French Lentil Stew Recipe

This stew is a frequent repeat in my kitchen.
I have tried it with green/brown lentils, as well as black lentils. Sometimes even red.
But my absolute favourite is french lentils.
It handles substitutions and lazy measuring very well.
And it only takes 12 minutes in the pressure cooker! (regular cooking info below, too).

The Dainty Pig's French Lentil Stew
* Very loosely adapted from Lorna Sass' recipe for "Lentil Stew with Spicy Greens" 
   in "Great Vegetarian Cooking under pressure."
Serves 4.

*1.5 cups french lentils, rinsed
*roughly 1/2 cup sliced celery
*roughly 1 cup diced carrots
*roughly 1/2 - 1 cup diced parsnip (use more if you like the taste).
*1/2 " finely diced ginger
* ~1Tbsp ground coriander
*~1 tsp dried thyme
*4 cups boiling water
*~ 1.5 cups loosely packed parsley  (other greens ok too)
*1 T sesame oil or other mild oil of your choice
* salt or tamari to taste
*optional lemon juice

1. Heat pressure cooker pot (no lid yet) on medium high. Add oil (make sure oil doesn't smoke).
    *If you are avoiding oil, you could use a tiny bit of water instead of oil, to water-sauté.
2. Quickly sauté veggies, first adding ginger, then celery, then carrots, then parsnips.
    Total sauté time about 3 minutes.
3. Add in spices, sauté another 1 minute, stirring back and forth.
4. Add in boiling water (be careful for sputtering).
5. Stir in lentils, lock pressure cooker lid in place, and bring to high pressure over high heat.
6. Once pressure is up, lower flame or heat to lowest possible to maintain high pressure.
    Cook for 12 minutes on high pressure.
7. Use a quick release method to bring pressure down (I run it under lukewarm water).
8. Take lid off, stir in salt to taste, and parsley.
9. The pot will be hot, so let the salt (or tamari) and parsley cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I prefer mine with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice on top.
Also nice is some toasted walnuts crumbled on top.

*the amount of veggies and greens are very flexible, and I rarely measure :)
*I'd recommend making a double batch if you have room in your pot.
*Cooking in a REGULAR POT: this stew could absolutely be made in a regular pot instead of
  pressure cooker. I would guess that the cooking time would take around 30 minutes. Follow all the same
  steps, except instead of bringing to pressure, simply bring to boil then simmer with a lid on until lentils are
  soft, or desired consistency is reached (longer cooking + more creamy). Stir and check frequently.
* Always, always, ALWAYS follow your pressure cooker safety instructions/directions.

Made with black lentils and parsley.

Made with a mix of green lentils and black lentils.

Made with black lentils with spinach.

But the clear winner, and heart-stealer is with french lentils:

French lentils win!!

They just get SO creamy!

Click Here for more detailed info about french lentils and more pics of the steps!

The leftovers can be easily re-heated and enjoyed again.
But, a nice change is to chill the leftovers, then blend with some lemon juice and optional olive oil, to make a delicious dip or spread.

♥ How do you love your lentils?

Dinner Party Delights

 Hey Guys,

The focus of this week's Thursday Things are FRIENDS!
And enjoying simple meals with them :)

Here's a few quick shots from the dinner party last night.

You can see my plate because of the rice cake, hahaha.
 (once my belly is doing great, I will definitely indulge in some good quality bread)
Lemon slices for the soup, cute bird lemon squeezer from Japan, and tahini sauce for the veggies.

3 kinds of Sourdough Bread  (wholegrain, baguette, & potato bread)

French Lentil Stew(has parsnip, celery, carrots, ginger & parsley in it).

Roasted Veggies

Kabocha, Fennel, Japanese Sweet Potato, & Yellow Beets

Tahini Custard (like a kanten, made with apples, raisins & tahini)

After! I garnished these with a few raisins before serving.

* To make this mouth watering custard, please read Aveline Kushi's book "Complete Guide to Macrobiotic Cooking." It is simple, tastes decadent, and received great reviews from my guests!

*French Lentil Stew Recipe coming soon!

* And, a guest post tomorrow!

Have a lovely thursday, dainty piglets 

Lovin' the Lentils.

Aren't lentils glorious?
I mean, they're the fastest cooking legumes.
And look at all the nutrients!!!!

Nutrients in
1.00 cup (198.00 grams)
Nutrient%Daily Value



dietary fiber62.5%







vitamin B1 (thiamin)22%
potassium                   20.8%                     

(Source: WHFoods )

But most importantly, they taste darn good.
The proof is in the pudding lentil stew.

Here is a new version of my recent obsession, but this time using French Lentils.

Gather the troops: 

And by troops, I mean...lentils, carrots, celery and spices (thyme and coriander).

Rinse the lentils.
Double Check that everyone is accounted for:
All there?

Proceed to throw it all into your pressure cooker, and be ready to eat in less than 20 minutes. While you're waiting you can prepare the table setting(s):

Serve the rice.

Then serve up the stew.

Top with anything you like. 
Tamari-roasted almonds and a squirt of lemon highly recommended.

Enjoy pretty rainbows cast on your delicious lunch (hang some crystals in your window).

Swoon over yet another type of lentil.

Have you tried french lentils?
They rocked mine and T's socks off!
yummy. times a million.

They are like a cross between red and green lentils. Think a little less peppery than red lentils, but they still keep that buttery smooth like consistency, similar to when you make red lentil dal.

This pressure-cooked lentil stew had coriander and thyme for spices. 
You can stir in a bit of salt or tamari after. Or a bit of lemon.

What's your favourite kind of lentil?

Something to Stew over.

I have mainly stuck to stews and whole grains in my new friend, the pressure cooker.
But I hope to try some new dishes soon---perhaps some pilafs, desserts, or risottos.

But this lentil stew is just SO good that I don't even want to try any other recipes.
I used the base "lentils with spicy greens" recipe from Lorna Sass' book:

"Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure."

I changed the veggies, and added my own spices, and it turned out too delicious!

Carrots, Celery, Burdock (love), Ginger
Unfocused brown lentils (or are these green?)

Cooked with some coriander and thyme.
Greens and garnishes added in after pressure cooking.

This one with toasted walnuts and kale added in after.


This version had parsley and a bit of lemon juice added after cooking.

Do you like lentils?
What's your favourite way to eat them?

Some Eats This Week

Hello hello.
As promised, some food from this week:
Lentil and Veggie Soup
This one had burdock, carrots, green lentils, onions, and parsley.

Served with some yummy brown rice (cooked with wakame), and topped with shoyu toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
Mixed Veggie Soup
I believe this one had cabbage, daikon, celery and carrots, and kudzu for thickening.
Topped with shredded nori, and green onions.

I have also been enjoying one of my favourite vegetables: Kabocha Squash.
So so so yummy.
I just steamed it, and then blended up a bit with some homemade almond milk and cinnamon.
3 minute pumpkin pudding!
I also saved some and cooked it into steel cut oats in the morning.

I am just LOVING soups! Thanks to my new cookbook I am experimenting with different vegetable combos, and cooking styles. The soups are all fairly simple, cutting up the veggies, layering them according to yin and yang, adding water, bringing to boil, them simmering.
Yesterday I made a delicious red lentil turned out more like red lentil dhal with chopped up veggies in it, and I was ok with that. Mmmm.
What's your favourite soup?
I tend to enjoy creamier thicker soups, with pumpkin, or chickpeas or lentils. But I am definitely enjoying experimenting with brothy soups.
Happy Weekend to you all! I am off to go on an adventure in the car, through the mountains to a delicious macrobiotic restaurant I have heard lots about. Can't wait!