RECIPE: Jackfruit & Lentil Stew

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The time is here, the socks are on, the slow cookers are out (although this recipe is made in a pan) & the heating is being turned UP.

Yes my friends, Winter has come.

And that to me means the things coming out of my kitchen for the next few months all need to have an element of warming cosiness to account for the fact that those golden rays of sunshine have left us until next year….(it’s a sore spot but luckily after almost 30 years I’ve just about learnt to cope. Almost.)

Anyway moving on from my slight whinge there let’s talk about this divine prep-ahead recipe, featuring a current new & shiny ingredient – jackfruit.

So I often get asked if I am vegan & my answer here is no, I am strongly omnivorous but I do include a large quantity of plant based meals into my diet, not just for their wealth of nutritious properties but also for ease, sustainability & generally less expensive ingredients.

There is also the element that as their innate flavour profiles are more mouldable, someone like me who enjoys a bit of culinary creativity every now & again, can have GREAT FUN making up never ending tasty combinations.

So yes that’s what I’ve done here – it’s cosy, it’s tasty, it’s packed full of nutritional awesomeness AND because you’re using lentils it takes about 1/3 of the time to cook when compared to a similar dish using meat.

All manner of wins happening there my friends, & I hope you all enjoy this 1 as much as I am!

Serves 4-6

  • 1 can young jackfruit (I use the Biona one)
  • 250g cooked lentils
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 5-6 mushrooms
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • ½ jar olives
  • 5 sundried tomatoes
  • 1 organic vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 500g passata
  • 500ml water
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

 

TO SERVE: brown rice, noodles or 1/2 roasted aubergine + fresh parsley, lemon juice & feta or goat cheese if you fancy

 

  1. Peel & dice the onions, add to a large pan with the coconut oil & begin to heat on a gentle flame, stirring to coat in the melted oil.
  2. Wash the celery, pepper & carrots (no need to peel them) & cut into 1cm chunks, add these to the onion & leave to gently cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Hold the rosemary stalks at the soft end, running your fingers along the stems against the growing direction of the leaves so they pinch off easily. Add the stalks straight to the pan then finely chop the leaves & add these too along with the pepper & oregano. Stir to mix everything together.
  4. Roughly chop the sun-dried tomatoes, grate/crush the garlic & add these as well, leave to cook for 1 minute then pour in the passata, using the water to rinse the container of any leftover bits before pouring this in too & crumbling in the stock cube. Bring to a gentle simmer.
  5. Chop your mushrooms into biggish pieces (quarters is usually fine) as they will shrink, add these then pop a lid on & cook gently for 10 minutes.
  6. Drain & rinse your lentils then add these & continue to cook but with the lid off for a further 10 minutes to allow the sauce to reduce slightly.
  7. Roughly chop the jackfruit & olives, add these for a final 5 minutes & then it’s ready to serve!
  8. You can absolutely also freeze an extra – it will keep in the fridge for a week or frozen for 3 months.

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