If working from home has taught us anything, it’s that soggy sarnies and sad salads simply don’t cut the mustard. This hearty stew, however, is the perfect recipe for a week-load of meal prep. It’s full of calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron – essential minerals for boosting energy and lifting mood. Oh, and it’s absolutely delicious, of course!
One of the biggest takeaways from lockdown has been the importance of reclaiming our working day. No longer is a meal deal going to cut the mustard – we want home-cooked grub that’s going to keep us going throughout the afternoon, won’t induce a 3pm Twix itch and gives us enough energy to cycle home/head out for a run/go the gym after work.
This hearty stew may seem like a heavy dish to eat at midday, particularly when it’s warm outside, but it’s actually ideal for a mid-week lunch. It includes seaweed, which not only adds great taste but is also a rich source of minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron – all of which help to boost energy and lift mood.
“This stew is very hearty and filling so a small portion will go a long way,” says the recipe’s author, Gemma Ogston. “Keep the rest in the fridge or freezer for later. If you don’t want to have it with the mash, then some brown rice will add extra fibre or some greens will offer extra iron.”
A glug of olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
200g mushrooms, sliced
750ml veggie stock
150g dried red lentils
A sprig of fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
1 tsp dried sage
1 bay leaf
2 tsp tomato purée
Handful of dried seaweed, such as wakame
1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp tamari
100g spinach, chopped
Freshly chopped parsley, to serve
For the sweet potato mash
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
Small bunch of chives, chopped
Heat some olive oil on a medium heat in a large saucepan.
Cook the onion and garlic for one minute.
Add the carrots, celery and mushrooms alongside a good pinch of salt. Cook for five minutes.
Add the stock, lentils, herbs, tomato purée, seaweed, vinegar and tamari. Give it a good stir.
Cook for about 20 minutes on a low heat until the lentils are cooked through.
While the stew is cooking, boil the sweet potatoes in a large pan of water for about 20 minutes until tender.
Mash with salt and pepper, and olive oil.
Add some chopped chives for extra flavour.
Stir the spinach through the stew and serve with a dollop of mash.
Garnish with fresh parsley.
Miranda Larbi is the editor of Strong Women and Strong Women Training Club. A qualified personal trainer and vegan runner, she can usually be found training for the next marathon, seeking out vegan treats or cycling across London on a pond-green Tokyo bike.