A lovely vegan supper: fragrant, hearty, and healthy.
The long ingredient list might make you want to run away...but I hope you'll be brave and not let it stop you from making this delicious meal.
(You can probably even make it in a slow cooker.)
Serve with warm flatbread.
(In the photo above, you'll see orzo (rice-shaped pasta). I had to add that because I only had 1 cup of lentils on hand. The recipe calls for 2 cups. You can certainly substitute orzo or another small pasta for some of the lentils.)
Here's the printable recipe.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
3 cups chopped white button mushroom caps
1 1/2 cups chopped portobello mushroom caps
1 cup chopped shiitake mushroom caps
1/8 cup tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 cups lentils
1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
2 cups canned diced tomatoes, with their juice
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup sliced assorted bell peppers (red, yellow, and green)
1 pound fresh spinach, washed and stemmed
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
Place the olive oil in a large saute pan; heat it over medium-high heat. Add the onions, and cook them until they are light golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, and celery, and continue to saute, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender (not mushy).
Add all the mushrooms and the tomato paste, vinegar, paprika, cumin, and fennel seeds, and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the lentils, vegetable stock, diced tomatoes, salt, ground pepper, and cayenne pepper. Simmer covered until the lentils are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.
During the last 5 minutes of simmering, add the bell peppers. Add the spinach, and cook until it is wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in the lemon zest.
A sauce will form around the lentils; if they appear dry, add a little water or vegetable stock.
Slightly adapted from: The Whole Foods Market Cookbook