A tasty, satisfying and healthy vegan meal made with pantry staples
Lockdown Lentil Stew …
I first came across this recipe online many years ago. I am not even sure where I stumbled upon it, but I copied and pasted the recipe and directions into my Notes App on my laptop. Over the years I have made this recipe countless times and each time we enjoy it without fail.
In the times we find ourselves in, I am very aware of having to cook meals with the ingredients that are available to you in your home. It is not always possible or advisable to go to the shops every time you need a different ingredient for a recipe you want to try, if you don’t want to risk possible exposure to the virus that has uprooted our world.
So – this recipe came to mind when I wanted to make something literally with what I had in my pantry and fridge.
I had a surplus of dry split red lentils. I also had onions, garlic, lemons and rice. Serious basics.
The magic is that with those ingredients you can honestly turn out a beautiful, interesting and delicious meal!
I also do believe that lentils, in all their forms are an under-rated food. They are so nutritious and versatile, they should be taking up space in everyone’s food cupboards, vegan or not.
You can also make a few substitutions, if necessary, which I will mention in the notes at the bottom of the recipe.
Without further ado, here is the recipe for a lentil stew that is:
- Super nutritious
- High in protein
- Very budget-friendly
- Quick to make
- Easy to double quantities and freeze
If you don’t have red lentils in your pantry, but find yourself with chickpeas, tinned or dry, try this easy chickpea curry recipe.
No chickpeas or lentils? If you have split peas here is an easy pea soup recipe for you to try!
Four Corners Lentil StewCourse: MainsDifficulty: Easy
A quick, easy, cheap and tasty lentil stew made with pantry staples.
Lockdown Lentil Stew!
A glug of oil, or water if oil-free, to fry
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs minced/grated fresh ginger
1 Tbs ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 large tomatoes, chopped, or 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 lemon, washed and sliced into rounds
700 ml vegetable stock
185g split red lentils, picked over and rinsed
Chopped coriander, fresh parsley or spring onions to garnish, if you have
- Sesame Rice
2 cups white rice
Big pinch salt
35g sesame seeds
- Cook the rice in salted water according to instructions on the bag. I usually use my microwave as it is easier.
- While the rice is cooking, start on the stew.
If you are using oil, heat the oil in a large pot on the stove, otherwise add a splash of water to the pot and add the chopped onion and salt.
Cook for about 5 mins until softened.
- Add the garlic, ginger, cumin and cayenne pepper and cook for another minute until it becomes fragrant.
- Stir in the tomatoes, 3 slices of lemon, the stock, and the rinsed lentils.
- Bring to a simmer and cook on a low heat, covered, for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
- While the stew is cooking, preheat the oven to 180C. Spread the sesame seeds on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5-10 minutes until golden. Be careful and keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly.
- Once the rice is cooked, fold the toasted sesame seeds into the rice.
- Serve the lentil stew with the sesame rice and additional lemon slices to squeeze over, as well as the garnish, if you have.
- This recipe is slightly adapted from the original recipe which is from a book called The Kinfolk Table, by Nathan Williams. I’m not sure where I originally found it online.
- The onions can be replaced with thinly sliced leeks.
- If you don’t have fresh ginger and can’t get any, I’m quite sure it would still taste good if you substituted ground ginger. I haven’t done this personally, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work out okay, albeit the flavour won’t be quite as ‘fresh’.
- If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, a tin of tomatoes can be used instead.
- If you don’t have sesame seeds, just enjoy the stew with plain rice, although when you do get hold of sesame seeds again I can highly recommend them. They add a toasty, nutty flavour dimension which I really like.