Lentil Mushroom Stew-A Hearty Healthy Dinner
Wild Mushroom and Lentil Stew is one of my favourite fall and winter dinners. This vegetarian stew has deep, rich and delicious flavour from caramelized onions and the same varieties of mushrooms I used in my Wild Mushroom Soup recipe (did you try that one?) Lentils add protein and a lovely texture while chanterelles and other mushrooms give that great umami and taste.
Lentils are full of protein and more importantly for vegetarians, iron. The green lentils I used for this recipe have 12 grams of protein, 25% of your daily recommended intake of iron and 5 grams of fiber per ¼ cup!!! Definitely a nutrition powerhouse.
Canada Is A Top Lentil Producer
Did you know that Canada is one of the main, world wide producers of lentils?! Isn't that amazing. I love food security and sustainability and lentils are a crop that grow well in Canada and our farmers sell here and abroad. As for mushrooms, if you've been following me for awhile now, you know how much I love foraging for and eating wild mushrooms. Possibly my favourite food item ever...but I digress.
This recipe only has a few ingredients but these are nutritious whole foods with a satisfying umami richness. There are a few optional ingredients depending on your dietary restrictions or what you have in your fridge so this is truly a recipe for any mushroom lover.
Enjoy my friends, I hope you're have a lovely and refreshing January.
PS. I'd love to hear from you guys! Did you make New Year's resolutions? Are you loving winter or are you dying for spring/garden season? I'm trying hard to enjoy winter and some time up the mountain in the snow will help but I'm can't wait to get back in my garden. Come on spring!!!
Wild Mushroom And Lentil Stew
- 1 ½ c Onion, sliced About one large onion
- 1 tsp Seasoning Salt
- 4 tbsp Olive Oil, divided in half
- 1 ½-2 lb Wild and cultivated mixed Mushrooms, sliced Chanterelle, Lobster, Oyster, Porcini, Shiitake and White are varieties I love but feel free to use whatever combination you have on hand.
- 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
- 3 tbsp Flour
- 4 c Mushroom or Vegetable Stock I make mushroom stock with ½ c dried mushrooms in 4 c boiling water, stirred and let to sit for an hour.
- 1 c Tomatoes, chopped Use fresh tomatoes or substitute 1 tbsp tomato paste.
- 1 Large sprig of Thyme
- 1 Small sprig of Rosemary
- ¼ c White Wine or 1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar Adds a little extra acidity
- 1 tsp *Optional* Worcestershire Sauce *do not use if you are strictly vegan*
- 1 c *Optional* Each, Carrot and Turnip, chopped ½ inch Makes this an all-in-one dish
- 3 c Cooked Lentils, green or brown 1 cup dry lentils, cooked according to package directions.
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 c Parsley, peas or kale to garnish Something fresh and green helps this stew pop!
- In a wide bottomed, large heavy pot (I love my enameled cast iron pot), heat 2 tbsp oil on medium and add onions and seasoning salt. Saute, stirring often until they are caramelized. (Add a tbsp of water or 2 to help them cook down if they are drying too much before browning)
- Once nice and brown, push to the side, add remaining oil, garlic and mushrooms, sauteing until cooked.
- Sprinkle with flour and stir through, immediately adding stock once flour is stirred in. Stir vigorously to incorporate flour through stock then add tomatoes, herbs and optional ingredients (vegetables, wine and Worcestershire) if using. Simmer on medium, stirring often about 30 min. or until carrots and turnips are cooked through if using. ( If you are busy doing other things and can't stir often, turn heat to low)
- Stir in cooked lentils and heat, then add your green garnishes if using and turn off heat after one minute letting residual heat finish cooking them lightly.
- Serve in a bowl with your favourite side of mashed potatoes, yams, polenta or risotto.
- *Note: This keeps well and can be made 2-3 days ahead and leftovers used as lunch for school or work. The lentils are very high in iron and protein making them a great choice for vegetarians. Although I love mushrooms, if your children don't (I have 2 mushroom loving and 2 mushroom hating), load up the other veggies and go light (or even skip) the mushrooms for a high fiber, high vitamin and low fat, satisfying dinner. My mom used to grate mushrooms with a cheese grater to "hide" them in things and I've done this myself when I really want that mushroom flavour without picky eaters complaining.