Ok, first put Z-Man to sleep and bring in bags. Boo hiss being an adult sucks. Now the package, laundry will wait :) My best friend, Carolyn, from day 1 college sent me a present! I told her we were trying to go veggie during the week so she sent us her favorite veggie cookbook. (She also sent us a fiction book her and her husband loved which I am not allowed to read until I take and pass a Microsoft Database Developer exam this January. More on that later once I read it) THANKS CAROLYN!!!
I was so excited about this book! The first recipe I tried from is called Bulgarian Lentil Stew. It sounds pretty dull eh? It was actually really yummy. I have to say I added more garlic, seasoning, the lentil cooking liquid and had to cook everything longer that instructed. Oh and I used chicken broth to cook the lentils instead of water. oops. Truthfully, I'm not all strict about this veggie thing but it feels really good.
Lentil Cabbage Stew
1/2 cup green lentils (C thought it could use more lentils which warmed my heart, do what you like)
3 cloves garlic crushed
bay leaf (recipe said bay optional, weird. I could see cilantro or some iffy herb or seasoning but bay? Don't get it.)
3 cups water or (veggie or chicken) broth
1 large onion diced
1 green pepper diced (oh yeah the original recipe called for yellow bell pepper which I didn't have and cost twice as much so whatevs)
2 carrots diced
2 stalks celery diced
1/2 cup mushrooms diced (it called for 1 cup which I didn't have - ok I needed the rest for another recipe to be blogged about at a later date)
1 tsp thyme (recipe called for rosemary but I wasn't in the mood)
1 tsp cumin
1-2 tsp cayenne or new mexican chili powder vary type and amt as you like
small cabbage chopped (I used green but not sure if it matters)
28 oz can of diced tomatoes
*TIP - Here's what makes life easier for a cook, prep everything before you start. I make sure to chop the onion last so I don't cry through the other veggies. I preheat the soup pot then start chopping the onion. Usually by the time I'm done the pot is ready for oil and the onion.
You'll need a small pot and a large soup pot. Bring 3 cups liquid to a boil in the small pot. Add lentils, bay leaf and garlic. Stir. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes until they are mostly cooked.
While lentils simmer preheat soup pot on medium high heat. Add olive oil and onion. Stir, add some salt and pepper and saute for about 3 minutes. Add pepper, carrot and celery stir and cook another couple minutes. Add seasonings and cabbage, turn heat to medium. Cover and cook about 10-20 minutes. I don't know if it was cuz I kept checking it or what but it took forever for the cabbage to cook (soften). I also think I didn't chop mine small enough. I liked the somewhat crunchy texture though as did C so it worked out.
Add tomatoes and lentils with most of the lentil cooking liquid. For me, there was about 1 cup of cooking liquid left so I added 3/4 of it. I bet I could have added it all but I wanted to keep it stew-like and got nervous it would be too thin. I know, like 1/4 cup makes that much difference... Cover and cook until cabbage and veggies are as you like them (or you are too darn hungry to wait another minute to eat). We pretty much let it cook another 20 minutes at this point but we only did the cabbage cooking part for 10 minutes. You feel me? Enjoy!