Those following along with the blog from Sequim are familiar with the photos of ice and snow as well as the chronicles of power outages and cold. Many of us are experiencing our version of winter. Rain, snow, hail, wind, and dropping temperatures draw us toward substantial warm meals. This is true for a monk tending to the birds and the snow-covered roads in Sequim or a monk caring for the dirt roads impacted by weather in Murphys. We treasure the body by providing it with the physical activity it thrives on as well as providing it with the nourishment to sustain whole-hearted participation!
Cozy Butternut, Sweet Potato, and Red Lentil Stew is a great choice for wintry times or any time. Enjoy!
Cozy Butternut, Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Stew
--from Oh She Glows by Angela Liddon
Servings: 11 cups
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 to 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash*
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced *
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
- 1/2 cup dried red lentils, rinsed**
- 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 ½ tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp.. chili powder
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper, or more if you like heat
- Fine sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 tsp. apple cider vinegar, or to taste
- 1 bunch chard, stemmed and finely chopped***
- Fresh cilantro or parsley, minced
- Cooked rice
- Garlic powder and chili powder
- To a large pot, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onion is softened.
- Add the squash and sweet potato and stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt and continue sautéing for a few minutes longer.
- Add the broth, diced tomatoes (with juices), coconut milk, lentils, tomato paste, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper. (If you are spice-shy, feel free to add half the amount to start and increase from there after cooking, to taste.) Stir well to combine.
- Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, stir again, and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash and potato are fork-tender. Reduce the heat if necessary.
- Add the apple cider vinegar to taste. Adjust the other seasonings if desired.
- Optional step: Using a handheld immersion blender, blend the stew for only 2 to 3 seconds (any more and you’ll blend too much of the veggies). This thickens the broth.
- Stir in the chard, and cook for another couple minutes until the greens are wilted.
- Scoop some cooked rice onto the bottom of a bowl and then ladle the stew overtop. Garnish with minced cilantro or parsley and a good dusting of garlic and chili powder, if desired.
- Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, and they freeze beautifully too.
* Make sure to dice the squash and potato very small (about the size of almonds), as this will expedite cooking.
** The red lentils can be swapped for 1 14-oz. can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed).
*** The chard can be swapped for 5 ounces of baby spinach or a bunch of kale (stemmed). Chop the greens into small bite-size pieces for easier eating.