It’s January now, and you know what that means: Veganuary.
January is the one month out of twelve that people are increasingly ready to try a plant-based diet. After the extra turkey sandwiches, mince pies, and sneaky glasses of wine over the festive period it’s a good way to press reset. Time to re-tune our bodies to a healthy routine again.
But first, we need to know where to start. No meat? No dairy? No problem! There are some staple vegan recipes that everyone will love, and I mean everyone. Normally, these are trade secrets among vegans, agreed to never be shared, but today I will reveal one just to you. One that has saved me at dinner parties, and last minute family meals more times than I can count.
Introducing the Spicy Lentil Stew, a dish that will have everyone you know asking for more. We’re going to need:
- Put the lentils in a pot and bring them to boil and allow to simmer for roughly 20 minutes (if it’s easier tinned lentils in water work just as well and can save you mountains of time!)
- Add the onion to a large pan with the olive oil and saute for 10 minutes on a low heat, letting them getting soft and translucent. Then add in the spices, and garlic and fry for a further few minutes.
- Thoroughly wash & drain the lentils.
- Then, add the lentils, water, veg stock cube and the tomatoes to the pot and simmer for 20 minutes on a low heat.
- Finally squeeze in the lemon juice and season with salt & pepper.
This will serve 4-6 people, and there is always some leftover which means lunch or dinner the next day. Personally, I like eating it on its own, but I have served it with rice, couscous, quinoa, and bread (the crustier the better). You can also serve with coconut yogurt, or smashed avocado on top as well to give it a very luxurious and creamy texture, and get extra protein into it.
One of the big mistakes people can make when trying vegan food is ‘replacing’ meat with vegan alternatives like tofu or seitan. Vegetables and legumes, like lentils, are the original alternatives, and are much better for you. Lentils especially are packed with protein, fiber and are amazing for your heart!