So, until very recently I was vegetarian. I still don't really like eating that much meat (and when I do I want it to be local, antibiotic/hormone free and humanely raised animals). The reason why I compromised was mostly for Cory's sake - he likes a lot of veggie meals, but he is a meat eater at heart. If I was going to get him to quit eating out so much, I had to make some meat :) This recipe, however, is his favorite (mine too!). This is especially good for vegetarians because it is high in Iron- lentils and spinach are both some of the best plant-sources of iron. I can't take all credit for this recipe though, I'm pretty sure I saw got the idea on Food Network. This could also be filed under cheap food, for sure. We eat leftovers the next day and then I freeze the rest for lunches. This is also extremely fast and easy - not too many ingredients and everything goes in one pot - and for stew, it doesn't take long to cook at all.
Lentil and Spinach Stew
Olive Oil (I use extra virgin and extra light)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups lentils (I use green)
about 42 oz. Vegetable Stock or Broth (I use the boxed stuff - this also comes out to 3 cans).
1 or 2 tsp Hot Curry Powder (or curry powder and cayenne pepper)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
8-10 small red potatoes, cut into quarters
1 Package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well (I squeeze the liquid out)
Juice from one lemon (about 1/4 cup juice - I like the lemon flavor, so sometimes I add more or some zest)
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
Feta cheese crumbles
Heat a few tablespoons olive oil in a large pan (a casserole or large saute pan) over medium-high heat. Saute garlic until just turns golden.
Add the lentils and toss with the oil until they are coated and add the broth. Add curry powder and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Reduce heat (to medium or medium-low), cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the chopped potatoes, stir to combine. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until potatoes and lentils are tender. Give it a good stir every now and again.
Add Spinach (I don't usually add all of it - about 1/2 to 3/4 of the package) and lemon juice. Taste and season if necessary - I usually add a dash salt and maybe some cayenne or more nutmeg. Stir to combine and let heat through for about 5 minutes or so. Stir in mint right at the end.
Add feta cheese crumbles to taste - you can add to the whole batch or just put in each serving (sometimes I do this so the leftovers keep better).