Thursday, November 04, 2010

What's cooking?

Spicy lentil stew.  I got the recipe from a weight-watcher's cookbook several years ago, and it became a cool weather staple in our house whether we were dieting or not.  I made a double batch this time so I would have some for the freezer.  
It's really just a vegetarian chili; you can add anything you'd put in your chili (except meat, because then it wouldn't be low-fat and vegetarian).  Want beans?  Add them.  I had a lot of peppers I brought in before the frost.  Since I put diced sweet peppers in my regular chili, I knew they'd work just fine in this dish.  I have been known to chop a carrot and add that... not enough so that you taste the carrot, but it's a way to use that last carrot or two that's going to rot or shrivel up if you don't do something with it.   


2 teaspoons margarine
1 cup diced onions, garlic if desired
1 ½ pounds (4 cups) drained cooked lentils (reserve 2 cups cooking liquid)
2 cups drained canned tomatoes, chopped
1 cup tomato juice (I use tomato sauce)
1 tablespoon chili powder, or to taste
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
cayenne pepper, as much as you like
1 bay leaf

In 2-quart saucepan, heat margarine until bubbly and hot; add onions and saute, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine; bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens and flavors blend, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove and discard bay leaf before serving.  By the way, I don't weigh the cooked lentils like this recipe says to do.  I cook a pound of lentils (one bag) according to directions on the package, double all other ingredients, and that works out fine.  Or cook a half-pound of lentils and use this recipe as it is.  If you read the bag you already know this, but you do not soak lentils.

The weight-watcher book suggested serving this over rice, and we do that sometimes.  Other times we eat it with crackers like you would any kind of chili.  
And now, I have to go make some brownies for Cliff to take to work; they're having a dinner to benefit Harvesters, and everybody is taking a dessert.  I was going to make an apple pie, but I decided brownies would be easier to transport.  

I love this brownie recipe; I cut it from a magazine and taped it onto a card long ago; the card is stained from spills and spatters, but as long as I can still read it, I'm happy.  
The butter I'm using was churned by me from cream contributed by Bonnie-the-Jersey-cow.

Maybe while I'm at it I'll bake some low-fat brownies for Cliff.


Hollie said...

These recipes sound good! Gotta love that homemade butter!

Toni said...

We LOVE lentils around here. In fact, our favorite tacos are lentil tacos (okay, so they're also our only tacos since we don't eat meat except on very rare occasions, lol.) Thanks for the recipe.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It's a good thing that I just ate lunch as the food around your house sounds very good today. I love the print on your butter. That makes it so special. I did copy down the recipe as it sounds easy and good. Everyone loves brownies around here.
Have a great Thursday!

Lindie said...

I love lentils! I make a beef lentil soup in the winter, at least a few times! Pretty butter!