Tessie’s Curried Lentil Stew

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that a few weeks ago I went to Niagara-on-the-Lake to visit my friend, Tess.  She’s off being a superstar in a couple of shows at the Shaw Festival, and I was thrilled to go play proud friend in the audience. In addition to being a kick-ass singer/actor/dancer, Tess is also a really good cook, and she made me some pretty fabulous meals while I was there.

One in particular, her lentil stew, had me grilling her for her recipe. Like me, Tess is an improviser in the kitchen (we managed to cobble together one of the best salad dressings I’ve ever had with the ingredients we had on hand), so she didn’t have an exact recipe. A little of this, a little of that, and ta da! Stew! Since then, I’ve been recreating it in my kitchen, trying to get it just right. Today’s batch would make Tessie proud.

Tessie’s Curried Lentil Stew


2 cups water*
1 cup red lentils
2 small onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped into coins (if you use organic carrots, you don’t even have to peel them!)
1 medium sweet potato, in small cubes (again, organic sweet potatoes can keep their skins)
handful of kale, ripped into bite-sized pieces
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp curry powder (I use Arvinda’s Curry Masala – feel free to adjust based on your personal heat preference)
pinch of sea salt

Melt coconut oil in a pot, and add chopped onions. Sautee until they turn clear (approx. 10 mins). Add carrots, sweet potato, sea salt, and water, and allow to simmer on medium for another 10-15 minutes, until the sweet potato becomes tender. Add lentils, curry powder and kale, and continue cooking on low-medium for another 20 minutes, until water is mostly absorbed. Serve topped with your favorite herbs, tahini, or yogurt.

Serve over rice, or with a couple slices of sprouted-grain toast to make the lentils a complete protein.

*I like a thicker stew, but feel free to thin out with more water if you so desire.

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