A Recipe From a Victory Belle: Cristina’s Lentil Stew
During wartime, a large emphasis was placed on growing produce at home and not wasting any food. Meat was also rationed. Our Victory Belle Cristina has a great fall Lentil Stew recipe that uses ingredients that were common in WWII Victory Gardens and that were mindful of the time’s rations. Give it a try and follow the instructions below!
Cristina’s Lentil Stew- Serves 4
As a very busy Victory Belle, health is a top priority! With performances filling up the calendar, we’ve got to be ready to go at any moment. This means making sure we are getting enough sleep and eating well. This Lentil Stew recipe is a perfect fall dish that’s full of vitamins, fiber, folate, and antioxidants. This dish keeps The Victory Belles satisfied and energized enough to get through our high energy shows—and it tastes great!
This one pot of Lentil Stew can be served as a main dish or a side. Lentils have very little calories (about 280 cal. for 1 cup of cooked lentils) and a lot of fiber. So they’ll fill you up—not out! Kale is full of antioxidants and is an anti-inflammatory too. Both kale and lentils are known to help in the prevention of certain cancers and heart diseases.
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1 cup peeled eggplant, cut into small pieces
1 to 2 cups of chopped kale
Seasonings: rosemary, cumin, herbs de provence, salt, and pepper
3 cups of liquid (water, broth, or combination of the two)
1 cup of dry green lentils
1-2 tablespoons of Sherry Vinegar
1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Garnishes: fresh parsley and parmesan cheese
Rinse and Prep the Vegetables-
- Peel and cube eggplant, and put in a colander over the sink. Then salt the eggplant, and let it sit for 20-30 minutes to help get rid of the eggplant’s bitter liquid. Once the eggplant has been salted for about 30 minutes, rinse the pieces with water and pat dry each cube with a paper towel.
- While the eggplant is sitting, chop up onions and carrots into bite size pieces.
- For the kale, cut into bite-sized chunks or ribbons removing the hearty center stem on each leaf.
- Add olive oil into a big pot (I prefer cast iron) heating over medium heat.
- When the oil heats up begin to add onions, carrots, eggplant, and kale seasoning each layer of vegetables added with shakes of rosemary, cumin, herbs de provence, salt, pepper or whatever other flavors you prefer.
- Once the vegetables begins to cook down add the 3 cups of liquid to the pot with the 1 cup of dry green lentils.
- Bring this mixture to a boil and let simmer for 4 hours. Be sure to check it periodically adding more flavors and bits of lemon juice and Sherry Vinegar to taste.
Tips for seasoning:
Fresh herbs are always a plus. With this dish, earthy flavors work well, but feel free to add the notes you love most.
Hope you enjoy one of my favorite recipes!