I don’t class myself as belonging to any type of ‘diet group’, whether it be paleo, raw, no-carbs/juice diets etc… the list goes on. I aim to eat a balance and variety of foods, keeping my intake of added sugars very low, and very little processed. This seems to work for me and makes me feel good. What I will say though, is Vegan food really is some of the tastiest food! Luckily for me, I genuinely LOVE vegetables, which definitely makes the food more enjoyable, but I love the fact that cooking vegan food makes you more creative in the kitchen with flavour/textures and you’d be surprised what delicious dishes you can come up with!
I was craving something hearty, warming and full of goodness after a long day at work, so I came up with this:
Vegan Butternut Squash & Beluga Lentil Stew with Cauliflower ‘Rice’
Ingredients (serves 1):
200g butternut squash chopped into cubes
60g beluga lentils (I bought the merchant gourmet ready ones – so handy)
half a medium white onion – chopped up
1 garlic clove
70g chesnut mushroom sliced
1/2 fresh red chili
200g tinned cherry tomatoes
80g cauliflower heads
1 vegetable stock cube (I used kallo, low salt) in 250ml boiling water
1tsp smoked paprika
1tsp coconut oil
fresh coriander + lemon wedge to garnish
- In a saucepan, melt your coconut oil and put in the onion, butternut squash and garlic – cook on medium heat for about 8 mins.
- Add your cumin, smoked paprika, fresh chili and a little salt & pepper if you wish. Once coated with the spices, cook for another 2 mins then add your tinned tomatoes and veg stock. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to simmer for 20 mins for the squash to soften.
- Add to the pan your mushrooms and stir through – If the sauce gets a too thick, add a little more water to allow the squash to continue to cook through. Add the lentils in last – these only need heating through gently.
- In your blender, whiz the cauliflower heads to a ‘rice’ like consistency (if you have a nutrtibullet this will take literally a matter of seconds) and mix with a tbsp water. Transfer to a bowl and heat in the microwave (optional) for 3 minutes for quickness.
- Whilst you have your cauliflower rice on the go and your stew still cooking away, take your avocado half and slice it length-ways, chop a few springs of fresh coriander and get your bowl ready to dish up.
- The stew all in all should take around 30/40 mins to cook, test it by cutting a piece of the butternut squash to make sure it’s soft through the middle. Once ready, place in your bowl with your cauliflower rice, topped with the fresh avocado, coriander, lemon, a little extra chili if you like it more spicy and a sprinkle of himalayan salt and black pepper. If you are not vegan, a dollop of greek yoghurt is lovely on the side and bumps the protein content up a little.
I hope you enjoy my recipe, it’s delicious, fresh, veggie packed and provides a whole lotta comfort after a busy day. It’s a new favourite and I’m already looking forward to making this again! Let me know if you have any yummy vegan recipes you’d recommend? I always love trying out new things.