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  • Sister Clare Josef-Maier

Hearth & Table - October 27, 2020

One of Chef Ryan's favorite challenges is dressing up humble ingredients.

Lentils and potatoes are about as humble as ingredients get. But this Lentil & Tomato Stew over Coconut Mashed Potatoes...? If you scored some last night, you're glad for it today!

It has always been one of our goals at Hearth & Table to make preparing food more friendly and accessible for students. Before the pandemic, students could sing up each week to join Chef Ryan in the kitchen and learn all the tips and tricks of preparing meals like this. Until we can return to that model, please know we welcome your questions! Chef Ryan has spent much of his culinary career teaching.

For today's "tips from the trade," scroll past the recipe (but don't forget to snag the recipe, too)!

lentil & tomato stew over coconut mashed potatoes

Serves 6-8


3 tablespoons cooking oil (canola, vegetable, or grapeseed)

2 onions, julienned

1⁄2 head garlic, cloves peeled & sliced

1 lg can crushed tomatoes

2 carrots, peeled & chopped small

1 1/2 cups French green (or any) lentils, rinsed

3 cups vegetable stock (preferably homemade*) or water

1 bag/sm. tub spinach

1 pt. cherry tomatoes

Salt & pepper to taste

5 large russet potatoes, peeled & chopped

1 small can coconut milk

Salt & pepper to taste

4 green onions, sliced thinly

Green olives for garnish (optional)


1. Start bringing a pot of salted water to boil.

2. In another pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 15 minutes (or until browned), stirring often. Add the garlic and cook 5 minutes more.

3. Add the crushed tomatoes, carrots, lentils and vegetable stock. Stir, add 1 teaspoon salt, and cover.

Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the lentils are tender, probably about 20 minutes.

4. Uncover, add the spinach and cherry tomatoes, and cook 5 minutes more. Season to taste.

5. As soon as the first pot of salted water boils, add the potatoes and cook until very tender. Drain the water, mash the potatoes, add the coconut milk and green onions, and season to taste.

6. Serve the stew over the potatoes, garnish with green olives if wanted.

*Keep a clean produce bag in the freezer – Save and freeze your veggie scraps! When your bag is full, just empty it into a pot of simmering water, maybe add an chopped onion and/or a bay leaf, simmer for a couple hours and strain. BOOM, homemade veggie stock! Basically FREE.

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