A photo of a bowl of lentil and vegetable stew, garnished with cilantro.

Lentil and Vegetable Stew

Lentil and Vegetable Stew
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1-2 small onions, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 gloves garlic, minced
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2 potatoes, chopped into 2 cm cubes
  • 6-10 carrots, chopped into med. size pieces (I cut them in half lengthwise, then cut wider pieces)
  • spices, such as coriander, cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika
  • 2 cups lentils
  • 4+ cups water
  • 1-2 cups each of green beans, zucchini and kale (or other green vegetables)
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, saving some for garnish
  1. Heat the oil in the pan at med-low heat, then add the mustard seeds.
  2. Once the mustard seeds start to pop, wait another 30 seconds (but don’t let them burn!) before adding the onion.
  3. Let the onion cook until mostly translucent, then add the salt, pepper, garlic and ginger and cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the potatoes and carrots and saute for another few minutes.
  5. Add spices if you wish and cook for another few minutes. I usually add a very small amount of coriander and cumin (1/8 tsp) and about 1/2 tsp each of turmeric and smoked paprika. I’ve made this without adding any spices at this stage and it’s still delicious.
  6. Next, add the lentils and water. I usually add a little more than twice as much water as lentils. But then I usually add more water later if needed.
  7. If using a pressure cooker, put the lid on and cook at low pressure setting for 5 minutes. Then reduce the pressure and remove the lid.
  8. Add the green vegetables and cook at look pressure setting for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  9. The final step is to add the lemon juice and salt. This is probably the most important step for flavour as the lemon brings out all the other flavours of the dish. You can also add cilantro at this stage (I always do, but not everyone loves cilantro as much as I do).
  10. Garnish with cilantro.


illustration of squash and carrots

Squash, pumpkin soup

Squash, pumpkin soup
  • This soup gets nice and thick and it’s a great way to use up the various fall squashes. It is somewhat inspired by the tagine.
  • 10 units of squash and/or pumpkin
  • 2units of onions
  • 1 unit of olives
  • 1 unit raisins
  • 1 unit mushrooms
  • some sea salt, pepper
  • balsamic vinegar
  • .5 units of pineapple juice (optional)
  1. Scoop out and skin the squashes with a big knife and a big cutting board. Cut them up in pieces and drop them in a small amount of water to boil. The trick here is to use a small amount, because after they get soft, you blend the pieces up until you have a fine soup base. I used a blender once. Now we have a really nice hand blender that we use right in the water. But if you had to mash it, you could, it would just take a little longer and might not turn out quite as velvety.
  2. Fry a couple of copped up large onions in a frying pan with oil and balsamic vinegar until they are soft and translucent. Add the onions to your soup base. Add salt and vinegar to taste. Drop in the olives and raisins and mushrooms and let simmer for at least half an hour.
  3. I used pitted green olives and cut them in half. But I bet it would be similarly good without having them pitted or with other varieties of olives. It’s worth some further experimentation.
  4. For additional good times, you can add a juice to sweeten it. Or beets. Or carrots. Or green beans. Or pretty much anything.