In our house we all eat different things. It wouldn’t be uncommon for all five of us to sit down together to eat and all have something different on the plate. When I really think about it, there are lots of different reasons why this has come about. Some of it was a case of just finding something, anything, that was healthy that the children would eat, some of it was to do with my many varied eating habits, some of it is rooted in a belief that we are all different with different food preferences and this should be something to be respected and celebrated.
Quite often I cook a dinner for Kenneth and myself while I am cooking for the kids. They usually eat their dinner when they come in from school, and we eat a bit later, so I make ours and heat it up again later. This recipe is one of those meals. It was a cold, wet day, just perfect for a nice warming stew.
x1 courgette or ½ a large courgette
Thumb sized piece of ginger
1 garlic clove
x1 tin of chickpeas
x1 tin lentils (green)
x2 tins chopped tomatoes
shelled hemp seeds (optional)
- Chop onion and garlic and sweat in a large pan with olive oil and a pinch of salt, and the lid on. Add water if the onion sticks.
- Finely chop the ginger and add to the pan
3. Dice the aubergine and add to the pan
4. Slice the courgette into rounds and add to the pan
5. Slice the mushrooms and the peppers and add into the mix
6. Chop the carrots into chunky pieces and add as well. Then give it a good stir…
7. Add a tin of drained and rinsed chickpeas to the veg
- Add a tin of green lentils
- Add two tins of chopped tomatoes
- Give it all a stir and add about this much water…
- Next the herbs. The very first flower bed we made in our new garden after we built our house was a herb bed. It is right outside the kitchen window and looks like an unruly mass of different greens. But I love being able to pop outside and pick myself bunches of herbs for teas and cooking. You don’t need to use fresh herbs for this dish, and really, you can just add the tastes you like. I am a big rosemary/sage fan, hence the following combination!
If you are using dried herbs you can reduce the amounts a little. A handful of rosemary, sage, oregano and thyme all chopped finely. I usually strip the leaves from the rosemary and thyme and discard the stalks.
- Stir it all up, add a bit more salt to taste, and leave it to cook until the vegetables are soft, usually about 15 minutes
- We got these lovely shelled hemp seeds to try out and sample and I really like them. I put them on my breakfast buckwheat, on my lunchtime salads and on this stew! They have a sort of nutty flavour and are packed full of goodness.
- Sprinkle a few of these over the stew and there you have it, the perfect comfort food for a wet Irish day! You can serve the stew with rice, quinoa, or just have it on its own. It easily feeds four adults, with a bit more left over for a quick take to work lunch!