Autumn is just around the corner, noticeable in the fact that you always need to take at least a sweater with you and that your son has gotten a cold. For me there is always this one and first day when I notice: “okay, it’s autumn”. I don’t know if you feel the same, but I kind of feel it with every one of my senses. My emotions also change…commuting between a sad feeling that the joy of summer is coming to an end, but also looking forward to these nostalgic autumn cold, but sunny days, where you go for a walk and observe how the trees change, or you sit in a café enjoying every last sun ray before winter is coming 😉
With the cold days starting, also my food cravings start to change. I desire more dishes that boost and warm me. So I made this really yummy oriental umami lentil stew yesterday. I served it with a soy yoghurt, mixed it with a bit of garlic and honey, and toasted bread. I could eat this stew every day….I mean it. My husband was truly sad that we finished it the first day and that we had no leftovers today.
For us a really exciting time is starting from now on. It’s definitive: we will leave Berlin beginning of October, heading for Portugal. We are really excited! We were planning this move for months now, always hesitating because there was so much we hat to sort out before. We are very happy and obviously excited about what lies ahead. Neither do we have an apartment yet, nor do we know exactly where we should move to. My family lives in the south of Portugal, in the Algarve. I love it there, especially the beaches and the weather. But we are also thinking of moving close to Lisbon, or even to the center of Lisbon. Lisbon is such a beautiful city, and so much is happening there, people are nice and there is this enjoy-life-to-the-fullest attitude, what I very much like. On the other side, we also want to escape city life a bit, be closer to nature. Finally we are open to all that life offers us and just thankful that we have this opportunity. So, let’s see what the near future holds in store for us….
I am happy if you join us on our journey. I will report from time to time on our situation and from our trip down there, as well as continue to post recipes, just from differents kitchens and places ;). Of course the sustainability aspect of everything will always be in focus and I will continue to share my views and obstacles. I know for example, that in most southern countries, like Portugal and Spain, it is very difficult to find organic products. You find them only in particular stores, and they are mostly imported from Germany or so. Low price supermarkets are super popular and constitute the majority. In Germany the majority also buys in low price supermarkets, but those who want organic, more local, also seasonal, and socially committed high quality groceries also make a good find. There is so much happening, especially here in Berlin. This I will truly miss about you Berlin! Optimistic to make a change in Portugal however and follow our heart, we will start this journey.
3 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
3 celery stalks
3 garlic cloves, mashed with knife
4 carrots, peeled
250g tomatoes, diced
1 small eggplant
150 ml red wine
1 bay leaf
2 tsp oriental spice blend
1 tsp paprika powder
1 heaped tbsp tomato purée
200 g brown lentils
1l vegetable broth
½ tsp cinnamon
2 heaped tbsp raisins (= 30g)
250 g soy yoghurt
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 heaped tsp honey
salt & pepper
½ bunch parsley chopped
toasted white sourdough bread
In a big pot sauté the finely diced onion in the olive oil on low-medium heat for a few minutes. Cut the carrots and celery stalks diagonally in 2 cm pieces and add them to the pot with the mashed garlic. Sauté them for around 10 minutes.
Dice the eggplant into 1,5 cm pieces, then raise the temperature to medium/high heat, add the eggplant, the tomato purée, the oriental spice blend, and the paprika powder and fry them for a few minutes until they begin to stick to the bottom of the pot.
Deglaze with the red wine and let it reduce for 3 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, the bay leaf, the veggie broth, and the lentils. Bring to a boil and let it simmer on lowest temperature with the lid half covered for 25 minutes, until lentils are tender.
Dice the potatoes in 1.5 cm pieces and add them together with the raisins and the cinnamon 15 minutes before end of cooking time.
In a small bowl stir together all ingredients of the soy yoghurt. Serve the stew with the soy yoghurt, toasted bread slices and parsley.
Healthy for people & planet – please go always organic!
NOTE: – I linked the ingredients, to show you what I used for the stew, like for example the spice blend. So you can also see what is in there to find a matching substitute. – I also linked the soy yoghurt. I always use this yoghurt, because is produced in France, they only use french grown, GMO-free soy for their products. – You can substitute the honey with maple agave syrup or sugar, if you are a strict vegan. – The veggie broth I mostly cook by myself by collecting the peels of carrots, onions, the ends of celery stalks, fennel and so on. But you can also buy the broth. (By the way, I am not sponsored by any of these companies, it is just an honest recommendation :).)