mountain lentil stew

Here’s a recipe for a cold mountain winter – it’s hearty and filling and delicious! We created this from several other lentil recipes but added a twist – a tomato base. In this recipe, it’s important to make sure the lentils are cooked until tender before salt is added; the salt may prevent the lentils from getting tender. Nothing worse than crunchy lentils. Add jalapenos to taste – one tablespoon gives you a medium spicy bite. And the stew is great the next day! If it’s too cold for a dark beer with this stew, you might want to try a hot spiced cider drink, and try to stay warm until spring!

1-2 Tbs. light olive oil
1 med. yellow onion, chopped fine
½ tsp. minced garlic

Sautée the onion and garlic for 3 to 4 minutes, until onion is transparent.


1 1/3 cup lentils
6 cups water
1 Tbs. fajita seasoning
1 ½ tsp. dried dill weed

Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer and cook 30 to 40 minutes, until lentils are tender.

DO NOT ADD SALT YET. Salt will prevent the lentils from becoming tender. You may need to add a bit of water to keep the stew from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Stir in 2 peeled russet potatoes (about ½ inch dice). Continue to cook on medium-low for another 20-30 minutes, until potatoes are tender.


1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1-2 Tbs. diced jalapenos
1 tsp. salt, and pepper to taste

Stir well. Garnish with fresh dill or parsley and a dollop of non-dairy sour cream.

spiced dal (lentil stew)

There are myriad varieties of dal, many of which include lentils. The spices used in this dish can vary quite a bit and can include curry powder, garam masala, or even tamarind or mango. Dal is served often in Indian households (sometimes more than once a day).

Lentils are packed with fiber, complex carbohydrates, magnesium, folic acid, and iron, but they’re low in calories and fat. Lentils are high in protein – just add grains, nuts or seeds to your meal for a complete protein.

1 12-oz. package dried lentils, rinsed and drained
1 tsp. minced ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
3-4 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped fine
1 tsp. chili powder
Pinch of ground cloves
Dash of pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Place lentils and ginger in large cookpot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 35 to 45 minutes until lentils are tender. Add salt.

2. In a separate pan, heat oil and sautè onions over medium heat until they start to brown (about 12-15 minutes). Reduce heat; add chili powder, cloves, and pepper; stir until combined.

3. Add onion mix to lentils in the cookpot and stir. Serve over a bed of rice and sprinkle with cilantro. You may want to add a dollop of vegan sour cream.

vegan moussaka II

vegan moussaka

vegan moussaka II

There are as many versions of moussaka recipes as there are vegetables to add to this hearty dish (see another version here). Some versions of this dish are made with potatoes instead of eggplant, and some add zucchini. In England, sometimes a layer of mashed potatoes is used on top instead of cheese. This vegan version is filling and delicious, especially when served with a chunk of crusty bread. It’s great for an early fall supper when the nights start getting cooler.

1/2 cup lentils
2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 bay leaf
Olive oil
1 large eggplant
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 14-oz can garbanzo beans
1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated non-dairy cheese (optional)
2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped

1. Place lentils, stock, and bay leaf in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. While lentils are cooking, oil an 8″ x 8″ baking pan; set aside. Drain lentils and set aside.

2. Heat 3 Tbs. olive oil in a large saucepan. Slice the eggplant into 3/8-inch slices. Cook the slices until lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Set slices aside.

3. Preheat oven to 350°. In the same saucepan, heat 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add onion and garlic, and sautè for about 5 minutes. Add lentils, mushrooms, garbanzos, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and 1/4 cup water. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper.

4. Place half of the eggplant slices in the baking dish. Spoon half the lentil mixture over the slices. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices and lentil mixture. Bake for 35 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake another 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted and dish is bubbling. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Variation: If you’re not a fan of non-dairy cheese, try the English version of moussaka and add a top layer of mashed potatoes before popping in the oven.

mediterranean summer lentil salad

You can never have too many salad recipes in the summertime.

2 cups cooked lentils
2 medium potatoes, cooked, peeled, and cubed (1/4 inch)
1 cup frozen peas, cooked and drained, or fresh
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
6 green onions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
1 Tbs. fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 Tbs. fresh basil, chopped

2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
Dash of cayenne pepper
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Mix all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Pour dressing over salad, toss, and serve.

spicy red lentil soup

If you enjoy Indian food, you’ll love this spicy red lentil soup. We’ve replaced the yogurt that is traditionally used in Indian cuisine with Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream. Delicious! Look for lentils in the bulk foods section of your natural foods store.

1 cup dried red lentils
5 cups vegetable stock
3 Tbs. Tofutti’s Better Than Sour Cream
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt

Diced red bell pepper for garnish

1. Stir lentils and vegetable stock together in a soup pot; bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cook until lentils are tender (about 25 minutes).

2. Combine about 2 cups of lentils and broth with Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream in a blender. Process until smooth. Return to soup pot and combine with remaining ingredients. Cook until heated through. Serve with a garnish of diced red bell peppers.

vegetable grain soup

Before you prepare this soup, check your cupboards for tiny leftover amounts of grains, barley, lentils, etc. and feel free to substitute whatever you have on hand for the ingredients listed below.

2 quarts vegetable broth
1 quart water
1 small onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
3 celery ribs, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup lentils
1/2 cup split peas
1/2 oz. dried mushrooms
1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cubed
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 tsp. Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp. basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. In a large soup pot over medium heat, bring the broth, water, onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the barley, lentils, split peas, and dried mushrooms. Continue to simmer for an additional 45 minutes.

2. Add the potato, zucchini, tomatoes, and spices and simmer for an additional 30 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are tender. Serve hot with a rustic bread.

“sausage” & lentils

Greg Lawson kindly allowed us to post his version of this classic recipe. If the vegan products aren’t available in your area, you can order them from The Mail Order Catalog, VeganEssentials, or Pangea. You can also use vegan meat substitutes you may have on hand.

2 Tbs. olive oil
4 slices Lightlife brand vegan bacon, diced (or 2 strips Primal Strips brand jerky, hickory flavored)
3 Yves brand vegan sausage links
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced fennel bulb (optional)
1/4 cup diced carrots
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 bay leaf
1 cup brown lentils
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. hot pepper flakes
15-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1.5-oz bag Stonewall’s Jerky (mild or wild)
1 stick Vegi-Deli brand Quick Stix (any flavor), cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces and halved crosswise
3 cups vegetable stock (add more stock or water if you desire, but this should not be a soup)
A shot of wine if needed (for the pan or for the cook)

Heat the olive oil. Place the vegan “bacon” in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until crispy, about 3 minutes, and remove from the pan. Brown the “sausages” in the hot oil until golden (2 to 3 minutes per batch). Remove from the saucepan and set aside. Add the onions, fennel (if desired), and carrots to the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and bay leaf and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the lentils and stir for about 1 minute. Return the browned sausages and bacon to the pan; stir in the thyme, hot pepper flakes, tomatoes, Stonewall’s Jerky, Quick Stix pieces, and vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer and cook 50 to 55 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and have soaked up most of the liquid. Remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.

Serve the lentils and sausage with whole-grain mustard and crusty bread.