The January #VegCookbookClub book is Kriss Carr's Crazy Sexy Kitchen. I actually haven't followed Carr's story too closely. I know she was sick, and now she's not, and that she credits her plant-based diet. So, that's cool. But that's about the extent of my knowledge.
I was looking for a simple recipe that would use some of what I already had in the fridge...one of my big goals is always to stop wasting so much fresh, organic produce by letting it rot in my produce drawers!
And when I get so busy that I stop making my evening green juice (which seems to be the case since the end of the holidays) it's all to often wonderful dark leafy greens that suffer most.
So this Lentil Chard Ragout recipe was perfect.
It used the following items I had on hand: Shallots, dry lentils, chard, frozen peas, vegetable stock, nutritional yeast, garlic, red pepper flakes (direct from the Istanbul Spice Market!), lemons to zest, salt, pepper, and Earth Balance vegan butter.
I substituted regular red wine for sherry or marsala wine.
I did *not* have (and didn't miss): fresh parsley or fresh thyme.
And I did what I always do with recipes calling for vegetable stock...i replace at least half of the stock with just water. I find most veggie stocks to be too salty and impart too much of a sour, processed flavor for my taste.
This is a one pot dish where first you saute up the shallots and garlic, then oyu add in the lentils, wine and stock and simmer to cook the lentils, and then you pile in the other ingredients to cook some more..adding them all, over time, until you're done.
Easy peasy. Not short, particularly, since you do need to take that 20 minutes or so to get the lentils cooked. But couldn't be simpler and easy clean-up.
The lemon zest, in my opinion, is the key ingredient. It takes the earthy stew and gives it this slightly unexpected lightness and fresh flavor. I love squeezing lemon juice on greens any time I cook them, so obviously I'm a big fan of that combo: YMMV.
It's a nice big portion, but you might even think of doubling it. This was a wonderful dish two and three days later. And given the chilly weather, heating up a bowl of this is the perfect lunch to bring to work.
Here are my two pictures...in the pot, and in the bowl.