#1 – 48 Recipe Challenge – Recipe 6: Mediterranean Lamb and Lentil Stew

This month’s recipe is very much linked with my other ongoing challenges.  September has been all about walking as I’ve been doing the serious training for my marathon Clarendon Way walk on 6th October, and that has also meant changes to my diet.  I’ve been learning all about appropriate foods to fuel endurance exercise and even had to do a bit of carb loading before my longest training walk (20 miles).  Everything I’ve read about food as fuel identifies the benefits of lentils, so for the first time ever I’ve been learning to cook with lentils.  An ideal fit for my 48 recipe challenge; being both a new ingredient and one that I was, to be honest, slightly scared of.

I’d previously been put off from using lentils in cooking as I had an idea that they had to be soaked overnight and were a total pain, but my brother-in-law assured me this was all nonsense and they only needed to be soaked for half an hour or so before use, so I took the plunge and bought some.  A quick search found me lots of lentil soup recipes but I wanted something a bit more substantial, so I chose to cook Mediterranean Lamb and Lentil Stew.

The preparation was relatively easy – soak the lentils for half an hour, chop everything else up and then pop it all into one pot in the right order for cooking.  At my speed of chopping, the prep took about 30 minutes and it then needed to cook for about 45 minutes.  I chose to use half red lentils and half green lentils to add variety.

I served the stew with rice, and enjoyed it.

Mediterranean Lamb and Lentil Stew

Mediterranean Lamb and Lentil Stew

It was filling and well flavoured, proper autumn comfort food.  The addition of crumbled feta over the top of the stew made a real difference to the taste.  I had taste testers for this recipe as my parents came over to eat with me, both said how lovely the stew was and even asked for seconds, so I guess they weren’t just being polite!  This is one I’d make again – tasty, easy to prepare and pretty healthy.  All good.  There’s some in the freezer ready for the carb loading I have to do before the actual marathon.

The scores on the doors:

Healthiness – 9/10 (Three of your five a day and under 400 calories for a large bowl if you use lean lamb)

Ease of preparation – 9/10 (It’s not much of a challenge to soak the lentils for half an hour)

Flavour/taste – 8/10 (Great comfort food for the cold evenings)

If you fancy giving it a go, here’s the link to the recipe I used: http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/8176/mediterranean-lamb-and-lentil-stew.aspx

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