My Favorite Macro Recipe So Far: French Lentil Stew

Dear Lentils,

I never really appreciated you until recently. Sorry for the diss! You guys are excellent. No hard feelings, k? Great. See you soon!

p.s. Somehow I lost 10lbs without even meaning to after 9 days on a gluten-free, booze-free, sugar-free, dairy-free diet, and I haven't felt hungry or deprived. What up?! Hoot hoot!!

Here's how to make an elegant, healthy (and tasty! and easy!) lentil stew that's totally vegan, vegetarian, low-fat, low-carb, low-calorie, and mostly macrobiotic. 

Use organic everything, since pesticide-free is good for you, and your organic grocery dollar is a concrete vote towards sustainable agriculture!

(Note: See that yellowish oil around the edges of the stew? It's delicious, delicious flax oil, packed with omega fatty acids, great for detox and digestion. Don't cook with flaxseed oil over heat, but garnish with it as you will. I am kind of addicted.)

My Favorite Macro Recipe So Far: French Lentil Stew
This is my personalized version of chef/consultant Roxanne Koteles-Smith's even healthier, more macro recipe for lentils. Her butternut squash inclusion is inspired! She includes kombu in bean dishes for digestive happiness. She is smart.

Oh, and unless you are living in a remote mountain hideaway with no access to French green lentils, don't substitute! Regular lentils don't hold a candle to these smooth, less starchy delights. BUT this recipe can be used with pretty much any dry bean (I've done mung beans + adzuki beans this way too). Just lengthen the simmer time according to the type of bean.

Lovely French Lentil Stew
You'll need:
  • 2 cups mirepoix (my version is 3/4c diced carrot, 3/4c diced yellow onion, 1/2c diced celery, incl. celery leaves)
  • 1 cup French green lentils (dried, soaked for a few hours w/the strip of kombu noted below -- see it sticking out there in the photo?)
  • 1 cup cubed butternut squash
  • 1 quart organic vegetable stock
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp. dried
  • 1/2 crumbled bay leaf
  • a strip of dried kombu seaweed
  • sea salt + pepper
  • good olive oil
1. Soften your mirepoix in 2 TBSP olive oil on low heat and...sure, why not...take it to a caramelized place. (Mirepoix is the famous flavor-maker for many French dishes. Not trying to sound all pretentious with the French terminology! Promise!)
2. Throw in the garlic, thyme, bay leaf, butternut squash, and lentils, big old strip of kombu included. Add a pinch of sea salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Crank the heat up to high for a minute, til you hear sizzling.
3. Cover generously with vegetable stock; heck, throw in the whole quart. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30-50 minutes.

Why such a time variable? Because this is a loosey-goosey recipe. When the lentils are nice and tender, it's done. There should still be some liquid, but if not just add a little water.

Serve with yummy garnishes and congratulate yourself for being so healthy!

Macrobiotic Garnishes:
1-2 TBSP flax oil/umeboshi vinegar vinaigrette (2/5 ume vin, 3/5 flax oil, shaken)
Toasted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
Fresh chopped Italian parsley
and if you need more oomph, 
Gomasio (toasted sesame seeds + sea salt, pulverized, delicious!)

Crazy, over-the-top non-macro garnishes:
A fried egg over easy with hot sauce or Mexican chile sauce
Grated parmesan, chopped parsley, + really good olive oil

OH SNAP, that dish is delicious!
photos: TB


  1. I stumbled across your blog last week and found this recipe. It was so good! I've already made it twice. (I used organic pork sausage as a garnish for my not-too-keen-on-vegetarianism-eaters, but the Gomasio was a nice garnish, too.)

  2. Fabulous! Thanks, Rebecca! I owe it all to my awesome nutritionist Roxanne Koteles-Smith. Genius!

  3. Even my 18 year old big boy loves this. He has no eating restrictions!

  4. Love this recipe - I've made it so many times since I found it 2 1/2 years ago. It freezes really well too.

  5. Just made this... so delicious, thanks! Adding it to my macrobiotic diet!


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