Seemingly overnight, the heavy humidity of summer gave way to beautiful, clear, crisp fall mornings – and I couldn’t be happier. Autumn is my favorite time of year: warm enough to wear dresses without getting all bundled up but cool enough that you can get creative with layering. Just wait another month when the leaves are turning and it’s time to start breaking out sweaters and flannels. I’ll be donning an ear-to-ear (and tights and scarves and jackets, oh my!) grin from now until the temperature drops below freezing.
I could go on and on about what all I love about autumn, but that’s for another day. Today, I wanted to share a new lentil and sweet potato stew that I recently whipped up to warm my belly at the end of a long day.
One of the challenges of living alone is cooking healthy dishes from fresh ingredients before they all become over-ripened or rotten. I wanted to create a healthy, veggie-based stew that offered enough interesting flavors that wouldn’t taste bland when eaten meal after meal. This recipe is adapted from a number of recipes I found online and inspired by my brother-in-law’s delicious homemade stews. I have a lot to learn from him, especially about cooking delicious meals!
Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew
- 1.5 cups onion, chopped
- 1 ½ Tbsp. minced garlic
- 3-4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 ½ cups bell peppers, sliced or diced
- 4-6 carrots, sliced
- 2 cups white mushrooms, sliced or diced
- 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 3 ½ tsp. fennel seeds
- 3 tsp. paprika
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 bag (~2 cups) dry lentils
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 box or bag fresh spinach (5 oz)
- 1 ½ Tbsp. grated lemon zest
Heat a large saucepan, then add the oil and onion. Sauté for 5 minutes over medium heat, until the onions begin to brown.
Add the garlic, peppers, and carrots and cook 5 more minutes.
Then add everything else down to the cumin, and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Now add all but the spinach and lemon zest. Cover and cook on low until the lentils are soft and have absorbed most of the liquid – about 1 hour.
Uncover and add the spinach and lemon zest. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the spinach begins to wilt.
Serve, or divide into Tupperware containers for easy-to-prepare individual meals. This recipe makes 12 servings (about 12 cups total) when paired with a slice or two of toast.
Recipe adapted from “1 Million Veggies” Lentil Stew by Chocolate Covered Katie.