I got inspiration for this recipe from the book Plenty’s recipe “Swiss chard, chickpea and tamarind stew”. I had no tamarind – honestly, haven’t seen it in the stores, I saw the tamarind paste in cans, so I might try to add tamarind next time making the stew. So, I liked the idea “stew-legumes-chard-coriander-caraway-sour kick” and came up with the following recipe. One day I used French green lentil in this recipe, but didn’t make a photo. French green lentil pares amazingly well with Red Swiss chard by taste, texture and color. It also doesn’t require soaking and cooks pretty fast – in this recipe, it will be almost done while vegetables are cooked and then just mixed with them and Voila! But today, I thought to use mushrooms and black-eyed peas instead of lentil – one of my favorite combinations, which also goes well with – and I would even say begs for — carrots and red bell peppers. Below is my attempt to describe two recipes in one.
This meal is light and nutritional — one servings for lentil stew yields about 300 cal, 8 g fat, 42 g carbs, 18 g protein and 19 g fiber (see the full facts in the end of the post) — and therefore can be served with toasted bread.
Lentil Stew with Red Chard or Black-eyed Pea Stew with Red Chard and Mushrooms (this one is on the picture)
Cooking time 30-45 min (slightly more if to use black-eyed peas)
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1 cup dry French green lentil or black-eyed peas
- 2 cups water
- 1 medium or ½ large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp olive or sunflower oil
- 2 tsp coriander seeds, ground
- 2 tsp caraway seeds, whole
- ½ tsp red paprika (optional)
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- one 14-oz can chopped tomatoes, with juice (or two large tomatoes, chopped)
- 1 lb red Swiss chard, stalks and leaves together, roughly sliced
- 2 glove garlic, minced
- ½ large lemon, juice (more or less by taste)
- salt and black pepper by taste
- pinch red crushed pepper (optional)
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (more or less by taste)
- 1-2 cups water (more or less depending on desired stew consistency)
Optional ingredients for black-eyed peas stew
- ½ lb baby bella mushrooms, sliced on the pieces twice as large as a pea
- 1 large or 2 medium carrots, cut into four lengthwise and then sliced into nearly cubical pieces (like peas)
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into the same size pieces as carrot
- Pour 2 cups of water into the lentil or beans in the medium-size pot and put the pot on high heat. When boiled, reduce the heat and cover with the lid. Do not use salt. If lentil is used the following steps can be started right away. But for beans, let them to cook for 15-20 minutes before doing everything else.
- Fry the onion until tender in heated oil on high heat in a large skillet or casserole, which is able to accommodate the whole stew.
- Add caraway seeds and fry for additional 1 minute.
- Optional step. Add carrot, pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté for another 5 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add coriander seeds, garlic, and tomato paste and stir them together with onion. Add tomatoes from the can and stir together for about 5-10 minutes while prepare the chard.
- Add the chard and stir for 3-5 minutes.
- Drain the lentil or beans, wash them in cold water, and add to the stew.
- Add lemon juice, salt and pepper, 1 cup of hot water. Mix everything well.
- Try the stew for salt, pepper, sourness and consistency in 5 minutes. Add more water if needed.
- Cook for additional 15-20 minutes on low heat.
- Add cilantro and serve the stew.
Nutrition facts for 4 servings of lentil stew.