“Ack! My Husband Will be Home in Half an Hour and I Have No Idea What We’re Having for Dinner Lentil Stew”
Even those “meal planner” type of people sometimes have a lapse in judgement. Maybe your key ingredient went bad? Maybe you were gone all day (either mentally or physically) and the thought of dinner didn’t even cross your mind until your husband called & said he was on his way home from work.
This is why you MUST, MUST, MUST keep lentils on hand at all times. Think of this dear wonderfood as the new pasta & ground beef. Not only is it high in protein, but it has stuff like calcium, vitamin C, iron, and fiber. It is also super low in fat and has zero cholesterol. The BEST part is that lentils do NOT need to be soaked overnight–and they come in all sorts of fun colors.
The Raw Materials
Lentils–one bag, any kind.
Produce–as much as you like, any kind.
Veggie broth (or bouillon or dry soup base in a pinch)
I use a ceramic-coated cast iron dutch oven, but I’m fairly sure this will work in a regular pot too.
Rinse lentils and bring 6 to 8 cups of liquid (water with bouillon or broth or a combination of both) to boil.
Madly search your fridge & pantry for any produce available. Potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, peppers, green beans, frozen spinach…whatever is not rotting.
Chop up everything edible. When the water is boiling, add your rinsed lentils and veggies.
Reduce heat and cover, simmering for 30 minutes (possibly longer). Add more water if necessary. Stir occasionally.
*Note, if you use fresh baby spinach, add during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
My personal favorite combo is red (or orange) lentils with chunks of butternut squash (though, allow more time for tricky-squash-chopping). Yum!
That is it, people. It is SO easy. Toss it all in the pot and have fun!