Turkish Carrot and Lentil Stew

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Yep, carrots again. But this time, instead of making them sweet and spicy, I adapted a coriander-spiced dish from NPR’s show, The Splendid Table.

I was attracted to this recipe because it

  • sounded like a tummy-warming, tasty, vegetarian winter stew.
  • required a lot of carrots and I’d bought a lot on sale.
  • included bean protein, which is always a good and nutritious thing.
  • would use up the tomato paste languishing in my fridge.
  • needed fresh herbs which I actually had on hand (almost never happens!).
  • would help fill up my teenaged grandchildren who were coming to dinner. (The dinner was cancelled after this dish was made, and we’ve been eating it ever since…but that’s another story.)

So I re-fashioned the recipe: eliminated the oil, used more carrots and, generally, simplified where possible. The result was delicious, had delightful grace notes of parsley, and was every bit as warm and filling as I had hoped.

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 4-6 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup dried lentils (not canned)
  • 1¼-1½ chicken or other broth
  • 1½ tbsps. minced garlic
  • 1½ tsps. ground coriander (or coriander seeds, crushed)
  • ¼-½ tsp. dried red pepper flakes (optional if, like me, you avoid “hot”)
  • 2 tbsps. tomato paste
  • 2 tsps. sweetener
  • 2 tbsps. chopped fresh mint, dill, or parsley (you could use dried herbs although that would likely subdue the flavour that fresh herbs provide. If doing so, however, add them at the beginning, rather than at the end.)
  • Squeeze of lemon juice or, approximately, ½ tbsp.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. In a medium-large pot, sauté onions and spices in ½ cup of boiling broth.
  2. When onions are translucent, add the rest of the broth and all ingredients except for fresh herbs and lemon juice.
  3. Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes or until carrots are tender, lentils are cooked, and liquid has been absorbed. (Add more broth during cooking, if necessary.)
  4. Remove from heat and mix in fresh herbs, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

For Weight Watchers: Total point-value for the stew is 5.66 points (4 for the lentils, 1 for the tomato paste, and .66 for the sweetener).

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