Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the environmental footprint of eating meat and realizing that I don’t have a vegetarian cooking repertoire. Call me self-centered, but I’m much more moved by the negative impacts of meat eating on humanity than I am by the moral questions of animal cruelty. High-meat eaters contribute about twice as much CO2 each day as vegetarian (according to study). And I’m pretty sure I’m a high meat eater. Plus, you know meat eating is typically less healthy than eating vegetarian.
As such, I’m going to make an effort to cook more all-vegetarian meals, a mission that I am going to document here. I’ll never be totally meat-less. I love meat. But I can try to reduce the amount of meat I take in on a regular basis.
And this mission starts with: stewed lentils with tomatoes
Stewed Lentils with Tomatoes
Based on Smitten Kitchen recipe: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2006/10/queens-and-contessas/
Servings: 2 large portions
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup large-diced onion
1 cup large-diced carrots
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (14.5-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes
1/2 cup lentils
1 can/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon mild curry powder
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
How to do the thing
- Heat oil on medium heat in a large pan (cast-iron works well!). Cook onions and carrots for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
- While onions and carrots cook, chop up tomatoes into large chunks. If you have a food processor, that would work best but if you’re like me, drain the tomatoes (keep the liquid) and then chop carefully on a cutting board that has a depression to catch any stray juice.
- When onions are brown, add garlic to pan and cook for 1 more minute.
- Add the tomatoes (including the liquid), lentils, broth, curry powder, thyme, salt and pepper to the pan. Bring to a boil, then decreased heat to simmer and cover. Cook for 40 minutes, checking every 10 minutes to make sure all the liquid hasn’t disappeared.
Serve with rice or bread or nothing.