Vancouver has had summer weather since April! That’s pretty much unheard of in the rainy Pacific Northwest. Climate change is real, y’alls. Right now, though, we’re going through a cloudy patch and I’m choosing to welcome it with a flavourful stew that’s inexpensive to make (cupboard ingredients to the rescue) and a cinch to whip up on a weeknight. We eat a lot of lentils in this house and this meal is a keeper.
I love Japanese sweet potatoes (they’re white, not bright orange, and a bit dryer in texture) and I used them here. But if you have orange ones lying around, by all means, use those vibrant vitamin-packed taters. The sweetness is a nice contrast to the Mexican spices. It’s not the most picturesque dish, but it’s so delicious! Plus, topped with salsa, yogurt and green onions and it becomes much more attractive.
I haven’t tried freezing this stew, but I will be doing just that as part of my freezer stock up for Foot Operation 2016 coming up in a few weeks. If you have any other great healthy freezer recipes, send them my way!
mexican-spiced lentils with sweet potatoes
1 T olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1/2 green or red sweet pepper, diced (optional)
1/2 t aleppo pepper (or 1/4 t cayenne)
1 t ground cumin
large pinch of smoked paprika or chipotle powder
1 large sweet potato or yam, diced
1/2 c green or brown lentils (not red)
2 c (approximate) vegetable stock
sour cream or yogurt, salsa and chopped green onions for serving (optional, but worth it)
In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery and let everything mingle and sweat. In go the spices along with the green pepper, sweet potato and lentils, giving everything a good stir. Pour in stock, cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer, stirring things occasionally for 30-40 minutes or until tender and much of the liquid has been absorbed. Serve in bowls and top with salsa, sour cream and a sprinkle of green onion. Serves 3-4.