Vegan Spicy Quinoa & Lentil Stew

I’ve had this stew every weekend for the past 4 weeks! Who doesn’t love cozying up in front of the fire with a journal and a cozy dinner? It does take some cooking and prep time but it’s simple and easy to tweak to your liking. Here’s what you will need:

lentil stew.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 1C Lentils (I used green lentils)
  • 2/3C Quinoa
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Cloves garlic
  • Organic vegetable broth (look for one that is yeast and soy free, and naturally low sodium. Chicken broth would work as well though its not vegan)
  • 2 – 2 1/2 C vegetables (I like hearty vegetables in stew. I used carrot, parsnip, sweet potato and red pepper)
  • 1 Large or 2 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1/2 Tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 Tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tsp dulce flakes (optional)
  • 2 Tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 Tsp cumin
  • 1/2 Tsp turmeric (powder)
  • Cayenne pepper (to taste, very spicy)
  • 1/2 small lime
  • Coconut oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Seems like a long list but most of it is seasoning which you can easily play around with if you don’t have something or want to switch it up.

Directions:

  • Thoroughly rinse your lentils and bring to a boil 2 1/2 cups of water and let simmer until the water is absorbed. this takes approximately 40mins. At the same time Rinse your quinoa and bring to a boil with water at the ratio of 2 : 1 and adding in  your lemon juice. Allow quinoa to cool.
  • Saute garlic and onion in coconut oil until the onion is soft and translucent but not browned.
  • Add vegetables of choice with oregano and thyme and saute about 2 mins or until the vegetables are a vibrant colour.
  • Add the tomato and allow to simmer about one minute
  • Pour your vegetables and tomato into the lentil pot, bring to a boil with the vegetable broth and simmer with  the spices about 15-20mins or until vegetables and lentils are soft.
  • Remove from heat, stir in your quinoa and season with dulce flakes, salt, pepper and lime juice to taste.
  • Adjust flavours as needed. I like mine spicy so I nearly doubled the spices just being sure to keep in the ratios above and increasing the lime juice as well.

Tips:

  • Quinoa should be allowed to fully cool before stirring or working with it to avoid it turning mushy.
  • Add vegetable broth until you have your desired consistency
  • Though optional, dulce flakes enable you to reduce the sodium content. Using high quality sea salt is crucial.
  • Topping this with nutritional yeast will give you a nutty, almost cheesy flavour

And here’s a few quick switch ups:

  • Use your leftover stew to make spicy wraps. Look at these beautiful collard leaves! Just be sure they are organic. Simply fill, top with salsa and enjoy!
  • Stuff a warm, fresh-baked buttercup squash, or whatever squash you choose and serve on a bed of greens 🙂

 

A warm and fruity twist on fresh apple cider

Image

It’s a thanksgiving tradition in my crazy, wonderful family to make fresh cider with the apples from my grandparent’s orchard and one I eagerly anticipate every year. There is nothing quite like that personal connection with your food and nature. This year we used vibrant red apples, nearly the size of my head, and more normal sized yellow ones, my personal favourite with a slightly sour tang. Any blend of apples will create its own unique taste of cider, you cant go wrong. A few apples stolen to munch on and some elbow grease later and you have a beautiful drink ready to sip and savour. After tasting fresh cider, I can promise  that you will never again be satisfied with store bought. It is so worthwhile to find a nearby orchard that sells their own fresh cider. Not only does it taste incredible but it’s much healthier too.

Image

Here is a fresh, warm take on a classic treat:

Organic apple cider
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
1 organic fruity tea bag

Image

For the tea bag I used one with cranberry, raspberry, rosehips, and a few other flavours but anything fruity will do.

Simply warm the cider at medium heat with your cinnamon stick until it’s lightly steaming. Remove the stick and pour cider over your tea bag in a mug, allowing it to steep to taste. That’s it! So simple, so incredibly delicious. You can also sprinkle a little cinnamon in there.

Image

Thanksgiving was truly magical this year. I was surrounded by family, an incredibly gorgeous day, autumn hiking through the back trails of their farm, turkey, dairy free pumpkin pie, bear hugs with the birthday girl (my cousin with me in the photo above)… stop me before this becomes half of the article! What were you grateful for? Better yet, what are you grateful for right now?! Thanksgiving is a perfect reminder for us to be in a constant state of gratitude. After all, with home-cooked turkey and family, who couldn’t be? It is one of the most powerful forces and when you begin to live in a state of gratitude, you will attract to you more things to be grateful for.

“Be grateful for what you have now. As you begin to think about all the things in your life you are grateful for, you will be amazed at the never ending thoughts that come back to you of more things to be grateful for. You have to make a start, and then the law of attraction will receive those grateful thoughts and give you more just like them.”

– Rhonda Byrne – The Secret

Thanksgiving should be everyday, in every moment. I keep a gratitude journal on my bed side table to write at least three things that I’m grateful for every night before I sleep, though it always turns into a full length page at least. When we begin to see in gratitude, we begin to live in gratitude.

With much loving gratitude for you,
Suzanne Eden