Slow Cooker Lentil Cauliflower Stew

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.

Learn more about the Weelicious cookbook, and buy your own copyclick here.


Slow Cooker

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Slow Cooker Lentil Cauliflower Stew


  • 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

Optional Toppings

  • Plain yogurt, herbed goat cheese, feta, crème fraîche, grated Parmesan, Greek yogurt or lowfat sour cream
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 90 - 8 Hours
Total Time: 105 - 8 Hours 15 Minutes
Servings: 8-10
Kosher Key: Pareve (or Dairy with optional add-ins)
  • 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.
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Category: Contests and Giveaways, Dairy, Entrees, Gluten Free, Healthy, In the Kitchen, Nut Free, Pareve, Recipes, Slide Show, Soups, Vegan, Vegetarian, Yom Kippur Break Fast

Comments (75)Post a Comment

  1. Yum, sounds – and looks – delicious! I’ll definitely be trying this one as soon as the weather cools off a bit more.

    My favorite meal as a kid? Macaroni and cheese, or else a holiday meal with all the trimmings :).

  2. Toni says:

    My fave as a kid was Hamburger Helper. Sigh…

  3. Hindy says:

    This stew looks fantastic!

    My favorite meal as a kid was a bowl of buttery pasta with parmesan cheese and garlic. Pure comfort food.

  4. Dana says:

    I love my moms matzoh ball soup. It was, and will always be, my favorite dish.

  5. Lesley says:

    This looks delicious, like everything on your site!

    My favorite meal as a kid was spaghetti with mushroom soup meat sauce… not Kosher, but amazing!

  6. Kathy S says:

    Macaroni & cheese…

    (I’ve since been spoiled by recipes for mac & cheese that are muuuuuch better than the box version I grew up with. There’s no comparison!)

  7. My favorite dish as a kid was grilled cheese and tomato soup, with a dill pickle spear on the side. I love to do upscale versions of it now, with fancy cheeses, fruit, and carmelized onions on the sandwhich. SO COMFORTING!

  8. Kat says:

    Live and work from my RV so love recipes like this. I happen to be a big fan of both lentils and cauliflower so this is going in the slow cooker this weekend, since it is supposed to be a rainy, cool weekend (near Phoenix) after a long, triple-digit summer.

  9. Aly says:

    The stew looks yummy. I certainly never saw lentils as a kid.

    My favorite dish growing up would be spaghetti with meatballs. I lived in an Italian neighborhood and I loved getting invited to my friends’ houses for dinner. Yum.

  10. Debbie S. says:

    perfect fall recipe as the leaves are turning! love the healthy benefits as well. thanks! my favorite meal as a kid was my mom’s “crummy” chicken, which sounds like an insult but was her cornflake crumb coated chiken which had been dredged in Russian dressing first! the pan drippings are still my favorite :) thanks, Tori!

  11. Diana says:

    One of the many favorites that really brings back great memories is my mom’s chicken soup. It was always so comforting. I still love chicken soup.

  12. Anita says:

    Looks delish!
    My favorite meal as a kid was tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich.

  13. Denise says:

    My favorite food as a child was my grandma’s chilli

  14. Beachmom says:

    Thank you for this recipe – LOVE lentils and this looks yummy!

  15. Prans says:

    Very nice and healthy recipe. Also a quick tip for the lentils to cook faster if not using a slow cooker. The lentils can be soaked for an hour or two before they are cooked. This will reduce the cooking time.
    My favorite meal as a kid was my mom’s palak dal and shaami kababs !

  16. Jill says:

    This recipe looks great- can’t wait to try it!

  17. Marianna in Berlin says:

    How nice to see one of my favorite bloggers mention one of my other favorite bloggers! :-) I have been looking for a way to add cauliflower to my cooking and this soup will definitely be on my meal plan very soon, it looks awesome!

    My favorite meal as a kid was what my family called the “Great American Sandwich” – toasted rye bread with Helmann’s mayo, yellow mustard, Hebrew National salami (wouldn’t touch it nowadays), lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes! Not really sure in retrospect what made this “American” though …

  18. Shira Kestenbaum says:

    this stew looks beautiful!

    My favorite meal as a child? I would have to say Friday Night dinner. My late mother used to make the same meal almost every week, and we all looked forward to it. There was probably a first course, such as soup or fricasee, but the piece de resistance was roast chicken over rice. My mother would take a big roasting pan, pour in a layer of rice, and place whole spiced chickens over the rice. Then it all went into the oven to roast. I don’t know exactly how she did it, if she used water or oil or nothing, but I know that I have never been able to duplicate that taste. That chicken represents our Friday night dinners – that special “spice” that is generations of Jewish mothers!

  19. Heather says:

    My fav meal as a kid was chicken nuggets with a side of broccoli… I think it was the only meal I woul eat until u was 7 lol.

  20. Amy Horowitz-Thomas says:

    My favorite meal as a kid was anything served with my parent’s homemade crinkle-cut french fries!

  21. Stellie says:

    My favourite meal was the meal my mum made us when we had been sick.
    Farex ( farina) in one bowl and grated apples in the other.
    hardly glamour food but definatley comforting.In fact 40 years on I made it tonight for my sickee 5 year old for the first time and he loved it!

    Ps love your site and the recipes

  22. Lisa says:

    Great recipe for this weather! My favorite childhood food was my mom’s lasagna. Yum…

  23. Tulip says:

    I love Catherine’s blog and I’m so glad she posted the link to yours on facebook too!!! Thanks for this adaptation it looks great!

    My favorite meal as a kid was my grandmothers fried potatoes with some good bread. She always made a huge batch when we visited.

  24. Pilar says:

    Rice with sunny up eggs.

  25. Mary Ann says:

    Can’t wait to try this recipe! My favorite meal as a kid was the same as Craig’s: grilled cheese, tomato soup, with a dill pickle. I always ate it on our aluminum TV trays while watching Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood!

  26. Nancy says:

    My father insisted on meat, potatoes, bread and butter with every evening meal. We didn’t eat out. So when my mother made her chicken chow mein with “oriental” vegetables, rice and crunchy noodles, it felt like we were having an “exotic” meal. It’s not just about the food, it’s about the memories that go with it.

  27. Katie Ellis says:

    My favorite meal as a child…Cream chicken on biscuits.

  28. Sarah L says:

    I really liked spaghetti with my mom’s homemade sauce.

  29. Diana Blum says:

    My mom wasn’t that great in the kitchen, but I did love her hot dogs. Who says home cooking hasn’t improved in 40 years?

  30. Marian Johnson says:

    When I was a child my favorite meal was Chicken a la King in pastry cups! I was so excited to see those pastry cups prepared by my dad!

  31. Helen says:

    My mother made the best spaghetti sauce. Maybe Brunswick stew or beef stew. Those are still favs of mine.

  32. Nina says:

    Lasagne. My mother had the best recipe! We loved it fresh, leftover, hot, cold — our favorite!

  33. Francine Novakoff says:

    Loved my mom’s matzo ball soup and her sweet noodle kugels. I guess it was at Passover Seders that I always had my favorite meals.

  34. Ellyn says:

    Definitely my mom’s sinker matzo balls in her chicken soup, medium rare romanian steak with very creamy, almost soupy mashed potatoes.

  35. Ilana says:

    My favorite childhood meal was pizza. I still love New Jersey/New York style pizza.

  36. malka says:

    Favorite meal as a kid wasmoms spaghetti and meatballs, still is!

  37. Sherry says:

    As strange as it sounds, I LOVED to go to the local restaurant and order sweet and sour stuffed cabbage to share with my Bubby. There were always two pieces of stuffed cabbage so we each had one and she always let me have the mashed potatoes and she ate the side dish of veggies that I didn’t like.

  38. Sarah says:

    My favorite meal as a kid was French fries for lunch or dinner.

  39. Wendy says:

    Looks like the perfect fall meal! My favorite meal as a child was a soup my mom made with egg noodles, garbanzos and broth.

  40. Shannon says:

    Looks super yummy and I’ve been dying for a lentil soup recipe! My favorite recipe when I was a kid is hard to narrow down because my mom and both of my grandmothers are/were great cooks! I’d have to say though, that I adored my mom’s homemade lasagna. We’re talking homemade sauce, lots of cheese, and for me, no meat- amazing!!!! Serve it up with some salad and bread and it’s what’s for dinner!

  41. Jenn says:

    As a kid I loved baked sweet potatoes, still do!

  42. Shelley says:

    This look amazing!

    We will be having this for Shabbat lunch this week. I couldn’t get kale, so we’ll be throwing in spinach instead!

    Favorite childhood meal? Scallopped potatoes! My Mum would make them rarely, citing they were too fattening, but whne she did make them, she made them well!

  43. Esther says:

    My favorite meal as a kid involved my mom’s stuffed cabbage, but tomato soup and grilled cheese on a winter Sunday was also a keeper.

  44. Bonnie says:

    So many favorite meals to chose from. Whose mom isn’t the best cook ever?!! Her homemade tomato soup, her spaghetti and meatballs and don’t laugh, but my mom made a mean peanut butter and homemade pickle sandwich ;D #kitchenlovebymom

  45. Marina says:

    My favorite meal as a kid was homemade russian potato salad and cold beet soup

  46. Nancy says:

    I am making this as I type – so excited for this recipe – thank you! From, another Shiksa :-)

  47. Liane says:

    Yum – my mom used to make lentil soup for us – loved it.

    Favorite childhood meal – My dad would make us Campbell’s Tomato Soup and grilled cheese (Velveeta & white bread, naturally) on Saturdays. The fact he didn’t cook all the time is what made it special, I think.

  48. anad says:

    Seems like we’re doing favorite meals! Just about anything my mother made was my favorite – even liver. The only thing I hated was when she made tongue. Never ate it. Too damn ugly.

  49. Nancy says:

    I just put this recipe together this morning and it’s cooking in the slow cooker now. I thought the cauliflower would be mushy after cooking that long so I substituted some diced butternut squash. I left the kale out but will put it in an hour or 2 before the end. I also had to omit the leeks because they were extremely expensive. Looking forward to the tasting!

  50. sherri says:

    my favorite food was spaghetti which we hardly ever had, because my mom made a home made sauce which took many vegetables and many hours. i would love a copy of weelicious!

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