Lazy Lentil Stew (vegan & gluten-free)

Lazy Lentil Stew

Who said fast food had to be unhealthy?

This Lazy Lentil Stew is one of my go-to meals in winter when I don’t really feel like cooking (yes, it happens even to me) or I want to have leftovers for a few days.

It is basically just lentils, your choice of vegetables, tomato sauce and a mix of herbs such as rosemary, thyme and oregano. I also add in some more umami taste to enhance the flavor with some blended dried tomatoes  (you can buy them without the oil) as well as a dash of red wine vinegar just before serving. In many traditional lentil recipes you will see lemon or vinegar added at the end of the preparation because it really ‘lifts’ the flavor while making the lentils easier to digest. Also, make sure you never salt lentils until they are cooked.

I usually use green or brown lentils as they don’t become mushy, which I prefer for this stew. If you want to learn about the different types of lentils, watch this video. As mentioned previously, lentils are a great source of protein, fiber, folate, potassium and magnesium while being quite easy and quick to prepare since they don’t need soaking like beans.


(for 4 people)

1 tsp ghee or coconut oil

1 yellow onion

1 clove garlic, pressed

1 cup lentils – brown or green

2 cups water

About 2 cups vegetables – I used cauliflower, frozen peas and a parsnip but feel free to use whatever you have at hand, either fresh or frozen. If you are using green leafy vegetables, add them only at the end of cooking.

1 can tomatoes

4-5 dried tomatoes, blended or finely chopped

1/2 tsp unrefined salt

1 tbsp herbes de Provence or herbs of your choice


Rinse lentils under cold water.

Melt ghee or coconut oil in a pot under medium-high heat, then add the onions and pressed garlic. Stir for a few minutes, then add the drained lentils and 2 cups of water. Cover the pot.

Increase heat to high and bring to a boil then leave to simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes.

Add the vegetables and leave for another 5 minutes or until the vegetables are almost cooked.

Add the tomato sauce and dried tomatoes and simmer for a few more minutes.

Add salt, pepper and herbs to taste.

Just before serving, add a dash of red wine or apple cider vinegar. You can also top each bowl with some crumbled Feta cheese.

If you have leftovers, store them in the fridge and eat over several days – simply reheat the stew in a pan with a little water.

Roasted Winter Vegetables – Step by Step

Roasted Winter Vegetables

This is a tasty and healthy addition to any main dish and a great way of using winter vegetables, even if they don’t always seem very approachable at first glance!

Choose root vegetable such as sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, black salsify, Jerusalem artichoke, celery root, beets, potatoes etc. You can use them without even knowing their names! You can also add squash or pumpkin and roughly chop a few onions to add more taste.

Roasting these vegetables is a great way of bringing out their natural sweetness and giving them a more complex flavor that even people who don’t normally eat vegetables will like!

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

2. Wash/scrub, peel and dice the veggies into similar size cubes. Some varieties of squash like butternut squash or winter squash (potimarron) don’t need to be peeled.

3. Put all the vegetables in a bowl and add olive oil, some unrefined salt and any spice or herb you like. I usually add a mix of turmeric, cayenne pepper and paprika. Use you hands to really get in there and coat all the vegetables evenly. If you have time, leave the vegetables to marinate so they take on the taste even more. If you prefer, you can add fresh or dried herbs such as rosemary or thyme instead of spices. You can also add some whole or crushed garlic to the mix.

4. Pour the vegetables onto a lined baking tray or large oven dish and separate them out so they are not too close together.

5. Place tray or dish in the middle of the oven.

6. As they are cooking, stir the vegetables around a few times so they cook evenly on all sides. Total cooking time should take about 15-25 minutes, depending on the vegetables used and the size of the cubes. Just before they are done, you can also add some pressed garlic and stir.

That’s it! Enjoy while still hot as a side or light meal.

Embracing Winter

Embracing WinterWinter and I used to have a very unpleasant relationship. I would start dreading its arrival in autumn and when it did finally arrive, it was just a season to get through as painlessly as possible.

Then four years ago, my husband and I took a six month sabbatical and travelled in the south hemisphere during the winter months in Europe. And something unexpected happened: Living a life of endless summery weather finally made me appreciate the importance of colder weather. Without winter, spring doesn’t feel miraculous. And without ever being cold, you don’t appreciate feeling warm. We understand our world through contrasting experiences.

Here are some of the ways I have found most helpful to embrace Winter, inspired by Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a holistic approach which originated in India and is about creating balance within the mind and the body by following the patterns of nature.


One of the core principles in Ayurveda is that Like increases like and opposites balance. This means that cold food or drinks on cold days make you feel colder and that hot food and drinks will actually help you feel less cold. This seems obvious but can be very powerful when really applied. I eat a lot less salads and raw fruits and vegetables in winter as they are very cooling. On days when I feel cold, I try to eat a warm breakfast such as whole grain porridges and use spices and ginger very generously in my cooking or in smoothies as they are warming. I also drink more herbal teas or ginger infusions than cold water and more foods like soups, stews and grilled vegetables. I sometimes even sip on warm water alone instead of drinking cold water.

Another core principle of Ayurveda is to eat seasonally. Winter vegetables used to scare me since I had no idea how to prepare them. Then I started buying one new winter vegetable each week and now I’ve discovered an array of winter vegetables that I actually enjoy eating. The easiest way to prepare any winter vegetable is to roast them, as outlined in my step-by-step recipe here.

In winter, we need more healthy fats and proteins such as nuts, seeds, coconut, eggs and other animal products – you can read more about healthy sources of fats here.


Winter in nature is a time of rest. Respect the natural slowing down that happens during this season by planning less activity and going out less. Winter provides us with the opportunity to go within.

Get as much daylight as possible – aim for at least 15 minutes every day. It is surprisingly easy not to see daylight at all when you are working in an office all day!

The kidneys and bladder are especially vulnerable in winter. Using a kidney warmer like this to keep your kidneys warm can help if you know this is a weakness for you.


Cultivate gratitude: Here’s my list of things to be grateful for in winter: Going to the mountains with friends, drinking a warm herbal tea, the coziness of being wrapped up in a blanket on the sofa, the brave birds that are still around, the dramatic beauty of snow and the stark beauty of bare trees, all the spices that make this season so tasty…When you decide to notice the beauty around you, you do.

What about you, how do you embrace winter?

Root veggies