lemon jelly

Class Distractions
October 22, 2008, 1:25 pm
Filed under: food, recipes | Tags: , , ,

I have a bit of a confession to make. Sometimes, when I’m in lecture, brow furrowed, lips pursed, tapping away at my laptop, I’m not really puzzling over the ethics of proxy decision-making for incompetent patients or deliberating in my head about the role of belief in our emotions. Sometimes, I’m just thinking: “What’s for lunch/dinner?”

So, as interesting as court appeals and the issues of informed consent really are, I found myself in my bioethics class today fantasizing about the warm, crusty whole-wheat rolls and luscious lentil stew that were waiting for me at home. I couldn’t help it. Blustery winds, inverted umbrellas, and very wet feet have sort of been the norm lately, and I don’t see things getting better. I may as well take what comforts I can, and there’s little better to warm up with than a steaming bowl of stew on days like this.

The stew is something I made on Sunday with Steve, and it’s only gotten better since then. It’s a pretty quick recipe too. We were able to throw it together after dinner without too much fuss, even though neither of us really wanted to do anything except curl up on the couch with the cat.

Admittedly, I didn’t think that the stew looked like much on paper, and I really wasn’t sure about the dill, but I went along with Steve’s assurances, and sure enough, it turned out to be pretty lovely stuff. Its ingredients don’t look like anything too extraordinary, but there’s nothing banal about this stew. If you want a bowl full of warm fall flavours, this is it.

The whole-wheat rolls, by the way, are from the November/December issue of Cook’s Illustrated. It’s a fabulous magazine for its thoroughness and detail to method. I just wish it were more vegetarian friendly. My subscription is halfway through, so if anyone has any recommendations for good vegetarian magazines, I’d be open to suggestions.

Hearty Lentil Stew

Adapted from Gillian McKeith’s You Are What You Eat.

  • 2 cups brown lentils
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cubes of vegetable bullion
  • 6 cups water
  • 5 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, and chopped
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 lbs mini white potatoes, halved or quartered
  • a few handfuls of watercress (about half a pound), chopped
  • 4 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tsp tamari
  1. Soak lentils in cold water for about 20 minutes. Rinse and drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large stock pot, warm oil over medium heat and saute onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 2 or 3 more minutes.
  3. Add the bullion cube, water, lentils, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, and potatoes to the pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer 20-25 minutes or until lentils and vegetables are soft.
  4. Stir in watercress, dill, and tamari.

Serves 6-8.