Quick, cheap, easy to prepare, good for you, this lentil stew is a pleaser. Oh, and did I mention it tastes great too? I adapted it from Epicurious (http://www.epicurious.com) which is worth a virtual visit. Feel free to be creative and consider additional changes, including those suggested below.
I chose not to cook this in the crock pot, because I was concerned about it turning to mush. And besides, it takes so little time (total time required is under a half hour). I cooked it Sunday night and refrigerated it. Then dinner was ready after a brief microwaving, after a long day of talking about food and eating!
Lemony Lentil Stew With Spinach and Potatoes
(serves 2-3 but can easily by doubled or tripled)
2 Tblsps. Olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 cups reduced sodium vegetable stock
1 cup dry lentils, uncooked, rinsed and picked over (brown give a heartier flavor, but any will work)
2 small or 1 very large red potato, skin on, cut into chunks
1 ½ lemon
7 oz baby spinach (or close to that amount)
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ cup fresh mint
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp thyme
feta cheese, crumbled on top
Also consider adding:
Zaatar (a mideastern blend of spices available in the international aisle of supermarkets or in specialty stores)
Up to 5 cups of stock if you prefer a soup versus a stew
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat.
Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
Add vegetable broth and lentils and brink to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes.
Add potatoes and cook uncovered until potatoes and lentils are tender, stirring occasionally (about 15 or so minutes, longer for yellow lentils).
Meanwhile, grate ½ tsp. lemon peel and squeeze 3 Tbsps. lemon juice (more if desired). Add to stew, along with spices and spinach.
Cover and simmer until spinach wilts and is cooked through, about 2 minutes.
Add mint and stir.
Top with feta if desired. Then season with salt and pepper.
Serve with a hearty whole grain bread. A scoop of plain yogurt could work in place of the feta, if desired.