Tag Archives: lentils

crock pot chickpea, butternut squash + red lentil stew

Aside from dumping some velveeta + salsa in a crock pot to keep cheese dip warm, I’ve never used a crock pot. I loved the idea of a crock pot though: dump a bunch of stuff in it and your dinner will be ready when you get home from work. Who wouldn’t?

When I saw a vegan crock pot chickpea, butternut squash + red lentil stew recipe on Eat Live Run I knew it would be my first crock pot try. I, of course, modified the recipe because I just can’t follow directions 100%.

Crock pot chickpea, butternut squash + red lentil stew
(adapted from Eat Live Run)

Ingredients
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tsp olive or canola oil
1 large carrot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno, one seeded and minced, one with the seeds/ribs left in and minced
2 tsp garam masala
1 full or 1/2* of a butternut squash (about 3 lbs–avg sized), peeled and cubed
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes in tomato juice
1 quart (one full box) vegetable broth
1.25 cup red lentils
1 15-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
fresh minced cilantro for serving

*feel free to use a full butternut squash. i used half as they are very sweet and i wanted to try roasting the other half the next day.

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot and jalapenos and saute for about six minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute for 30 more seconds, and then add the garam masala, stirring well to coat. Take off heat.

2. Place the chickpeas, butternut squash, canned diced tomatoes, red lentils, vegetable broth and onion mixture in your slow cooker. Turn the heat on LOW and cook for 8-10 hours…the longer you cook, the thicker your stew will be.

don’t be afraid to fill the crock pot up to the tippy top. everything cooks down, and it won’t boil over.

3. Top with cilantro and chopped onion (if you want) to serve when you get home from an 8-10 hour day at work (or a really fun weekend day out. invite me please). This stew freezes extremely well and will keep in the fridge for up to five days.

So, crock pot verdict: This was just as much work as a normal soup/chili/stew as  I had to chop the veggies up the night before, then saute onion/garlic/etc in the morning. BUT it was really really nice to come home from a long day of work + working out and not have to do much of anything. This especially worked well when Brent + I got home at different times/had different plans for the evening. It forced us to eat at home rather than resorting to getting food out, so it was a bonus. And, we now have about 5 lunches ready to go. I’d totally use a crock pot again. 

The recipe verdict: This was a little sweeter than I’d like. I’d add some heat in terms of spices: maybe cayenne, maybe some curry powder. It tasted good w/some onions and cilantro on top. It made it a little less sweet.

Easy Vegan Indian Food

I love Indian food. Love it. I love going to an indian restaurant and trying something new, but that can be pricy. And often unhealthy. My mom makes indian food all the time so I had her send me some recipes. These are vegan, easy and healthy! Here are my two favorites.

Cauliflower & Potatoes
1-3 T Shan Dal seasoning (yellow box)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 green pepper, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, smashed
6 circles of sliced ginger, 1/8” thick, peeled and diced
3 T Fresh Cilantro, chopped – add more if you like
½ -1 tomatoes, diced (fresh is best)
1 head cauliflower
1-2 russet potatoes or any type chopped in bite sized pieces
2-3 T tomato paste
1 cup water, add as needed
1 cup green peas (defrosted)
1 teaspoon veg oil

Directions
1. Sauté onion, green pepper, ginger and garlic in one teaspoon of vegatable oil, until soft.
2. Add the diced tomatoes, potatoes, tomato paste,  1 T “Shan” dal seasoning and 1 cup of water.


3. Cook covered until potatoes are ¾ cooked tender.
4. Add cauliflower and cilantro; cook with lid on until tender.

5. Add more water, seasoning (if you need more spice) and tomato paste as desired. Stir to cover.
6. Add 1 cup (room temp) green peas and cook for 2 minutes.


7. Garnish with cilantro!

NEXT UP! The easiest recipe known to Indian cooking!!

Ingredients
½  cup red lentils
1 cup yellow moong dal
4+ cups water
1-2 T Shan Dal spice mix (go with one if you like it not so spicy, two for spice)
½ med. Onion, chopped
2 tsp. chopped fresh ginger
1 clove fresh garlic, smashed

Directions
1. Sauté onions, ginger and garlic in a tiny bit of olive oil until soft.
2. Add lentils, water and Shan Dal spice mix, and cilantro.
3. Cook covered for about 30 minutes until soft. These will have a creamy polenta-y texture to them.

Some of the items (dal, seasoning) could be a little hard to find, but check out your local Indian or Asian food store, or even Whole Foods. Amazon.com is often a great resource for finding weird and hard to find packaged foods as well.

I can’t tell you how amazing this meal is. The leftovers will make your co-workers jealous. I like to serve this with a little bit of rice and some white wine. Vinho Verde is the best if you can get your hands on some. Trust me when I say that Indian food and wine is one of the best combos out there.

indian food