Thursday, September 10, 2009

Versatile Lentil Stew

One-pot recipes make my life a lot easier on weeknights, especially when the ingredients called for are easy to swap with ones I have on hand. That’s why I’ve been making various versions of lentil-spinach stew from Better Homes And Garden Vegetarian Recipes cookbook. Here is the recipe:

1 cup dry lentils
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp cooking oil
4 cups water
7 ½ -oz can chopped tomatoes
4 tsp chicken or vegetable bouillon granules
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp salt
½ tsp dried thyme
14/ tsp fennel seed, crushed
¼ tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach
1 tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar

Rinse lentils; set aside. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven cook onion and garlic in hot oil until tender but not brown. Stir in the lentils, water, tomatoes, bouillon granules, Worcestershire sauce, salt, thyme, fennel seed, pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add carrots and frozen spinach. Bring to a boil, breaking up spinach with a fork; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes more or until lentils are tender. Stir in vinegar. Discard bay leaf. To serve, ladle stew into individual bowls. Makes 4 servings.

Lately, I’ve been swapping the carrots, onion, canned tomatoes and spinach the recipe calls for with whatever is ready to be picked from my garden, such as green beans, mustard greens, green bell peppers and tomatoes. Plus, this is even easier to make in the crock pot—just put everything in the pot and cook on high for four hours.
Yeah, this recipe definitely makes my life easier at dinnertime. Now if I could just get my kids to eat it.


LceeL said...

STOOOOOOOOP! It's not even lunch time yet and now I'm hungry.

Talon said...

That sounds sooo good! With the cold weather just around the corner, I'm always looking for good soup and stew recipes. Thanks for sharing this one. I love when you can adjust a recipe according to what's on hand in the pantry.

Oh, and don't give up on the kids - by the time they're in their 20's they'll be open to all sorts of stuff they once turned their noses up at - lol~!

Lynn said...

I love a good stew recipe! Thanks Cathy!

a corgi said...

sounds delicious! and I like that you can get so many of the ingredients from your own garden :)

I can see why the kids wouldn't like it, but I'm sure you and hubby enjoy it :)


MaryAnn Ashley said...

Lentil brownies

jabblog said...

Sounds great - we eat a lot of pulses! Keep on keeping on with the boys - they won't willingly starve!

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

Sounds savory and delicious! That last line made me laugh, because I am in the same boat with my two boys!

Maggie`s Mind said...

Mmm, sounds so good. How awesome that it`s versatile enough to trade out whatever veggies you have from your garden. I would love to have a garden some day and to do just that. Send me whatever your kids won`t eat, and I`ll be glad to help finish it. ;)

Cookie said...

That looks so good! I'm jealous, we didn't get much from our garden this year. Just a few tomatoes and summer is already over here :(

Destiny's child... said...

Sounds yum enough to me. I am sure your boys will love it! :)

Calico Crazy said...

This sounds really good, and it shouldn't be too difficult to reduce the sodium content for my mother. We love soups here, but store bought are definitely out of the question.

Calico Contemplations