Hearty Lentil Stew

Hearty Lentil Stew

When I’m only feeding myself and Julian, usually lunch time, I like to eat vegetarian, mostly to save money and to use up all those WIC lentils. This recipe comes from “Simply in Season” by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert and it’s my favorite non-Indian way to eat lentils. Unlike other dried beans, lentils can be cooked without soaking like rice.

Hearty Lentil Stew

P. 299, serves 6

4 cups  water

1 cup dried lentils

1 cup fresh or canned tomatoes

4 large carrots

2 onions (or more)

1 tsp dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

2 tbsp dry sherry (optional)

Cook together until lentils and carrots are soft, 40-45 minutes.

1/4 cup of fresh parsley

2-3 tsp salt

Heat another minute and serve. Can be topped with cheese. Freezes well.

I don’t usually have sherry, so I’ve never tried it that way, but don’t skip the fresh parsley! If you grow one herb, it should be parsley! It’s essential in this recipe and dried doesn’t compare!

Speaking of parsley mine is enjoying the cooler fall weather, and I think I will harvest some more this week. I like to freeze it. First I wash it and chop it up in my little mini-food processor, then I line a pan with wax paper and sprinkle the parsley over it and set it in the freezer over night. The next morning I crumble it into a zip lock bag and it’s almost just as “sprinkle-able” as dried herbs, but much tastier. I’m going to try drying some in my kitchen to make a comparison, by putting it inside a paper lunch bag first. Direct sunlight can break down the essential oils, so it’s better to keep it dark.  One day I will convert the top of the coat closet for drying herbs, but for now a paper bag will do.

Thriving Neglected Parsley

Thriving Neglected Parsley

Today I made an extra-large batch of Hearty Lentil Stew by increasing it by half. I used lentils from WIC (Wal-Mart, unfortunately), tap water, frozen carrots from Angel Food Ministries (AFM), two frozen organic tomatoes from the Provident Farms CSA, herbs from another grocery store, and parsley from my garden.  Not high on the local or organic scale, but very healthy and vegetarian. I’ve also added tofu to this to up the protein for my husband, and it turned out well. It’s a little organic, a little local, a little home-grown, a little from the store, and a little from AFM.  Even Julian likes it, I won’t have to cook my self lunch all week, and I’ll freeze a quart for a quick weekend meal.

Enjoy!

Liz

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