A few weeks back, I discovered a cookbook at Value Village in Waterdown, Ontario…Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons.
It has dozens upon dozens of recipes, the majority of which call for ingredients that I recognize, which is important to me. I don’t mind having to do research and find ingredients that originate from a different culture if I’m attempting a specific dish, but I like having recipes on hand that are simple ingredients…stuff I have in my cupboard or that I can easily buy at a nearby grocery store. The more pretentious the cookbook, the less likely I am to buy it.
This book is quite accessible and I’ve been having fun while trying out some of the recipes!
“But … a stinkbug???” you’re probably asking. “What’s THAT all about??”
Keep reading…I’ll get there *wink*
Or if you want to see the recipe, you’ll find it at the bottom of this post.
The first recipe I decided to try was the Curried Lentil Stew. That morning, I headed to the Hamilton Farmer’s Market and bought the vegetables I would need. I decided to get all the prep out of the way so I began by cutting up my onions, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and garlic.
It was as I began to saute my onions in melted butter that things became interesting….
I looked over to my right and on my cupboard, I saw this trundling along my cutting board:
He seemed kind of dopey…slow moving…
Usually I’m pretty good with finding insects in my apartment.
I’m not one for killing them…I usually capture flying ones in a glass, crawly ones on a piece of paper and release them outside.
But in this case, my food was all over the counter and I was in the midst of cooking my onions which required my attention, so this little visitor wasn’t welcome. He was near my food! And that creeped me out!! Not to mention…at the time, I didn’t actually know what kind of bug he was and hey, the unknown is a little scary!
Actually, I have to admit that the creeped out feeling sort of remained for a bit…so, to distract myself, I made shadow puppets in my onions!
*blink blink* Yeah, I’m that kind of geek.
Yep, I grabbed the wrong bag and began adding the red lentils before I clued it that I had meant to use brown. Ah well, I hadn’t added the full amount at that point so I switched and ended up having a bit of both.
It was quite yummy…good flavour…a nice warm, hearty dish to eat on a cold day.
CURRIED LENTIL STEW
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 or 2 large carrots, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
- 2 med potatoes, peeled, 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 2 pinches ground cinnamon
- 1/2 dried thyme
- 2 cups of water
- 1/2 cup dried brown lentils
- 1/2 cup sherry
- 1/2 tsp salt…to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- Melt the butter in a saucepan. Saute onion until it begins to brown, about 7-8 minutes.
- Add the garlic, curry, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and thyme. Continue to saute for another 2-3 mins while stirring.
- Add the carrot and potato, water and lentils. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, sherry, salt and pepper. Continue simmering for another 5-10 minutes, or until potatoes and lentils are tender.
Source: Vegetarian Plant by Didi Emmons, Harvard Common Press, 1997