Spicy Veggie and Lentil Stew

Recently, I’ve been hearing and reading a lot about Vegan-ism.   As a very regular gym goer and therefore worrying about getting in enough protein (and calories) for muscle repairing, I’ve always been a bit anti the idea – all my meals are based around meat, fish or eggs!  However through my friends at Fitter London I came across Mike Mahler – a kettle bell and weight lifter who lives and trains exclusively on a Vegan diet – wow!   On Mike’s website there are some recipe ideas, and in particular stews.  He claims that by adding certain plant-based proteins together you can build a stronger complete protein.  So I decided to give one of them a good go (lentils + hemp seeds in this case).  In true Cucina Ceri style, I found it impossible to stick to the recipe and threw a whole load of other things in.  The result? –  A really delicious tasty stew.  Yay!  I couldn’t be Vegan or even Vegetarian the whole time, as I really love my meat too much but I think I may aim to do a Vegan day every now and again – a good idea to let the body detox from processing animal products.

This dish includes Lentils, a legume which just like chick peas are not paleo, but as my body tolerates them well, I see absolutely no reason not to eat them on my Vegan days, when they are used in this way as a protein source.  I’ll be freezing the rest of this stew for future lunches…

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

  • 200g red lentils
  • Diced vegetables:  1 leek, 1 courgette, 4 small carrots, 250g pumpkin, 15 baby plum tomatoes, 1 orange bell pepper (you could vary this as you wish)
  • large handful of torn basil
  • 1.5 cups of Coconut milk
  • Spices:  2 tsps ground ginger, tsp turmeric, tsp ground coriander, tsp curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 2 tablespoons flax oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil


  • Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan and add the diced vegetables one at a time, continuously stirring ensuring they are coated with the oil – leeks, pumpkin, carrots, courgette, peppers, tomatoes,
  • Add the lentils, a cup of water and 1 cup of coconut milk
  • Season and add the spices, as well as some of the torn basil (reserving the rest for decoration)
  • Cover the saucepan with a lid, turn the heat to low, and leave the stew simmer for 30 mins, stirring every 5 minutes or so.
  • After 30 mins, the stew may require an extra 1/2 cup of coconut milk.
  • After a further 10 minutes take of the lid, stir and let it breathe for a few minutes while it thickens up.
  • Take off the heat and stir in the hemp seeds and flax oil (NB you can’t start the cooking process with the flax oil as it doesn’t suit high temperatures)
  • Spoon into individual bowls, top with additional fresh basil and ground black pepper.

If you’re interested what I ate for the rest of my first Vegan day then keep reading…

Breakfast:  A Pumpkin 9 bar  (not Vegan cos contains honey but that’s REALLY strict), crumbled over a bowl of blueberries with Kara coconut milk and a dollop of almond butter, a few brazil nuts and a Pukka Clean Greens drink.

Lunch:  A portion of my Ratatouille with spinach, houmous, cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, half an avocado sprinkled with organic mixed seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower).

I think my veggie intake went through the roof today!

One thought on “Spicy Veggie and Lentil Stew

  1. Pingback: Leek and Coconut Lentil Soup | Recipes from Boatyard House

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