Friday, February 1, 2013

Frugal Foodie Friday - Lentil and Vegetable Stew

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is a recipe that I originally tested as a possible contender for a spot in our SNAP challenge menus. Unfortunately, our participation in the challenge ended before I had the opportunity to share all those recipes with you. Some of them were quite good, so I thought I'd take the occasional odd Friday to feature the best of them here on One Perfect Bite. While lentils are not to everyone's taste, they are very filling and when combined with rice they form a complete and inexpensive protein. Each time I work with them, I find myself wishing they had greater eye appeal, so, I try to mask their drab appearance with brightly colored vegetables. It helps a bit. I've made very few changes to the original recipe, which came from Taste of Home magazine, but I have changed the length of time some of the vegetables cook. I've added the spinach near the end of the cooking time in order to keep it green and lovely. Twenty minutes in the pot will turn it black and black spinach will not help improve the appearance of the brown lentils. I learned that one the hard way, as you can tell from tonight's photo. This is a very easy dish to prepare and you can have it on the table in 45 minutes or less. If you share your kitchen with a committed carnivore, as I do, add a bit of smoked sausage to his portion and I think you'll both be happy. This simple and inexpensive dish is very, very nice and I do hope you will give it a try. Here's the recipe.

Lentil and Vegetable Stew...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Alice McEachern and Taste of Home magazine

1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic, minced
5 cups water
1 cup lentils, rinsed
4 teaspoons vegetable or chicken bouillon granules
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cup chopped carrots
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 to 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
3 cups cooked brown or white rice

1) In a large saucepan, heat oil and saute onion until tender. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add water, lentils, bouillon, Worcestershire sauce, salt, thyme, pepper and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.lentil
2) Add carrots and tomatoes and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add spinach and continue cooking five minutes longer, or until lentils are tender. Stir in vinegar and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve over white or brown rice. Yield: 6 servings.

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Katarina said...

I like lentil stews a lot! Hope you have a great day!

Coleens Recipes said...

This looks delicious!!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

It ma be the ugly duckling of soups but it is tasty and good for you, two coveted attributes in my books.

pam said...

As a committed carnivore I would probably add a bit of the sausage :)

Unknown said...

Mary, you are probably one of the few people that could get me to crave a vegetable stew :)

Kim said...

Love a great vegetarian recipe like this one!

SkinnyMommy said...

I think it looks great. I have lentil soup on the menu myself ;)

Cranberry Morning said...

Thank you, Mary. This looks delicious! A great recipe to add to my collection. And lentils are full of soluble fibre, something most of us fall short of.

KarenAZ said...

My kids love lentils. lentils freeze great as well, a double batch of soup may be in my future.

Anonymous said...

Aren't lentils the perfect food! delicious, so healthy and can be made into a wonderful stew such as this :)
Mary x

Ginny Hartzler said...

This does look really good. Guess I told you about my one early marriage lentil disaster. To this day I have no clue...I STILL think it was Phil's taste buds!

Choc Chip Uru @ Go Bake Yourself said...

I am not big on lentils but I LOVE your dish :D


teresa said...

i really need to incorporate more lentils into my diet. this looks so flavorful!

Susan Lindquist said...

Lentils have earned a special spot in our kitchen pantry ... they may be drab in color, but their flavour is phenomenal ... and they adapt well to so many recipes. Cheap and good nutrition! Gotta love it! This is a wonderful stew!

France@beyondthepeel said...

I love a good lentil soup. Thislooks delicious.

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