Fall is coming, and soups and stews are going to be a staple in our kitchens again! Last week I really started to buckle down on being more plant-centered after a little dose of reality reminded me why it’s so important. I’ve definitely been much more relaxed over the last couple of years, and slipped a little (a lot) on how much is considered “moderation” for all things meat and dairy.
For years, most of my meals were plant-based, with some poultry, fish, eggs and cheese mixed in about three days per week. In the last couple of years, mostly due to the challenge of appeasing children, I’ve been consuming those things much more regularly, and only my “no red meat or processed foods” seems to have survived the tests of time. Although recently I’ve actually been consuming bacon quite a bit more, and it is definitely the kind that is cured with nitrates…which are a big no-no for me with a family history of leukemia.
So now, I am turning back into that mean mother who makes my poor deprived children eat food that is good for their health, their immune systems, and their waist lines. They are going to hate me for a while, but I know they will thank me when they’re grown and don’t have to struggle with health or weight because they know how to be healthy since they were raised that way. That is what I will keep reminding myself of every time they complain. Or rather when Hunter complains, because he is my picky child. Logan will eat just about anything!
So, back to the food! I have a recipe for kale and white bean soup that I used to make a lot (you know, back before I fell off the plant-centered wagon), and I thought I could use that as a base for something new. I love sweet potatoes and curry together. I also love lentils and curry together. And I had a bag of dried lentils in the pantry needing to be used. From that, this lentil curry stew was born!
- 1 1/2 cups dried green lentils
- 2 sweet potatoes, cubed
- 5-6 large kale leaves, torn
- 1 1/2 boxes of organic vegetable broth
- 1 TBS minced garlic
- 1/2 TBS cumin
- 1 TBS curry powder
- salt and pepper
- hummus and parsley, for garnish
- Pour dried lentils into a large bowl and fill with water to an inch above the lentils, then place in fridge to soak overnight.
- In a crock pot (or in a large stock pot if you don’t want to slow cook), stir together all ingredients except the parsley and hummus.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours, then turn down to low for another 1-2 hours, or until lentils and sweet potatoes are cooked through.
- Serve in a bowl garnished with a dollop of hummus and some fresh snipped parsley, as well as some toasted garlic bread if you wish (I used Ezekiel bread for real whole grains and no sugar).
While I refer to myself as plant-centered (as opposed to plant-based) because I still eat some poultry, fish, eggs and dairy…this dish is completely plant-based and vegan. It’s also delicious and satisfying, and is definitely going on my list of soups to make again! This really is the epitome of what the Mediterranean Diet is all about — total balanced health and wellness, with the meals centered around plants instead of meat. It isn’t the traditional American diet…which is why it’s so darn good for you!
In the words of Hippocrates – “let food be thy medicine”. Happy and healthy eating, friends!