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 Puree of Celery Root Soup with Jalapeno & Caramelized Balsamic Pears

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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.


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.


This is a VERY easy soup to make.  The caramelized balsamic pears REALLY make it, too, so do not skip them.  They come together very fast & will impress your neighbors immensely.

I drizzled a little olive oil on this soup – which isn’t necessary but it looks pretty & gave me a chance to try my Rosemary & Crushed Red Pepper Infused Olive Oil.


I must say, the oil has been brewing since June 6th & is still only VERY subtly infused.  Maybe I should muddle the herbs & spices a bit?  I don’t know.  I will experiment.

But this soup!  Healthy & delicious!  This makes quite a lot of soup so be prepared for leftovers. These sorts of soups age well in the fridge over a day or two – but they often need a bit of water added in the reheating, sometimes quite a lot.  So – don’t be afraid to add as much water as you need to get it to your desired consistency.


Vegan Puree of Celery Root Soup with Jalapeno & Caramelized Balsamic Pears


1 TBS + 1 tsp olive oil

1 small onion – chopped

4 celery stalks – chopped & then divided into two portions

1 leek – sliced (white part only)

2 garlic cloves – chopped

3 celery root (about baseball size) – peeled WELL (get all that rough brown & hair off!) & diced

2 medium potatoes – cubed

2 jalapenos – seeded & chopped

4 Bosc pears – peeled & seeded

7 cups vegetable stock

S&P to taste

4 TBS honey

2-4 large rosemary sprigs (more for garnish – if you like)

2 TBS quality balsamic vinegar



Heat the honey in a saute pan over med-high heat.  When bubbly, add TWO (reserving the other two) of the pears & the rosemary sprigs to the honey and, stirring constantly, cook until the honey is almost cooked off & the pears are soft & beginning to brown.


Add the balsamic & cook for another minute or two – being very careful not to burn the glaze.   Carefully (that glaze will burn you!) transfer to a bowl & set aside.  Soak your pan immediately.  That honey-balsamic glaze is HOT & will become like cement fast.


If you like a 100% pureed soup – skip this step.  I like a little bit of something in there to chew.  Heat 1 tsp olive oil & saute HALF the sliced celery stalks to the oil & saute until soft – without browning.  Maybe 2-3 minutes.  Drain on paper towels & set aside.


Be sure you have removed all the brown & coarse, hairy bits from the celery root.  Otherwise, you will be spitting what feels like hairballs into your napkin later.  Not fun.  Or pretty.

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.  Add the jalapenos, onion, the remaining half of the sliced celery (or ALL of it – if you are skipping the step above) & the leek.  Saute until soft but not browned.  Add the garlic for a few seconds then add the potato, celery root, the remaining two pears & all the stock.  Bring to a rapid boil then reduce heat & simmer about twenty-thirty minutes or until everything is very tender.

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When the vegetables are tender either use a blender (immersion or otherwise) or a food processor to puree the soup until it is very smooth.  Add more water if it is too thick for your taste.  If you sauteed the 2 celery stalks, add those to the puree now.  Add S&P to taste.

When ready to serve, discard the rosemary from the pears, heat the puree & then pour some into bowls & top with about 1 TBS of the caramelized balsamic pears & maybe a sprig of fresh rosemary.   Drizzle with olive oil (infused, if you have it) & add some fresh cracked pepper & go to town!


Smoked Salmon & Horseradish Cream Verrine with Cucumber & Tomato

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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.


I recently discovered the VERRINE.  Here is the web definition:


A verrine is a confection, originally from France, made by layering ingredients in a small glass. It can be either sweet or savoury.
If you Google image search “verrine” you get an amazing array of gorgeous appetizers & desserts.  See HERE.
Last night, I decided to try my hand at one.  As per usual, I was restricted to what I already had on hand.  Fortunately, I had smoked salmon, cucumbers, dill & heirloom cherry tomatoes.  I also had a fresh horseradish root.ImageThat fucker cost $8 but it is like a Fred Flintstone club.  I grated a bunch up with a microplane but in the end, couldn’t really taste it.  You might just want to use a little prepared horseradish sauce,instead, if you attempt this recipe.  Also – I left my cream sauce very thick – like a whipped cream cheese.  You might like yours a bit runnier.  In that case, just use more heavy cream.The only part of this dish that is a proper recipe is the horseradish cream.  The rest is just a layering of ingredients that you can alter to your own tastes.  I made these in three sizes: a shot glass, a stemmed apperitif glass & a tumbler.  You can choose the serving size appropriate for the occasion.  Know that I ate all three of these myself last night.  These would make a wonderful brunch starter – sort of like a bagel with the works – without the bagel.



Horseradish Cream


4 oz cream cheese

4 TBS fresh grated horseradish root OR prepared horseradish sauce to taste

2 sprigs fresh dill

7 (or more) TBS heavy cream

1/8 tsp salt


Blend everything in a food processor.  Add more heavy cream if you like a thinner sauce.  Add more horseradish sauce if you enjoy kick.


Smoked Salmon Verrine with Cucumber & Tomato & Horseradish Cream


Smoked salmon


Tomato (I used multicolored heirloom cherry tomatoes)



Fresh lemon

Fresh bread or bagel

Horseradish cream

Fresh pepper



Dice the salmon, tomato, cucumber & bread.  Put some bread in the bottom of each serving glass (I only used bread in the tumbler – not in the smaller verrines) & layer with cucumber, tomato & horseradish cream.  Top with dill & capers & squeeze a little lemon on top.  Finish with cracked pepper & serve!