Lentil & Chorizo Stew (Spanish Pork and Beans)

A little before my second daughter was born, my husband and I enjoyed a night out, dining at a local bistro. The menu is a French-Mediterranean fusion, serving up a delicious arrangement of dishes that often feature less popular, more unique ingredients. It’s one of those restaurants that we really enjoy eating at, because there is always some new dish or technique that we then try to replicate at home.

One of the tapas that we loved was a plate of stewed lentils, served alongside crispy slices of chorizo with thin slices of garlic. It was savory, warm, and we cleared the plate all the way down to mopping up the broth with bread. It was simple, but a new idea for cooking lentils – one of my all time favorite foods – and I knew I would have to try and make this at home.

After some quick research to help select the best Spanish-inspired spices for my dish, I played around in the kitchen a few times, and finally came up with this recipe. Each time I cooked it, I naturally progressed from the fancier, restaurant-matching presentation, to that one-pot cooking style I love so much (it’s just so much easier!).

This recipe is perfect for those cold days ahead, a warm, stick-to-your-ribs type meal that leaves you full and happy. Since the bulk of your protein and calories is plant-based,  that wonderfully full feeling comes without the nap-inducing effect that can accompany a meat-heavy dish.

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup of brown lentils

1 white onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 medium carrots, diced

2 chorizo sausage links (4″)

2 bay leaves

1 bunch of collard greens

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

Salt & pepper, to taste

Olive oil

Directions:
1) Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or other large pan (one that has a lid). Add the onion and garlic, sauté until onions are translucent. Add smoked paprika, cook about one minute more, then add 1-cup of water. Mix well, then remove from pot and pour in blender. Blend to a paste and set aside.

2) In same pan, add a little more olive oil, cook thinly sliced chorizo until crispy, remove and set aside. Add carrots and cook until starting to soften. Add lentils, bay leaves, chopped collard greens, 3 cups of water and the paste. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer 45-minutes.

3) Add cooked chorizo, salt and pepper to taste and 1tsp. Smoked paprika if desired (this will increase the smoke and heat, so leave out otherwise.) Serve immediately with toasted ciabatta bread.

Advertisements

Venison & Sweet Potato Curry

When left to my own devices, down to a few ingredients and a rumbling belly, I tend to gravitate towards dishes with either a Mexican/Latin taste, or something Indian. Making a curry is something I definitely don’t do even close to as good as my local Indian restaurant does, but the warm, spicy flavors are definitely a regular in my own cooking.

This dish was thrown together early one morning. I think the first time I made it, we were expecting a storm with strong winds, and so I decided to do a dump-cooking style dish on our wood stove, this way dinner was something I wouldn’t have to worry about.  Continue reading “Venison & Sweet Potato Curry”

Blueberry Mint Cocktail

While canning our pounds and pounds of blueberries this year, I scooped out a small amount of our blueberry mint jam before it was fully ready, keeping it looser to use as a syrup. (If interested, follow my recipe for Blueberry Mint Jam, and simply stop reducing your mixture after about 8-10 minutes, before it gets too thick.)

This syrup is delightful in lemonades, as well as cocktails. Try out this delicious recipe, and see for yourself! Continue reading “Blueberry Mint Cocktail”

Harvesting Acorns

One fall activity I look forward to doing every year, is harvesting acorns. We have an abundance of oak trees on our property, and in the surrounding preserve, making these nuts easy to come by. The last two years, we have been blessed with a good, strong bumper crop – something I am sure the deer and wildlife love as much as we do!

We primarily use our acorns for making acorn bitters, an woodland take on Angostura bitters that is tannic, earthy and has a warm nutty flavor all at once. We add them to our fall cocktails, and they are a truly delicious treat! However there are many people out there who also use acorns to make their own acorn flour. Continue reading “Harvesting Acorns”

Canning Recipe: Peach Slices

This was our first year canning peaches, and it couldn’t have been easier. The peaches have held their sweetness, shape, and texture quite well, much to my husband’s delight, as peaches are his favorite fruit.

We did freeze some peach slices, but it is my understanding that canning preserves their natural sweetness better than freezing them. This recipe is easy, and creates a light syrup that does not overwhelm the peaches’ natural flavor.

Continue reading “Canning Recipe: Peach Slices”

Smoothie Freezer Packs

One of the final preparations I did before the birth of our second child was to put some pre-made smoothie packs in the freezer. They are great for an easy breakfast, or a wholesome snack when I’m busy taking care of my newborn and toddler!

smoothiebags1

Smoothie packs are so easy to make, and I love how versatile they are! You simply pre-portion out your fruits and greens, pop them in the freezer, and when the day comes to have one, you just dump them in the blender and turn it on! Continue reading “Smoothie Freezer Packs”

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑