Monday, January 01, 2018

Lentil and Butternut Squash Stew Vegan - Forks Over Knives Inspired

Every January for a few years now, hubbo and I go Vegan but I've pushed it to follow the Forks Over Knives lifestyle of cutting out added Salt, Oils/Fats and Sugar.  The movie has changed the lives of everyone I can convince, gently, to watch.  If it weren't for hubbo, the reluctant but willing participant, I'd take it further and cut out all processed foods but I've left Whole Grain Pastas and Sugarfree breads on the table.  As it is, we are a little unprepared today because we had out of town family.  Luckily we have a salad mix and some avocados kicking around.

I bought a Crockpot just for this month and a milder version of the cleanse for September, thinking it would help me get meals on the table faster.  Well, I should have thought ahead and not used it on days I'm actually home.  I keep watching the darn thing.  I think I'll keep it ready for days I won't be home and set it in the morning.

The following is a play on a recipe I saw on the Forks Over Knives recipe website last year when the site was a bit easier to navigate.  I love the movie.  It's not preachy.... well for all but 9 minutes of the morality of meat eating.  It appeals heavily to two geeky engineers.  The science is obvious.  I just wish we could find the will to do it all year.  Too bad Daiya cheese, the only vegan cheese widely available is HORRIBLE.  Not just, not good or not good enough.  Its taste and texture is offensive.  Blech.  And I'm also not a fan of food that tries to be other food.  When I do vegan, I eat vegetables and grains.

You can substitute the Butternut Squash with Cauliflower.  That was delicious.  But I had half a very large Butternut Squash from Christmas dinner in the fridge.   The spice mix might seem daunting but you can play with it.  It has a Moroccan theme (ras el hanout) to it and like curries, there are thousands of renditions.  I keep a larger batch handy for this month :D

Lentil and Butternut Squash Stew - Vegan

2 c Lentils (your favourite, when I use Cauliflower, Red Lentils taste best), checked for rocks and rinsed (in a fine seive, they'll run through bigger ones. Might sound like stupid advice but they ran throw my rice washer at the lip end)
2 Medium Onions (tennis ball sized), diced
2 Medium Carrots, halved and sliced,
1/2 large Butternut Squash peeled, chopped into small bite sized pieces,
1 inch fresh Ginger, minced fine
3 large cloves of Garlic, minced
1 tetra pack Organic, ZERO sodium, Vegetable Stock
1 cube ZERO sodium/salt Organic Veggie cube
(this is to make a total of 6 cups or 1.5 litres of Veggie stock)
1 large can of diced Tomatoes, or large that you squish with your hands.
3 Birds Eye Chilis, (optional if you want to give to the kids).

2 t ground Cumin
3/4 t ground Cinnamon
1 t ground Paprika
1.5 t ground Coriander
1/2 t ground Cayenne
1 t ground Tumeric
1/2 t Black Mustard seed (not traditional but I had some I wanted to use)
1/4 t Fennel Seed
1/4 t ground Sage (add some fresh if you have leftover from Christmas dinner)

1/2 T Porcini powder (optional but adds umami) (buy ground or just pulse some dried Porcini in a food mill until the size of course coffee)

Black Pepper
Chopped fresh Cilantro or Parsley

Bring to Boil and simmer until the Lentils are tender and the Squash cooked.  Or cook on high in a Crockpot for 5 hours.

Take a Potato Masher and mash slightly, like 10 times.  Hubbo found a vegetarian chile recipe that requires this and it gives a nice round body to it.

Serve as is or over Brown Rice.

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