took some getting used to, but now I actually look forward to it.
So yesterday I decided to make a big pot of lentil stew. I ended up with enough for my partner and I to have dinner, provide some to my in-laws, and still have enough to store in the freezer. Efficient AND healthy.
So here’s what I did: First, I made a batch of vegetable broth using the scraps I keep in the freezer (carrot, onion, celery, bell pepper, mushroom stems, salt, bay leaf, and pepper kernals). That took about two hours and turned out fantastic.
After that was done, I chopped up some fresh carrot, celery, onion, and red bell pepper (the scraps helped to refill the freezer bag for next time) and sautéed them in a pot with some olive oil. A little salt and pepper helped to soften and season them.
While that was cooking, I picked through and washed 16 ounces of brown lentils. Super cheap at the grocery store. I think I paid a dollar for bag. Luckily, not much debris to speak of. Just one tiny pebble.
Once the veggies were glistening and the onion was looking opaque, I added the lentils and the stock, along with a can of diced tomatoes, a little more salt and pepper, garlic powder, yellow curry powder, a bay leaf, and a bit of thyme. After that, I brought it up to a boil, put the lid on, then dropped the heat to low. I let it cook for about 30 minutes.
So a meat-free dish, ridiculously healthy, and probably cost less than eight dollars (US) to make. If you’re interested in giving it a try, here’s the recipe:
3 large carrots, cleaned and chopped
3 ribs celery, cleaned and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic (I was out, so I added garlic powder)
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
6 – 8 cups of vegetable broth
16 oz lentils, cleaned and picked through
Seasoning – salt, pepper, thyme, garlic powder (if no garlic), curry powder, etc.
Sauté the veggies in oil until softened. Add the lentils, broth, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for about thirty minutes.
One final note: You can make this with meat if that’s your preference. I’ve previously made this with smoked sausage, turkey sausage, and kielbasa (because why not?).
And there you have it! If you do try this, please let me know how it turns out.