Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Bowl of Comfort: Lentil and Vegetable Stew with Kale

Even though it is now officially spring, this never ending Vancouver rain and a lingering cold have me craving some good ol comfort food. I came upon this recipe in the March 2011 issue of bon appetit and knew it would be a winner and no, not just because it calls for my favourite vegetable Kale. This recipe also calls for rutabaga and celery root which I have never used nor could I identify even if I tried. After a quick trip to the grocery store I discovered that celery root is not the same as celery afterall.

Lentil and Vegetable Stew with Kale
adapted slightly from bon appetit

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 celery root, peeled and chopped
1 pound dried brown lentils (I used 2 cups, last of my supply)
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence (I had never heard of this either)
8 cups vegetable broth
1 large bunch Kale, ribs removed and chopped

Fry the onions in the oil with salt and pepper to taste. Add the next 3 ingredients and fry until lightly browned. Next, add the lentils, broth, herbs and kale and cook until lentils are soft all the way through. I made a small change to the recipe by pureeing 1 cup of the stew in order to make the broth thicker and I also crumbled some soft feta cheese on top. Yum! I'm starting to feel this cold go away already!

Food for baby

Now that my little guy is 6 months old, he is starting to eat a small amount of solid foods. I first gave him iron fortified rice and oat cereal and now I am additionally introducing a new fruit or vegetable puree every 4 days as recommended in order to reduce future allergies. A great online resource called wholesomebaby describes a simple way to make and store baby food using ice cube trays and so I thought I'd give it a try. Each cube of the ice cube tray can hold roughly 1 oz of baby puree which is the ideal serving size. Making your own baby food is a great way to save a few bucks as well as keeping things healthier for your baby by using organic fruits and veggies when possible.

Yam and Carrot Puree
  1. steam 1 large yam and 3 carrots (steaming maintains the most nutrients)
  2. puree in blender or other appliance
  3. add a small amount of water, formula or breast milk to thin the puree if needed
  4. pour into ice-cube tray (most newer trays are BPA free)
  5. freeze
  6. pop out of ice cube tray into a freezer zip-lock bag and label
  7. remove from freezer and thaw when it's time to feed baby