Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Coconut Curried Sweet Potato Lentil Stew with Quinoa and Kale

Whew.  That's a long name for something that was pure improvisation.  This stew was born from a case of the blues.  It's gray and rainy and cold and altogether nasty outside, precisely the weather I really hate.  I have a chest cold, and the cough is driving me crazy.  I'm chronically sleep deprived and completely exhausted.  I went and worked out, but it was a gargantuan effort, and it made me feel worse instead of better.  Everything was just crappy, and I needed comfort.  It was also lunch time, so comfort food sprang from the meager ingredients I have in my kitchen.  It's also got three super foods, but that happened completely by accident.  I was just using things I thought would be good together.  I suppose it says something at least slightly positive about my eating habits that I even had three super foods hanging out in my kitchen!

Coconut Curried Sweet Potato Lentil Stew with Quinoa and Kale


  • 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and diced small.  I'm not kidding here; I mean really small!  Like maybe into 1/8 inch cubes, certainly no more than 1/4 inches.
  • 1 cup lentils.  I won't tell you what kind to use here.  Pick your favorite.  If I were making suggestions though, I'd strongly suggest you use red lentils.
  • 1/4 heaping cup of quinoa, rinsed 
  • Large handful chopped kale, washed with stems removed.  How much you use is strictly personal.  I used four large leaves.
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed (or minced fine if you've got that kind of patience)
  • 2 cups good quality vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 heaping TBSP curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP lemon zest
  • Coarse kosher salt


  1. To a large stock pot add the veggie stock, water, and coconut milk.
  2. Whisk in onion powder, curry, cinnamon, ginger, lemon zest, and several pinches of salt.
  3. Add sweet potatoes, lentils, garlic, and quinoa.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer.  Simmer for 20 minutes, or until sweet potato is tender.  Lentils will be completely broken down.
  5. Stir in kale, turn heat down as low as it will go, and simmer for ten more minutes.  You can simmer longer if you'd like your kale to be more done.  I like mine to be crunchy/tender, and ten minutes is the perfect amount of time for this.
  6. Remove from heat and add lemon juice.
This is a thick and hearty "stew", but if you'd prefer it to be more soup-like, then just add more liquid.  The quinoa absorbs a lot of it, and the lentils break down, so this makes for a thick dish.  It's filling, healthy, and not terribly caloric.  It's got good fats from the coconut milk and protein from the quinoa.  It's just an all around good bowl full of food!


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