Monday, November 23, 2009

Cooking Light Mondays: Lentil Stew with Ham and Greens

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Whoopee! Back with Shrink My Butt Cooking Light Mondays! You didn't think I'd forget my strikethrough name did ya?

So I was feeling all Autumn-like and decided to make a stick to your ribs kind of meal. For some strange reason I've been craving lentils lately. Weird, especially since I rarely eat them. I also needed a stovetop meal, as my oven currently only heats up to about 200 degrees. "Hey," you say, "your landlord should fix that!" To which I say, "I'm sure he would if I could manage to tell him it's broken." I'm just lazy like that sometimes.

Which brings us to another long Cooking Light recipe name. Not just Lentil Stew, but Lentil Stew with Ham and Greens. Only mine doesn't have ham in it. I decided to use turkey kielbasa instead because the online reviews said it had more flavor. It's also a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a big hunk of ham for $12.00. I also used sweet potatoes since I had them in my house. And the little reviewer people said I could. And what they say goes.

This was a really easy meal to put together and was way yummy. I ate some for lunch today and then wasn't even hungry for the pudding cup I brought. It was nice to have a hearty meal to get me through the afternoon, which also made me want to snack less...always good.

So let's get to it!

Technically, the hardest part of this was all the chopping since, as we know, I am a ridiculously slow chopper. But some things went in the pot and then cooked for a while, so it gave me time to keep chopping as things simmered. Anyway, first you heat up some olive oil, then throw in a chopped onion and 3 cloves of minced garlic. Mmmm, garlic! Let it cook down for about 5 minutes. Make sure to close your bedroom door so your clothes don't smell like garlic and onions. All. Day. Long. (sigh)

At which point it will look a little like the picture above. See my new Pampered Chef bamboo spoon? Not just wood, but bamboo! Ooooo. Ahhhh. Ohhhh. The pandas will be jealous! (Because pandas eat bamboo. Get it?)

Next we throw in flavorless Swanson's chicken broth, chopped up carrot, dried lentils and a few bay leaves. Bring to a boil. It will look like this. (If you stir it and take a picture at the same time while trying not to drop your camera into the pot.)

After it boils, let it simmer for 20 minutes. Which is when you can chop up the rest of the stuff you were too slow to get done earlier. Throw in the ham (or whatever), potato and greens. Use red swiss chard if you are cool and adventurous like me, especially if they don't have the regular green kind of greens at the store. Just red ones. Which makes them reds, I guess.

Again with the boil, then simmer. 15 minutes this time. When it looks like this...

...throw in diced tomatoes and some basil, thyme and pepper. Then, you guessed it,  once more bring to a boil and simmer. And following the 5 minutes less every time pattern, only simmer for 10 minutes.

Ooo, simmering. With tomatoes. And little flecks of dried up stuff. Oh, so very unattractive!

When it's all said and done, you get a yummy bowl of hearty stew that just isn't that pretty. You could sprinkle some parsley on it, but that won't help much with the looks factor. Still, it's really good, so make some soon, and just close your eyes when you eat it.

Um, I guess with all my alterations it needs to be called "Lentil Stew with Kielbasa and Reds." Doesn't really work, though. Oh well. Here's the recipe. Except for pre-chopping, this should take around an hour. And it's pretty hard to screw it up. So enjoy, and let me know what you think if you make this homely (but still yummy!) dish.


  1. I'm so glad you are posting again! I always look forward to reading what you have to say! See you in a few days and eat some stew for me, it looks good!

  2. That soup sounds fabulous. I love your cooking light recipes, and I'll be trying this one shortly. It's so nice to have you back in the blogging world!


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