Friday, August 26, 2011

Almost Vegetarian Lentil Stew

Since my nest is located in the upcoming path of the lovely Miss Irene, Mama Bird and I took a trip to our local grocery store at 10:30pm today. I expected the store to be completely crowded with nothing left on the shelves, and she thought I was being silly and that there'd still be plenty of everything and no one there.

It wasn't nearly as packed as I thought, but the almost complete lack of bottled water was not surprising. I don't think it's going to be as bad as we're preparing for, but owning another 32 bottles of water can't be a bad thing as long as we make sure to recycle! Mama Bird and I then spent a ridiculous amount of money on groceries. It wasn't because we were trying to stock up, it was because I had a long list of make-ahead meals I wanted to try. I intend to spend at least a few hours tomorrow making my own freezer burritos, and I want to try to recreate my own version of Amy's pizza pockets, which I was in love with all through high school and college. If I could make my own, I would be able to die happy. As long as I could eat them first. I also want to make my own granola in a slow cooker, because everything is better that way.

So tomorrow is going to be quite a day for cooking, hopefully. I must be stressed.

But today I'll be sharing a lentil stew that confuses me every time I eat it. It's delicious. It may be too spicy if you're me and just start tossing peppers in without thinking about it. But no matter what you do, if you don't eat this with bread or rice, then I just don't think it's very filling. Note the calorie count.

It's a very easily modifiable recipe. You don't want it to be spicy? Don't put in as many peppers- heck, don't put in any! You don't have celery, but wow you have a bunch of carrots? Not really an issue. It's a vegetable lentil soup. It won't judge you, you can do what you want.

And even better, if you want to make it vegetarian, just switch out the chicken broth. Instantly vegetarian! And the only thing you'll miss out on is that delicious chicken flavor.

Recipe modified from Red Chillies.
(Makes 6 servings, with 75 calories and $1.18 per serving)

  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 potato
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 3 serrano peppers
    1. Heat 3 cups of water in pot, and put lentils it.
    2. Bring to boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
    3. Set aside, but do not drain.
    4. Heat a little oil, and saute garlic and bay leaves.
    5. Add onion and mix until lightly cooked.
    6. Add ginger, celery, carrots, potato, and spinach.
    7. Cook until slightly less firm.
    8. Add broth, spices, and peppers.
    9. Simmer for 40 minutes.

    Today's lessons learned:
    • Different peppers have different levels of spice!
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