Thursday, January 6, 2011

Moroccan Lentil Stew (vegan)

It snowed two or so inches last night, and then it has been snowing all morning. It is a winter wonderland out there and it's warm and cozy in here. A warm kitchen full of aromas to make you want to stay inside all day. I was almost ready to admit my cabin fever before I made this stew, and now I am feeling like I may be able to make it to spring :) Well I'm not complaining about winter really, it is absolutely beautiful out there today. A beautiful reminder of the simple beauties in creation. I have many things to be thankful for this new year and I am excited for what 2011 will bring. So, we should start this year off right. A cozy fulfilling meal to warm your insides and out. It will satisfy you as you are searching for healthier alternatives after the rich and filling holiday season.
Lentils are packed full of protein, cholesterol-lowering fiber, and minerals. A good source of iron, manganese, and a load of B-vitamins. The energy-filled calories gained from lentils will keep you moving. Lentil are my favorite legume if I am going to be really honest. Mainly because they are quicker to cook, and they seem easier to digest to me. So, I am always welcoming them into my kitchen and onto my plate with new flavors. If you are trying a detox diet this new year, or maybe eliminating dairy or gluten for the first time, then this is a good recipe to try. Or perhaps this is the year of trying out the no-meat thing. Well, then, try lentils! It's simple, and full of whole foods. Your body will thank you for caring for it.
You could make this stew into a soup with 3-4 cups of added broth in the end, or you could add more veggies if you prefer. I love the thickness of stew with this one, and the cooked carrots are my favorite. So soft and flavorful. And why "moroccan", well, no real reason. The seasonings are really what define it as being a Moroccan dish. They cook with lentil almost every meal and the spices they cannot live without. This recipe may have you running to the store for spices you never tried before, but let me tell you... it is worth it. The flavor is so deep and warm. Then, when you have all these spices on hand in your pantry you can experiment more with flavorful recipes.

Moroccan Lentil Stew Recipe
1 medium yellow onion
3-4 garlic cloves
2 cups of dried green lentils
8 cups of pure water
28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes (with basil is what I used)
2 TB of dried cilantro
2 TB of sucanat
2 ts. of cumin
2 ts. of paprika
1 ts. of tumeric
1 ts. of oregano
1 ts. of margaram
1/2 ts. of cinnamon
1/2 ts. of nutmeg
1/2 ts. of ginger
1 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of black pepper

Saute the onion and garlic in a large pot with some olive oil for a few minutes. Then put the rest of the above ingredients in the large pot and have on high heat until it boils. Then turn down to a medium/low heat and let it cook. After about 30 minutes of cooking, add...

2 cups of sliced carrots

...and then continue cooking for another 30-45 minutes ( or until the water is soaked up and the lentils are soft). Add the carrots late will make sure that your carrots do not get too soft and have the perfect texture for the completed stew. Cool just a bit before serving, be careful it is hot. I burned my tongue the first bite! Then cut up some fresh parsley to top and pour over some fresh basmati rice, or other whole grain of choice.
I hope this stew full of warmth and nutrition will fill you up in body and spirit. It is a perfect meal for a freezing day like today. Enjoy and stay warm!

Much love to you.



  1. What a delicious and healthy recipe. I've been looking for a good recipe with lentils and this looks just like what I need!

  2. I absolutely love lentils! They really are the perfect legume. This looks delicious. Try to stay warm! Although with this in your belly, I am thinking that won't be a problem!

  3. This looks so delicious. I love lentils. In the past, they have not loved me back. (Don't know why that is - everyone claims that they're more digestible than some other legumes and such, but this hasn't been my experience.) However, perhaps if I can find a good day, I should try them again.