Having dietary restrictions can sometimes be a real bummer – especially when traveling to places with limited menus and limited access to a kitchen. On some adventures into the wide world this meant that at some point I just put the horrendously inedible object into my mouth and dealt with the consequences later- excited in the moment at the sense of having food in my stomach. Other times I ate the food designated as gluten free wondering why they thought that being gluten free was synomous with having no taste buds.
On a recent adventure my friend and I went in highly prepared. Two gluten-free, one dairy free and one vegan equaled food challenges. Going into the great unknown of Leavenworth, Washington we stocked our car with a cooler, a crockpot and groceries in need of little refrigeration.
The recipe we planned for our first night: Lentil Stew
So we arrived in Leavenworth to our cabin at Icicle Creek Music Center and started chopping up the food for our dinner in our bathroom.
This is my amazing friend Misty Dawn – head guerilla chef on this endeavor.
Here is our compost. Isn't it pretty?
Here is our wine.
Here is me taking a picture of our crock pot with my iPhone in the mirror.
The secret to a good lentil stew or soup is truly seasoning. Seasoning begins with onions and garlic. This secret works even if you are cooking in a bathroom with a crock pot.
Use a lot of both of them. A lot depends on the amount of lentils you are working with – in our case we had two cups. The next step to a flavorful and yummy lentil soup is spices – these include green herbs such as parsley, oregano, thyme as well as salt and pepper – preferably cayenne if you Misty Dawn. There is no such thing as too much of the herbs.
Vegetables in a lentil stew are very important. Do not use too many that absorb flavor as lentils are strong in this particular skill and will do a lot of that work on their own. So for example, if you put in too many potatoes you will have a very bland soup/stew. Or, if you put in too much cabbage you will just have cabbage lentil soup and it will not taste good and look slightly off-color in a very unappealing sort of way.
Guerilla Lentil Stew Recipe
2 cups lentils
1 entire onion chopped
5 large or 7 small cloves of garlic
5 stalks of celery chopped
1/2 of a large potato cut into small pieces
3 carrots cut into small pieces
1 bunch of fresh parsley finely chopped
2 stems of fresh oregano & thyme (if using dried use 1 Tbsp or each)
1/2 tsp of cayenne
2 tsp of salt
Put all of the above in a crock pot with at least 3 cups of water. Let crock pot cook on high heat for at least three hours. The longer the spices and vegetables cook together the better tasting the stew.
Our crock pot fed three over the course of two days – supplemented by hummus, pickles, kalarabi, corn chips, carrots and some coconut milk yogurt.
Be inpired by this picture for your next Guerilla cooking adventure.