Slow cooker spicy lentils are a favourite. And so convenient because you can prep the night before, and cook dinner while you’re away for the day.
Food that is cooked at a low temperature for longer preserves more flavour and nutrients. Slow cooking is also more convenient. You can prep a meal the night before to cook the next day while you are away.
Our naturopath, Tracee Blythe, has kindly shared one of her favourite slow-cooked meals to help you and your family eat well and take some of the stress out of figuring out what’s for dinner.
SPICY LENTILS RECIPE
This recipe serves 6-8 people.
The amount of ingredients in this spicy lentil stew suits a 6-7 litre crockpot, so adjust the ingredients according to the size of your slow cooker.
You can also slowly oven-bake this recipe in a large casserole dish at 150 Celsius if you don’t have a crockpot.
4 cloves garlic – finely diced.
Knob of ginger – finely diced.
1 red chilli – finely diced (optional).
1 brown onion – small dice.
2 carrots – small dice.
3 stalks of celery – small dice.
1 zucchini – large dice.
1 big, sweet potato – large dice.
10-12 mushroom – halved or quartered.
1½ cups of red lentils.
2 tins of diced tomatoes (or about 800g fresh).
1 litre of veggie stock.
1 tsp each of ground cinnamon, turmeric, cumin and paprika.
1 bunch of kale or spinach, shredded
Juice of one lemon
1 bunch of finely diced parsley
Instructions are simple
Simply add all the main ingredients (including the spices) to your slow cooker, stirring well to ensure everything is evenly coated.
Then pop the lid on and set the timer for around 6 hours on low. Check the stew at 5 hours and test the lentils. Give the stew a stir and leave to cook for longer if neccesary.
Ten minutes before serving, add the shredded greens, parsley, and lemon juice, stirring to combine.
Serve with brown rice or quinoa and extra salt and pepper to taste.
Leftovers will keep in the fridge for around four days, and you can also freeze them.
SLOW COOKING NOTES
If you’re short on time in the morning, prep everything you need for your slow-cooked meal the night before and store it in the fridge overnight.
Don’t overfill slow cookers (three-quarters full at most) – or your ingredients may overflow or not cook properly. On the other hand, if you add too few ingredients (less than half full) – your food may overcook.
You can use other legumes such as chickpeas but avoid adding rice, pasta, or couscous – they tend to go mushy in slow cookers. It’s better to cook these grains separately as a side serve.
Always add your delicate leaf vegetables and fresh herbs in the final stages of cooking, just before serving.
Never add dairy ingredients in slow cooking recipes – they will curdle.
Programmable slow cookers are ideal because you can set the start time and not return home to an overcooked meal.
ABOUT TRACEE BLYTHE
Tracee Blythe specialises in helping people reset their lifestyles and revitalise their health.
Her Start Fresh 14-day RESET program includes nourishing meals and naturopathic guidance.
To learn more about Tracee’s RESET program, visit her website here.
MORE SLOW COOKING RECIPES
Whether you’re a student, a busy mum, working, or looking for healthy food ideas – slow cooking is the best for convenience and nutrition.
Click on the following links and discover the many ways you can create delicious, healthy slow-cooked meals.
Alexandra Caspero is a dietitian and plant-based chef. Her Chickpea Tikka Masala is a perfect comfort food for colder nights. You’ll also find slow cooker butter chickpeas and tofu, coconut curry, saag paneer, biryani, vegan korma, and chana masala recipes on her website.
If you love cookbooks – digital or paperback – look at Kathy Hester’s slow cooking recipe books. She also offers online plant-based cooking classes with options for special diets.