Lentil & Veggie Stew April 17, 2012

It may be spring and the birds might be chirping, but I still love a hot bowl of comfort food for dinner.  Now that time is of the essence more than ever (hello raving toddler), I have to make something that is quick and delish, and who’s fooling who, I loveeeeeee a stew!!!  I have made variations of this recipe, both in my Le Crueset Dutch Oven and in my slow cooker.  Both are totally yummy.

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds fresh vegetables cut in bit-sized pieces (I used parsnips, mushrooms, carrots and zucchini)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can cooked lentils (you can use freshly cooked – about 1 1/2 cups with cooking liquid)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin or squash (canned or cooked – all water pressed out)
  • salt & black pepper to taste


  1. Cook onion in a large, Dutch oven until browned, then add garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute.
  2. Add veggies, broth and spices and cook until vegetables are soft and it begins to boil.
  3. Add quinoa and cook on medium heat until tender (approx. 15 min), then add pumpkin and salt/pepper to taste and cook for 5 more min (adding a little water if too thick).
  4. Serve hot, with shredded cheddar and/or some large crusty bread with butter!


– to use the slow cooker, but all ingredients into cooker and place on low for 6 hours.

– this freezes pretty well too.


Mutt Soup July 10, 2008

Mutts?  This soup contains a hodge-podge of ingredients – it all depends on your mood and what you can find in your freezer.  Most veggies go well together, so be creative.  Soup is a very forgiving place to start if you’re nervous in the kitchen.  Just remember a few simples rules: you need a nice base or broth; add in veggies; add in spices; simmer.  That’s about it.  Soup also tends to taste better the next day, so make LOTS!  Plus, using frozen veggies is a cheap and convinient alternative to fresh.



5-6 cups vegetable broth (or homemade if you’re really cheffy)
1 x 16 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 x 16 ounce cans beans, rinsed and drained (I love chickpeas, butter beans or a mixed variety)
2 x 1 pound bags of frozen vegetables (you can buy the pre mixed versions, or come up with a blend yourself – try green beans, broccoli, red peppers, cauliflower)
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsps dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
a few drops of hot pepper sauce (a readily available option is Tabasco)
black pepper and salt to taste
Optional: 1/2 cup small pasta OR 2 cups diced potatoes OR 1 cup frozen corn OR 1/2 cup of quick-cooking grain (pearled barley, quinoa, cooked rice)


1) Put 5 cups of vegetable broth and all remaining ingredients into a large pot and cook until vegetables are done (approx. 20-30 min).  If soup seems too thick, add more broth.

2) Taste and adjust seasonings before serving.


Triple B – Barley and black beans February 6, 2008

Pearl Barley is just like many other simple grains – it’s super easy to cook and full of nutrients and taste! This recipe may take about an hour or so to prepare, but it couldn’t be simpler. Buying canned beans, dressing and jarred peppers and it’ll save you a lot of prep time. This dish makes a complete vegetarian protein, and when served hot makes a very comforting dish indeed.

1 tsp butter or oil
1 cup pearl (or pot barley if you wish), rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and sliced
1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette (see below for home-made recipe)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill, or to taste (if using dried adjust as needed)
Salt and pepper


1) Heat butter in large saucepan until sizzling.
2) Add barley and toast for 1-2 min (don’t burn!!!)
3) Put 3 cups water into saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
4) Cover, reduce heat to low and cook 30 min (add about 10 minutes for pot barley), or until all water is absorbed.
5) Combine cooked barley, black beans, roasted red peppers, vinaigrette and dill in mixing bowl.
6) Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe
Whisk together the following:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 tsp ground or prepared mustard
pinch salt
ground black pepper to taste

– can be chilled and serve cold as a nice side dish too
– entire mixture can be mashed up and made into patties and fried (add a bit of flour to keep it all together)