Hello guys! I have another absolutely winning recipe to share with you this week, and I’m particularly proud of this one. I’m currently on a week of study leave, and I wanted to create nourishing, tasty recipe that would sort me out for a ready-to-go lunch each day. When I’m studying, I always get an early workout in and start into the books early too (my most productive time is the morning, definitely!).Then I make sure to take a good break in the middle of the day, to give my brain some fuel and chill time before an afternoon of more learning! During that break, I always go for a walk for fresh air, and listen to music or a Podcast, and just switch off. So when I get home, I’m usually staaaarving, and its so handy to have a tupper-ware ready to pop in the microwave.
This recipe is meat-free, vegan and vegetarian-friendly, and packed full of plant-based protein, carbohydrates, fats and micronutrient goodness! I was SO happy with the flavour – the addition of cacao powder and cinnamon worked a treat. You can of course (see below) customise this to include meat if you’re aiming for a higher protein intake. I’ve had it with both tuna and roast turkey, as well as on its own, so you can see its a really versatile recipe. I’m really enjoying experimenting with creating vegetarian-style recipes – you guys know I think of myself as a plant-based meat eater, so I really enjoy meals I can use for a meat-free day AND for a meaty (meat-full?) day too!
SO let’s get to it!
Recipe (Makes 4-5 servings)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp raw cacao powder (I use Nua Naturals Brand)
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled & diced
- 2 large handfuls of kale, stems removed & torn into small leaves
- 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
- 1 400g tin of chickpeas
- 1 400g can of bjoux verts lentils (I found mine in Super Valu, the brand Epicure)
- 1 400ml can of chopped tomatoes
- 200mls water
- A sprinkle of sea salt and ground black pepper, to season
- Prepare the veggies by chopping in advance, and set aside in little bowls.
- Heat the coconut oil in a large pot, and add the red onion and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the spices to the onions and garlic. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the onions are completely coated in the spices.
- Now add the veggies (including the kale) to the pot, and cook with the onions for about 5 minutes, until the kale is wilted.
- Next, add your tinned goods to the pot – the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, lentils, chickpeas and lentils, and give it all a good stir.
- Add the 200mls of water to the stew, and stir again. You may need to add a little more water as the stew cooks. I usually fill the empty tin of chopped tomatoes with water and add a a little at a time if I think I need to.
- Season the stew with sea salt and black pepper, stir again, and bring the stew to the boil.
- Now turn down the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and allow the stew to bubble away for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. The stew should thicken up a little during this time.
- While the stew is cooking, prepare your side for this dish – I love having it with courgetti, or some roasted sweet potato chunks! Rice or cous cous would be perfect too!
- After 20 minutes, do a little taste test. Add a little more spice if you feel the stew needs it at this stage. If not, turn off the heat.
- Serve with the side of your choice!
(Served with courgetti, greens, beetroot & turkey!)
Enjoy guys! This recipe has fast become one of my favourite meal prep recipes, it’s really filling and a great vegetarian dish for those meat-free days! Tag me if you try it out – @theirishbalance on Instagram!
Ciara 🙂 x