Vegan Coconut and Turmeric Lentil Stew with Kale for the Slow Cooker

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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vromans back

Group of turmeric roots isolated on white background

I stole this image from Google.

I found fresh turmeric at the supermarket & just had to try it out.  It looks like that photo above – but that photo does not really get the grub-like visual it sometimes has.  I used 1 2-inch piece of it chopped into the stew but I can’t say what flavor it added so – if you can’t find it – skip it.  Powdered turmeric will do.  Google turmeric & learn of its many health benefits.  It is very good for you & has that gorgeous color – so I love using it.

This stew was born because I re-upped my membership to Farm Fresh to You & I had lots of fresh veggies to use.    This makes a shitload of stew but it is delicious & freezes well.  I have been eating it for lunch at work all week and I am never disappointed by the flavors.   I used this 6-quart Crock Pot and it was filled to the brim – so – get ready to either feed a lotta folks or to freeze some for future use.

I have to remark here how much better the local organic carrots I got from Farm Fresh to You tasted than supermarket carrots.  They were bursting with sweetness!  If you have a local produce delivery service near you – I recommend trying it out.  Support local farmers & get fresher produce.  It is a win-win.

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Vegan Coconut and Turmeric Lentil Stew with Kale for the Slow Cooker

Feeds a party


1 lb lentils (I used pink  ones- despite the fact that they look yellow because of the turmeric)

7 cups vegetable stock

1 can coconut milk (I used lite)

4 tomatoes – diced

1 onion – diced

2 jalapenos – seeded & minced (I left the seeds in for extra kick)

1 head Kale – chopped

4 carrots – sliced

4 cloves garlic – chopped

3 TBS fresh ginger – minced

2 inches turmeric root – peeled & minced (optional)

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp salt

2 pinches cayenne

1 TBS ground coriander

1 TBS mustard powder

1 TBS turmeric

GARNISH – cilantro, chopped tomatoes, chopped jalapenos

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Put everything in the slow cooker & leave on high for 5 hours.

Shit don’t get easier than that.

If it is too thick – add water.  If it is too thin – take the lid off & leave on high.  It should thicken up in an hour or so.

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Vegan Puerto Rican Pink Beans & Yellow Rice with Homemade Sofrito (Habichuelas Rosadas Y Arroz con Gandules) for the Slow Cooker


All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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So I bought those pink beans above for pennies.  I Googled for idea & these Puerto Rican bean recipes kept popping up.  They all called for Sazon & Sofrito – both, allegedly, readily available in the Hispanic section of the grocery store.  I live in Hollywood – with a huge Hispanic population so – it ain’t hard to find ingredients for recipes of the Mexican or Central/South American variety.   Yet, my local Ralph’s had no Sofrito.  Lots of Sazon (which you can make at home – as it is just a bunch of spices) but no Sofrito.

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So – I bought all the Sazon varieties & decided to make the Sofrito.  It is just a sort of salsa with green bell peppers as the base rather than tomatoes.  The problem is – I made 4 cups of the stuff before I realized most recipes only call for a tablespoon or two.  I didn’t want to waste all the fresh produce goodness – so – I dumped a full two cups of the shit into my beans.  As a result, these are less than authentic but they still taste great – so – I give less than no fucks.  So there!  Lol!

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The rice calls for pigeon peas (above) – which are really a variety of bean.  They were in the Hispanic aisle and, it seems, critical if you want your yellow rice to be authentic.

Like most of my slow cooker recipes, this can be made stove top in a fraction of the time but where is the fun in that?

So – let us begin with the sofrito recipe.

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Homemade Sofrito

makes 4 cups (but you can freeze it in an ice cube tray or other small containers for future use)


1 green bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

15 sweet peppers

1 sweet or red onion

3 heads (not cloves – HEADS) of garlic – peeled

2 tomatoes

1 bunch cilantro

1 TBS salt


Puree in a blender or food processor.  Set aside.

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Vegan Puerto Rican Pink Beans (Habichuelas Rosadas)

feeds – like – 6 to 8 with rice


1 lb. dry pink beans

1-3 cups of sofrito (recipe above) – you can add it in increments & taste as you go but I went with three whole cups

4 cups water

2 packets Sazon (I used the Con Culantro Y Achiote but I don’t think it matters much which you use)

Garnish – cilantro, hot sauce


Stick it all in a slow cooker & leave it on high for 5 hours.  Serve with rice (recipe below) & garnish as you like.

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Puerto Rican Yellow Rice with Pigeon Peas (Arroz con Gandules)

Serves as many as the amount you make – but I started with 2 cups dry rice


2 cups rice (I used brown Texmati)

Water as per instructions on your rice (make 1/4 cup less – so the rice doesn’t get mushy)

1 packet Sazon (I used Con Azafran (saffron) but any kind will do)

1 TBS sofrito (recipe above)

1 (15 oz) pigeon peas

1 TBS olive oil (optional)


Cook the rice as directed on the package with with the rest of the ingredients added to the uncooked rice.

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Baked Pink Pasta Casserole With Chicken & Peas (Vegan)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.



Another easy one & another one that can be made with or without “meat.”  Today is the last day of my badass boyfriend’s holiday stay so I will make this as brief as possible (so I can hang out with him).  So – recipe only.


Baked Pink Pasta Casserole With Chicken & Peas (Vegan)

Serves 4-6


1 lb dry pasta (I used large shells)

Olive oil

1 29 oz can tomato puree

1 10 oz can Rotel (or diced tomatoes with green chilies)

4 garlic cloves – minced

1 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp dry basil

1 tsp each S&P

9+ oz veganchicken – thawed & shredded (optional) – I love Beyond Meat

1 cup peas (optional)

4 oz vegan cream cheese

10 basil leaves – sliced or diced

1 cup grated cheese (I used a mozzarella/cheddar mix)





(Full disclosure – I originally – 3 years ago – made and posted this with real cheese – hence the visual.)

Cook & drain the pasta.

Heat a TBS or so of olive oil in a sauce pan.  Add the garlic & cook for about 30 seconds.  Add the tomato puree & Rotel.  Stir & add the oregano, crushed red pepper & dry basil.  Add the S&P.  Stir to incorporate.   Stir in the cream cheese & peas (if using peas).  Take about 1 cup of sauce & set it aside.

Heat the oven to 375.  In a large bowl, mix the pasta with the larger quantity of sauce.  Add chicken – if you are using it.  Stir it all together.

Grease a casserole dish with cooking spray.  Cover the bottom of the dish with the cup of reserved sauce.  Put the pasta mix in on top of that.  Top with the grated cheese.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese on top is sift or melted & beginning to brown.  Serve it up & garnish with the chopped basil.







Pink Grapefruit Margarita

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.


OK, kiddies!  Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner!  I am going to start posting some stuff you might want to consider if you are throwing a party.  This one is eye-catching so I thought I’d start here.

Pretty basic stuff.  You can either use fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice (preferred) or bottled Ruby Red (easier).  Fresh is way better but sometimes it just isn’t practical.  This can be served blended or over rocks (as I did it) and with either a salt or a sugar rim.  I went sugar.  A sprig of fresh mint would look pretty, too.  I forgot that part.

Pink Grapefruit Margarita

If you are putting salt or sugar on your rim, put the salt/sugar on a plate, wet the rim with a wedge of lime, dredge the rim through the stuff & set aside to dry as you make your cocktail.


2.5 ounces white tequila

1 ounce triple sec

5-6 ounces pink grapefruit juice

Juice of 1/2 lime

Salt & lime for garnish

Salt or Sugar to rim your glass


Shake up the tequila, triple sec, grapefruit juice & lime juice over ice in a shaker or blend it up in a blender with a cup of ice.   Pour into your glass, add a pinch of salt to the cocktail & garnish with lime slices.