Cozy Butternut, Sweet Potato, and Red Lentil Stew

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After my ambitious triple-blog-post week just after Arlo was born, I lost the motivation to write. I even had a few recipes and photos uploaded to my drafts folder, but I just couldn’t write the actual posts.

Knowing how fast this time goes by, I yearned to simply be present. I slowed down, which felt absolutely amazing. I worked when the inspiration was there and didn’t when it wasn’t. I soaked up our sweet baby boy. I savoured the confidence and ease of being a second-time mom (what a difference). A rollercoaster of hormones hit me early on, and I struggled with the blues on and off. I nursed and pumped and nursed some more. Eric and I mumbled incoherent words, back and forth, in the middle of the night (why is it so impossible to string words together at 3am?). I kissed Arlo’s head, cheeks, and feet a million and one times, and it has yet to feel like enough. I don’t think it ever will.

We witnessed Adriana transform into a little girl right before our very eyes. One night as I rocked her at bedtime—with her long legs falling off the side of the rocker, my arms burning under the weight of her body, and her bossy words instructing me what songs to sing and not to sing (“NO thank you, MOMMY!”)—it struck me that I was not cradling a baby anymore. I fought back tears. It had been a while since I rocked her, as my 3rd trimester bump had gotten in the way. Now she was basically a teenager disguised as a two-year-old. 

Our basement renovation is almost wrapped up, so we’ve taken up dancing, the four of us, in the unfurnished rooms while listening to Christmas music. Adriana clutches her baby doll in her arms, just like I do with Arlo. We also play hide and seek. Often, the basement fun abruptly ends in tears as Adriana has a penchant for running into walls. Ouch. Boo-boos are kissed, and we explain, once again, why it’s a bit too soon for her to pick up her baby brother. So she hovers about an inch over his face, just trembling with excitement, sneaking in kisses. “He’s looking at you!” she yells with delight as he stares into her eyes.

I never want to forget these moments.

Even though I haven’t been writing as much, I’ve been cooking every chance that I get. A couple months ago, Pulse Canada contacted me about partnering with them to develop and share a recipe in celebration of the International Year of Pulses. If you can believe it, I’ve never created a sponsored recipe; most offers I’ve received didn’t feel like authentic reflections of me and the Oh She Glows brand. But pulses…well, I didn’t have to think twice. Peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas? You know I’m down with that. As I’ve shared on the blog before, Canada is one of the world’s leading producers of pulses (in fact, we’re the #1 producer of peas and lentils, which I think is super cool). There are a whopping 22,000 pulse farmers in Canada (high fives), and our pulses are consumed in over 150 countries. (“Our pulses”? Okay, now I’m talking like I grew them myself or something!) On a personal level, I eat pulses every single day, and I adore their flavour and versatility. Red Lentil Hummus, Chickpea Pancakes, No Bake Chickpea Cookie Dough Bars (a recipe I never got around to finalizing!), Lentil-Walnut Taco “meat”…the sky’s the limit with what you can create!

Aside from being super nutritious and easy on the wallet, pulses are friendly to the environment, too. Their carbon footprint is lower than almost any other food group.

Pulse Canada has created the “Pulse Pledge” encouraging people to commit to eating pulses once a week for 10 weeks and reduce their carbon footprint all at the same time. It’s totally free, and you can sign up with me here. (Spoiler alert: I’m killing it, lol.)

A big thanks to Pulse Canada for sponsoring this post. I’m delighted to finally share my newest pulse-based stew recipe with you below! 

A couple housekeeping notes:

Be sure to check out my Instagram post on Friday for some super exciting Black Friday news (hint hint: big app sale, a free holiday cookie app bundle, and Android news!).

Lastly, I’m thrilled to let you know that Oh She Glows Every Day has made it to the final round in the Goodreads Choice Awards. Thank you so much to everyone who has voted and helped to get the book this far! Voting for the final round is open through November 27th; if you’re game to cast one more virtual ballot (or maybe your first!), I would appreciate the support more than I can say. :)

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Cozy Butternut, Sweet Potato, and Red Lentil Stew

Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

By

Butternut squash, red lentils, and sweet potato are wrapped in a lightly sweet and creamy coconut and tomato broth accented with spicy notes of turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and garlic. Apple cider vinegar provides a tangy brightness to bring everything together. This stew tastes better the next day once the flavours have had a chance to mingle; if you can make it the day before serving, I’d highly recommend it! This recipe was created for Pulse Canada, and was inspired by Deliciously Ella.

Yield
11 cups (2.75 quarts)
Prep Time
Cook time

Ingredients:

For the stew:
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 2 cups/280 g)
  • 3 to 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups (400 g) peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash*
  • 1 large sweet potato (450 g), peeled and diced (2 1/2 cups/340 g)*
  • 3 cups (750 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) dried red lentils, rinsed**
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more if you like heat
  • Fine sea salt, to taste (I use 1 1/2 teaspoons pink salt)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 teaspoons (15 mL) apple cider vinegar, or to taste
  • 1 bunch chard, stemmed and finely chopped***
Optional accompaniments:
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, minced
  • Cooked rice
  • Garlic powder and chili powder

Directions:

  1. To a large pot, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onion is softened.
  2. Add the squash and sweet potato and stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt and continue sautéing for a few minutes longer.
  3. Add the broth, diced tomatoes (with juices), coconut milk, lentils, tomato paste, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper. (If you are spice-shy, feel free to add half the amount to start and increase from there after cooking, to taste.) Stir well to combine.
  4. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, stir again, and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash and potato are fork-tender. Reduce the heat if necessary.
  5. Add the apple cider vinegar to taste. Adjust the other seasonings if desired.
  6. Optional step: Using a handheld immersion blender, blend the stew for only 2 to 3 seconds (any more and you’ll blend too much of the veggies). This thickens the broth.
  7. Stir in the chard, and cook for another couple minutes until the greens are wilted.
  8. Scoop some cooked rice onto the bottom of a bowl and then ladle the stew overtop. Garnish with minced cilantro or parsley and a good dusting of garlic and chili powder, if desired.
  9. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, and they freeze beautifully too.

Tips:

* Make sure to dice the squash and potato very small (about the size of almonds), as this will expedite cooking. Also, if you are short on time, you can skip peeling the butternut squash as the skin is edible. (I don’t recommend skipping peeling the potato, though.)

** You can swap the red lentils for 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can chickpeas (drained and rinsed).

*** You can swap the chard for 5 ounces of baby spinach or a bunch of kale (stemmed). I recommend chopping the greens into small bite-size pieces for easier eating.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

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Lore June 16, 2017
Recipe Rating:

I made this today and it was the first recipe I tried from here. It was absolutely delicious and I got a lot of compliments on this! I replaced the butternut with carrots and the chard with spinach. I can’t wait to try more recipes!

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Angela Liddon June 16, 2017

I’m so happy to hear the recipe was a success, Lore! I hope you enjoy the next recipe you try just as much :)

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Laura June 16, 2017
Recipe Rating:

So so so tasty. The whole family love it, even my fussy 3 year old.

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Julie June 9, 2017
Recipe Rating:

Made this over the weekend. Wow…it’s absolutely delicious. Great kick from the spices (not too little/too much). Instead of chard, I used spinach and I couldn’t find any red lentils at my store so I used other lentils. The only thing I may do different next time is to add a little bit of pureed dates to give it a bit of sweetness and maybe some tofu. I take this, along with some rice, to work for a wholesome lunch.

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peter brophy May 21, 2017
Recipe Rating:

excellent! will make it again and again.

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peter brophy May 20, 2017

Hello from Denver! I am cooking this now, smells good. two thoughts, questions: my first experiment in indian style cooking came from the DVD extras on “Bend It Like Beckham” where the Indian real life mother and aunt of the movie’s director are directing her through the steps in making an Aloo Gobi. (A memorable line from the movie – the Indian mother is moaning that her soccer-obscessed daughter will never find a husband because: “You can’t even make an aloo gobi!”). In this video, the Aunt is SCARY insistent that the Tumeric be cooked (added to the onions for the last minute) lest it impair a bitter taste. I didn’t do that here, since I was following steps and not looking ahead. Whaddayathink…bunk? 2. since I don’t have a hand blender, I am going to take several cups out of the soup and put them in a regular blender and add back. That works nicely in bean soups for the added thickening effect. I love your blog! Just stumbled on it last week via Cookie Kate’s Chana Masala recipe. This is my first go and I see lots of other interesting concoctions to explore. will come back to rate it after we eat it

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Angela Liddon May 29, 2017

Hey Peter, So happy you came across my blog! You can definitely try adding the turmeric earlier if you’d like. Let me know if you notice any difference!

Reply

laura nicolas May 13, 2017

Hello from Tahiti! Cooking it right now… it smells delicious, looking forward to eating it soon!!! I have no rice but I will try with quinoa. Thank you soooo much! :-)

Reply

Angela Liddon May 15, 2017

I think quinoa would be great with this! Hope you enjoyed the dish, Laura. :)

Reply

Rachael May 10, 2017
Recipe Rating:

Um…YES! It’s spring, but it’s been rainy and cold this past week. So I felt like making a dinner that would warm us up from the inside out. This was delicious. Perfect balance of sweet, spicy, tangy, and creamy. And such a great idea to serve it over rice. It makes the presentation look nice too. Thank you so much for this!

Reply

Angela Liddon May 11, 2017

I’m glad you enjoyed the dish, Rachael! Hopefully it helped ward off that rainy chill. :)

Reply

katie May 7, 2017
Recipe Rating:

I had a friend coming over who only eats vegan… (aghhh what to cook).
This recipe popped up. Gave it a go and blitz it. Really easy to make and she was raving!!
Paired it with an argentian red and it was devine. Im still full from it nearly 6 hours later.
I must for anyone who isn’t at the master chef stage yet. Best of all I had 6 portions left over after I went back for seconds….

Thanks heaps for publishing this recipe.

Reply

Angela Liddon May 8, 2017

Aw, I’m really glad to hear your friend enjoyed it Katie!

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Julia May 3, 2017

I have to try this recipe as it looks and sounds absolutely delicious. Thank you!

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Kristiana April 30, 2017
Recipe Rating:

This was one of the best tasting lentil recipes I have ever had. Switched up the greens a bit and put it over quinoa ~ absolutely delicious and will be in rotation. DELISH!

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Lindsay April 24, 2017
Recipe Rating:

I made this recipe this evening after a long – and crummy! – day because I was craving some comfort food. It is SO delicious. I ended up substituting the lentils for chickpeas and was missing some spices (I hadn’t planned on cooking at all – part of my crummy day) so I used some of your 10-spice mix I had in my cupboard and it turned out so well! I’m already obsessed. Thank you for such an incredible recipe that absolutely turned my day around! Will definitely be making it again.

xoxo

Reply

Angela Liddon April 25, 2017

Oh, I’m so happy this recipe helped improve your day, Lindsay! I hope your Tuesday is going much better. :)

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