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Jamaican Lentil Stew June 22, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dinner, good for a group, soup, vegan.
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Stew on a 90 degree day?  I realize this is crazy, but it’s what sounded good!  Never mind that making this raised our house temperature from a cool 81 degrees indoors to a mildly uncomfortable 84 degrees…sometimes you just have to suffer for a healthy dinner.

I am going to write up this recipe as I made it, but please—substitute away!  The veggies that went in were the veggies I wanted to use up before re-stocking the fridge tomorrow, and I’m sure you could put in any number of ingredients and still have it turn out delicious.  I wish I would’ve put a sweet potato in, but there’s always next time.  To spice this up, I used a few spoonfuls of Jamaican jerk seasoning we brought back from our vacation this spring.  I forgot how incredibly SPICY this stuff is.  I was fine with it, but you might want to start with one teaspoon, taste it, and work up from there.  If you don’t have jerk seasoning on hand and don’t want to purchase it, a garlic chili sauce might be nice, or just plain old hot sauce.  This is what I used:

Grace Jerk Seasoning

Jamaican Lentil Stew

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

Jamaican lentil stew

Ingredients:

2 cups French lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 cans diced tomatoes
3 small red skin potatoes, diced
4 carrots, diced
2 teaspoons jerk seasoning
2 cups water
1 bunch of kale, rinsed and chopped

Method:

Bring 5 cups of water to a boil.  Add rinsed lentils and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until lentils are tender but not mushy.

While the lentils are cooking, prepare the rest of the stew.  Heat a tablespoon of olive oil, and saute the onions until they are translucent (or even a little browned–I like mine just on the verge of burnt). Add the carrots and potatoes.  I pre-steamed the carrots and potatoes to cut down on cooking time, which you might want to do.  If you don’t pre-steam them, you’ll have to cook them for a little while at this stage, remembering to stir often.  When the potatoes and carrots are soft, add the diced tomatoes and jerk seasoning to the mix.  Stir, and simmer.

Drain the lentils when they are done cooking.  Add the drained lentils and two cups of water to the mix. Simmer for a few minutes, tasting to check the seasoning and spice level. Add more salt & pepper or jerk seasoning if needed.  Stir in the chopped kale, and cook another few minutes.

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