Today's recipe is so easy, so laughably cheap and makes so much food that I can barely believe it.
Best of all, I didn't even have to prepare it! Laura's been doing a lot more of the cooking over the past few weeks, and she's been working on her recipe selection, an important yet underappreciated skill in the kitchen. And unless lentils are ridiculous to you, today's recipe meets all of CK's requirements for an ideal recipe: it's healthy, delicious, easy, scalable, and doesn't cost a lot.
In other words, it's yet more proof that healthy eating doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming--or even hard! I hope you enjoy this delicious stew as much as we did.
Hearty Kale and Lentil Stew
3-4 Tablespoons oil
4 large carrots, diced
2 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
14 cups water
3 cups lentils, rinsed
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups frozen kale, chopped if necessary
3-4 Tablespoons fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1) In a large stock pot, add oil and saute carrots, onions and garlic for five minutes.
2) Add water, lentils, cumin and black pepper, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 50 minutes or so, until lentils are tender.
3) Add kale, parsley, salt and lemon juice, simmer for 10 minutes more. Serve with rice or brown rice.
1) Frozen kale?
We found, believe it or not, that frozen kale makes this recipe both easier and (more importantly) much more pantry-friendly. You can keep a couple of bags of frozen kale in your freezer indefinitely, for recipes like this, whereas fresh kale can go bad on you (even if you use CK's secret method for storing fresh greens!). The thing about produce and fresh greens is this: while they usually cost less than frozen or canned produce and greens, they can also impose a sense of time pressure on your recipe planning (CK followers familiar with the concept of first-order and second-order foods will instantly understand why this is). But in this case, frozen kale offers us a win-win solution: it costs roughly the same as fresh kale--a rare violation of the Rule of First-Order Foods. Still more evidence that life is lived by heuristic, not by algorithm.
2) Credit where credit's due:
The original inspiration for this recipe was Jay Salomon's Vegetarian Soup Cuisine, a cookbook we often feature here at CK because of its amazing collection of scalable, delicious and unusual soups and stews. The original source was Moroccan Lentil and Kale Stew on page 84. We simplified Jay's recipe by removing a couple of steps, and then we scaled it up and tweaked the ingredients a little. Finally, for the millionth time, buy this cookbook. It's incredibly useful for any cook seeking interesting, healthy and low-cost recipes.
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