Why I Am Posting These Recipes

I believe that it is healthier for an individual and for the planet to reduce the consumption of animal products in the human diet. However, I love to eat all kinds of delicious food, and find it really, really difficult to go totally vegetarian. Also, my family protests if I serve too many vegetarian meals in a row. So I am committed to making an effort to move towards a vegetarian diet without wholly doing so. I will post recipes several times a week that represent my philosophy of eating well, eating healthy, eating local. Most recipes will be easy to prepare, as I have a busy life. So I expect my followers to be people who love to cook and eat well, want to try to help the planet through their eating (by eating local foods and trying to reduce the use of meat in our diets), and have many other things to do each day besides cook.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Red Lentil Stew with Lacinato Kale and Miso

I got the idea for this soup from one of my favorite websites, www.epicurious.com.  I tweaked a few of the ingredients and simplified it to make a fairly quick meal.  I started the meal by shopping at my local health food store and taking a clean empty glass (salsa) jar with me.  I asked the cashier to weigh the jar when I first entered the store, then I filled the jar with red lentils from the bulk food section and paid for the lentils by weight, subtracting the weight of the jar.  By doing so, I am reducing the waste of packaging products, plus I save a little money by buying bulk.  See if you have a store nearby that sells dried food products in bulk, and take your own container to the store, rather than using their plastic bags.  Our Earth is becoming more and more fragile, and we must each try to do lots of little things to preserve resources and protect the environment.  Reduction of waste is a good goal for each of us to think about.

This is really delicious (I would even describe it as scrumptious!), with a surprising sweetness emanating from the onions, celery, sweet potato and miso, which complements the slight bitterness of the kale.  I used lacinato kale for the first time because I saw it in the market and thought it would be interesting to try.  Lacinato kale looks a little bit like swiss chard.  Feel free to use regular kale instead.

1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed
5 cups water
1 ½ vegetable bouillon cubes (with sea salt and herbs--I used Rapunzel brand)
2 tsp ginger juice
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cups chopped tomatoes (I used Pomi brand chopped tomatoes from a carton)
1 tablespoon white miso
1 bunch lacinato kale, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
6 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
Place the lentils in a large saucepan with 3 cups water and the bouillon cubes. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, uncovered, until the lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the ginger juice, pressed garlic, sweet potato, celery, onion, tomatoes, and 2 cups water. Continue to cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, or until the sweet potato is tender. Stir in the miso, kale, and sage. Season to taste with lots of freshly ground black pepper and serve.

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