A few weeks ago, my friend Catherine McCord sent me a copy of her new cookbook, Weelicious. I met Catherine at the BlogHer Conference in Seattle this past summer. I immediately knew she was destined for great things. She is passionate about her blog, and she’s really dedicated herself to creating healthy food options for busy families on the go. Catherine’s site Weelicious is super successful, and I’m sure her new cookbook will be, too. It’s full of quick, healthy, kid-friendly recipes and cooking tips. It’s not a kosher cookbook, but it does have lots of options for those who keep kosher. Busy families will love this book, it’s full of fun and easy ideas to nourish your family.
When the weather begins cooling down and the skies are overcast, there’s nothing quite like a slow cooker meal to warm the tummy and comfort the spirit. I adapted the following recipe from Catherine’s “Slow-Cooker Lentil Veggie Stew” in the Weelicious cookbook. The original recipe is a great base to work from. I decided to spice it up a bit– which little kid mouths might not appreciate, but in our family everything gets the spicy treatment! I added cumin, black pepper, and cayenne to the mix. I also threw in some cauliflower to add some texture and bulk to the soup, while keeping things low cal. Catherine suggests topping the stew with plain yogurt, herbed goat cheese, feta, crème fraîche, or grated Parmesan. We stirred in some Greek yogurt and lowfat sour cream because it’s what we had on hand. Both were terrific, they added a nice creamy touch to the broth. Obviously you can leave the dairy products out to keep the stew vegan or pareve. I also threw in a few seasoned breadcrumbs, they sopped up the soup and tasted awesome. On its own, the stew is simple, natural comfort food– gluten free, low fat, low calorie, and vegan. Good for the body, good for the soul. What could be better?
I have two Weelicious cookbooks to give away this week! Enter to win your own copy by leaving a comment below, along with a valid email address, letting me know the answer to this question:
What was your favorite meal when you were a kid?
All entrants will be subscribed to the Shiksa in the Kitchen weekly newsletter (unless you are already subscribed). Two winners will be chosen at random and notified via email. Contest ends at 5:00pm PST on Friday, October 12, 2012.
CONTEST ENDED. Congrats to Toni and Mary Ann!
New giveaway posting soon.
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- 16 oz dried lentils
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups of onion)
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 lb. cauliflower, chopped into very small florets
- 2 leeks, white and green parts only, halved, washed carefully, and chopped)
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cayenne (very spicy-- add 1/4 tsp or less for a milder flavor)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 8 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 large can (32 oz) diced tomatoes with juice
- 2 cups chopped kale or Swiss chard
- Plain yogurt, herbed goat cheese, feta, crème fraîche, grated Parmesan, Greek yogurt or lowfat sour cream
- Sort the lentils, discarding any stones or impurities. Rinse the lentils in a wire mesh strainer.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion for about 4 minutes, till softened. Add the chopped garlic and saute for another minute.
- Pour the softened onions and garlic into the slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients (minus toppings).
- Cover the slow cooker and turn heat to high. Set timer to 6 hours on high, or 8 hours on low, until the lentils are tender.
- Serve hot with your choice of toppings.
- If you'd prefer not to use a slow cooker, you can cook the stew in a large pot over medium-low to low heat, covered, for about 90 minutes until the lentils are tender.