Brown lentil, sweet potato, and mushroom stew with dates and arugula

Sweet and spicy, this makes a small bowl for 4 and a large one for 2.


2T curry powder
1/2t dried, ground allspice
1/4t crushed red chili (or to taste — I use 1/2t)
1/4t coarse sea salt
3 scallions, minced (3″ – 4″ reserved for garnish)
1T fresh garlic, minced
1t fresh ginger, grated and minced
1 1/2 cup water
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu (about 1″)
1/2 cup brown lentils (black, green or dupuy will also work)
4 large cremini mushrooms, quartered (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 cups sweet potato, peeled and cut 1/3″ dice
2 cups unsweetened plant milk (I use soy)
1/2T white pickling vinegar
2T tomato passata (or puree)
1/4 cup dried, soft dates
1T tapioca flour dissolved in 2T water
2 cups packed baby arugula
Coarse sea salt and chili or black pepper to taste

Optional: Garnish with sour sesame or cashew cream (as show here), a little coconut milk, and/or a little cilantro to add colour and flavour.


Bring a large frying pan with a lid to heat on medium. Add the curry powder and other spices. Toast for 2-3 minutes until aromatic. Add the scallions, sea salt, garlic, and ginger. Stir fry for 2 minutes.

Add the water and deglaze the pan. Add the lentils and kombu. Bring the pan to a light simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sweet potatoes and simmer covered for another 15 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

At the 30 minute mark, add the plant milk and vinegar. Increase the heat to medium low and bring the pan to a light simmer. Simmer uncovered for 20 – 30 minutes or until the plant milk is reduced by about half. Remove the kombu. Add the dates and passata. Simmer another 5 minutes. Stirring slowly, add the tapioca mixture. Stir until it thickens (should be immediately)

Add the arugula and stir gently but thoroughly to combine. Let stand 2 minutes to cool and to wilt the greens. Season to taste. Ladle out and garnish as you like with scallion greens sliced on an angle.