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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veganstew

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Cozy Butternut, Sweet Potato, and Red Lentil Stew

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

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
20 Minutes
Cook time
30 Minutes
Total Time
50 Minutes

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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