Red Lentil Stew with Tomatoes, Rice, and Coconut

This wholesome and earthy stew was adapted from The First Mess‘ beautiful and delicious extra recipe bundle that is available when you pre-order Laura Wright’s cookbook (which is by far and away the most inspirational cookbook I’ve bought in a while). I primarily adapted this because I didn’t have all of the ingredients in the house that I thought I did and so….But this is how inspired and new recipes are created.  A little bit of this and that added to the pot.  Stir it up and try it out on your guinea pigs (not that I refer to my loved ones as that usually ;-).

I haven’t come across a recipe in a long time that requires dirtying so few dishes.  It honestly was one pot, one knife, a chopping board, a measuring cup and one or two measuring spoons.  Gluten-free, nut-free, no sugar.

Red Lentil Stew with Tomatoes, Rice, and Coconut


Serves 6

1 Tbsp grapeseed oil or olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

2 stalks celery, rinsed and chopped

2 tsp ground turmeric

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp dried chili or red pepper flakes

1/2 cup dried red lentils, rinsed

1/2 cup dried arborio rice, rinsed

1 x 15 oz can diced tomatoes (preferably no salt added)

1 x 15 oz can crushed tomatoes (or tomato sauce, which is what I used) – fire-roasted is suggested by Laura to be awesome

3 cups water

1 cup light coconut milk (or just over 1/2 a 15 oz can)

salt and pepper

1 Tbsp lemon juice



  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat with the oil.  As the pot heats, chop up the onion, carrots, and celery. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, carrot, and celery.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, around 4-5 minutes.
  2. Once the onion is soft, add to the pot the turmeric and garlic. Stir to incorporate.
  3. Add the cumin and chili or red pepper flakes and stir. Let sit for 30 seconds as the spices become fragrant.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and water.  Raise the heat and bring the contents to a boil, then lower heat, cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes.  Stir every 5 minutes or so to make sure the lentils and rice do not stick to the bottom of the pot.
  5. Once the lentils and rice are cooked, it is time to puree the stew.  This is optional, but pureeing at least part of the stew will lend a creaminess to it.  Ladle around half of the stew into a blender with the coconut milk and puree to desired consistency.  I like mine a bit chunkier.  Add back the pureed mixture to the pot, mix, and reheat.  Add in the lemon juice and stir.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.

See! So easy and so so delicious.  Until the next recipe….

Black Bean Fettuccine with Kale Pesto

We have reached what I like to call ‘deep winter’ when the holidays have passed and there isn’t really much to look forward to even though the snow keeps piling up and you have to get up early just to defrost your car.  I was looking back through some of my more summery recipes and came across this delicious recipe. I remember how good it was and I want to go back to that moment in the summer.  Although, this recipe is a more summery recipe, you can just grab some fresh basil from the store and make it regardless of the weather outside the window!

The pesto was adapted from the recipe from This Rawsome Vegan Life.  It is healthier than the usual ones heavy in oil and I further lightened it by substituting white beans for pine nuts.  But it still tastes just as delicious and packs the same pesto punch.

Black Bean Fettuccine with Basil and White Bean Pesto

Serves 4


black bean fettuccine (or other pasta of your choice)

1 pint tomatoes (heirloom would be best if you can find them)

fresh basil for serving

Kale Pesto

2 peeled and roughly chopped garlic cloves

1/4 cup drained and rinsed white beans (eg. cannellini or navy)

1/4 tsp Himalayan salt

1/4-1/2 tsp ground black pepper

3/4 cup roughly chopped lucinato kale

1/4 cup fresh basil

2 Tbsp water

2 Tbsp light oil (olive or grapeseed)


  1. Heat a large pot of water over high until boiling.  Add the pasta and turn down heat to medium.  Cook as directions specify. Once cooked, drain and put back into the cooking pot.
  2. Add all pesto ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth.  This may take a few minutes.  Stop and use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the processor if needed to incorporate the odd bits that stray to the top of the bowl.
  3. Mix the pesto into the pasta and stir until incorporated. Serve with roughly chopped tomatoes and fresh basil.
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So Easy – Almond Milk

I have been making my own almond milk for over a year now and I have been asked many, many times about why I do it and how long it takes.  I was the exact same before I started.  Fearful that it would take a long time and waste a bunch of expensive almonds.  Once I tried it though, I could never go back.  It is so different than the stuff you buy in a box they shouldn’t even be able to label that stuff almond milk.  So, in an attempt to show everyone who wants to know how EASY it is to make your own almond milk at home, I’ve posted this video.

And if you don’t believe me, I’ve got almond-milk-making into a science and it takes me 5 minutes in the morning.  That means I throw them in a blender, go brush my teeth, come back and drain the milk, go and change my clothing, wring out the milk and it is made!!!  Amazing!!  It lasts about 4 days so you do need to make it more regularly than buying the boxed variety but it’s so much better!!!  Just try it once.  I dare you.