This has to be one of the easiest, Hearty Cooked Fibre Meals (HCFM – see my book) that I have created. It’s so simple, quick, cheap, nutritious and filling and your whole family will enjoy it, or it’s great if you have friends over and need to do something manageable, tasty and won’t break the bank or your sanity with all the cooking!
I made it in my wonderful Instant Pot 7-in-1 pressure cooker and slow cooker. If you don’t have a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, I highly recommend that you check it out and get yourself one – it’s an amazing kitchen appliance that will save you hours of time, cooking, burnt saucepans and produces amazing fluffy rice, soups, stews, yoghurt(!), curries and much more. Seriously, it’s revolutionised my cooking since I got one with our wedding present money!
This veg stew has a nice chew to it from the barley and is thick due to the lentils. It is full of healthy plant protein as well as carbs from the veg but is low fat and high fibre – this make it naturally low calorie and very filling. I can eat a lot yet I found a smallish bowl was more than enough for me, which was less than 400 cals – that’s a great amount for a main meal! If you’re looking to lose weight, having this meal and similar as your main one each day will enable you to drop pounds effortlessly without feeling hungry or that you’re going lower cal.
The last things I’ll say about this great little stew is that it tastes like baby food! I used to really like the little jars of baby food that we used to get for my brother when he was young and I used to love the food my Mum used to purée up for us as kids (yes, I liked it that much, I can remember it from when I was probably 3 or 4 years old!) It is more flavourful than baby food but has that kind of healthy, vegetabley taste. If you skip the chilli flakes, ACV and some of the spices, you could make this for infants and toddlers to give them a great nutritious hit.
Anyway, enough of the talking, go try this humble but delicious plant-based stew and let me know how you got on in the comments below.