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Last week, Rikki over at The Bookkeeper, shared a recipe for Lentil-Vegetable Pie. I loved the sound of the ingredients but because we had omelets for breakfast, I didn't want to use eggs again for dinner, which were required to make the casserole.
So instead I kind of stole the idea and turned the recipe into a Lentil-Vegetable stew. Following Rikki's ingredient list, I used celery, parsnips, 1 white potato, 1 sweet potato, and carrots for my root vegetables. I left out the tomatoes and added a red bell pepper and common white mushrooms. I kept the wine and tomato paste. For seasonings I started with thyme, pepper, lots of garlic, and 2 tablespoons powdered organic vegetarian broth.
I started by washing a pound of green lentils and placing them in a soup pot, along with enough water to cover them by about an inch. I put the pot over medium high heat, and then chopped the veggies, adding them to lentils as I went. I began with the vegetables that take the longest to cook, and held off adding the mushrooms right away.
I let the stew simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the lentils began to soften. Then I stirred in the powdered broth, a bit of wine, a squeeze of tomato paste, pepper, and thyme. I believe I added other spices (I almost always add a few drops of hot sauce or hot red pepper flakes), but failed to keep accurate notes.
After another 5 minutes or so, I stirred in the mushrooms. That's when I decided I wanted some greens, so I added one box of chopped frozen spinach (which I partially thawed in the microwave before I added it to the pot). I let the stew simmer until the spinach was heated through and the lentils were cooked but not mushy.
One of the great things about lentils is that I went from raw vegetables to sit-down dinner in under an hour. Stir the stew every once in a while and watch the liquid level; you don't want it to get too dry. I was happy to discover an easy, delicious, and nutritious dinner.
Thanks to Rikki for the inspiration. I had enough stew for two dinners with some left over to freeze.