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Lentil Carrot Stew and a pantry raid...

Posted Mar 08 2010 8:02am
I know I mentioned the pork on the last post, but you will have to wait on that because I wanted to share this little stew that came from our pantry raid last night.  Ok, so have you ever looked in the pantry and the fridge and the freezer and thought, what in the heck am I going to cook?  Well, that is exactly what we did last night.  The problem is, every time we go to the grocery store, no matter what we are going to buy, it is always $30-$50.  Neither one of us was in the mood to go to the store anyway, so we started searching.  We are huge fans of stocking up on stuff (like beans and rice), which is great, but when you want something different with those ingredients, then you need to have a few more things in that pantry!  We are also trying to organize the pantry and we discovered some odds and ends that needed to be used up or consolidated!  Beans are great and all, but I really prefer to soak them over night to keep them from being so gassy.  I know, I said it, but it is true!  So, with two packs of open lentils we were off to a good start.  These little gems are so quick and easy to cook!  I have absolutely fallen in love!  I know I say that a lot, but I do love food!  Anyway, this stew started out as a quick family meal of throwing a few things together.  The illustrator was going out for the evening with a friend, so we invited him over last minute to eat before they went out.  CRAP!  This is not the kind of meal you serve to people when you invite them over for dinner.  I started cooking and it was seriously just lentils and carrots.  UGH!  It was supposed to be a stew of some sort.  I started to feel embarrassed and bad for serving this to someone other than just us.  I started looking in the pantry, again, to see if there was something to sex up this stew.  I really wanted a can of diced tomatoes, because, really isn't that the answer to everything in the kitchen???  Well, our stocked pantry is running low and there were no cans of diced tomatoes.  There was a can of tomato sauce though.  I did not want is to taste like pasta sauce, but I really had no where to go with it, so I decided to add it anyway.  Well, we devoured it!  It turned out perfect.  I am sure it was mostly the factor of seasonings, but the combination was comforting and tasty.  The kids loved it too and they swear they don't really like beans! So, new pantry staple must have...lots of LENTILS!
Lentil Carrot Stew
makes 13 cups

1 16 oz bag lentils
3 cups sliced carrots
1 1/2 cup diced onions
3 cloves garlic
4 cups vegetable broth
3 TBSP ketchup
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
15 oz can tomato sauce
2 1/4 cup water

Cook onions and garlic in a little water until opaque.  Next add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.  Turn to low and simmer for 1 hour or until lentils are done.  

about 126 calories/cup
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