Slow Cooker Lentil Cauliflower Stew

A few weeks ago, my friend Catherine McCord sent me a copy of her new cookbook, Weelicious. I met Catherine at the BlogHer Conference in Seattle this past summer. I immediately knew she was destined for great things. She is passionate about her blog, and she’s really dedicated herself to creating healthy food options for busy families on the go. Catherine’s site Weelicious is super successful, and I’m sure her new cookbook will be, too. It’s full of quick, healthy, kid-friendly recipes and cooking tips. It’s not a kosher cookbook, but it does have lots of options for those who keep kosher. Busy families will love this book, it’s full of fun and easy ideas to nourish your family.

When the weather begins cooling down and the skies are overcast, there’s nothing quite like a slow cooker meal to warm the tummy and comfort the spirit. I adapted the following recipe from Catherine’s “Slow-Cooker Lentil Veggie Stew” in the Weelicious cookbook. The original recipe is a great base to work from. I decided to spice it up a bit– which little kid mouths might not appreciate, but in our family everything gets the spicy treatment! I added cumin, black pepper, and cayenne to the mix. I also threw in some cauliflower to add some texture and bulk to the soup, while keeping things low cal. Catherine suggests topping the stew with plain yogurt, herbed goat cheese, feta, crème fraîche, or grated Parmesan. We stirred in some Greek yogurt and lowfat sour cream because it’s what we had on hand. Both were terrific, they added a nice creamy touch to the broth. Obviously you can leave the dairy products out to keep the stew vegan or pareve. I also threw in a few seasoned breadcrumbs, they sopped up the soup and tasted awesome. On its own, the stew is simple, natural comfort food– gluten free, low fat, low calorie, and vegan. Good for the body, good for the soul. What could be better?

I have two Weelicious cookbooks to give away this week! Enter to win your own copy by leaving a comment below, along with a valid email address, letting me know the answer to this question:

What was your favorite meal when you were a kid? 

All entrants will be subscribed to the Shiksa in the Kitchen weekly newsletter (unless you are already subscribed). Two winners will be chosen at random and notified via email. Contest ends at 5:00pm PST on Friday, October 12, 2012.

CONTEST ENDED. Congrats to Toni and Mary Ann!

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Learn more about the Weelicious cookbook, and buy your own copy – click here.

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Slow Cooker Lentil Cauliflower Stew


  • 16 oz dried lentils
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups of onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 lb. cauliflower, chopped into very small florets
  • 2 leeks, white and green parts only, halved, washed carefully, and chopped)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (very spicy-- add 1/4 tsp or less for a milder flavor)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 8 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 large can (32 oz) diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cups chopped kale or Swiss chard

Optional Toppings

  • Plain yogurt, herbed goat cheese, feta, crème fraîche, grated Parmesan, Greek yogurt or lowfat sour cream
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 8 Hours 30 Minutes
Servings: 8-10
Kosher Key: Pareve (or Dairy with optional add-ins)
  • Sort the lentils, discarding any stones or impurities. Rinse the lentils in a wire mesh strainer.
  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion for about 4 minutes, till softened. Add the chopped garlic and saute for another minute.
  • Pour the softened onions and garlic into the slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients (minus toppings).
  • Cover the slow cooker and turn heat to high. Set timer to 6 hours on high, or 8 hours on low, until the lentils are tender.
  • Serve hot with your choice of toppings.
  • If you'd prefer not to use a slow cooker, you can cook the stew in a large pot over medium-low to low heat, covered, for about 90 minutes until the lentils are tender.

Comments (91)Post a Comment

  1. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Yum, sounds – and looks – delicious! I’ll definitely be trying this one as soon as the weather cools off a bit more.

    My favorite meal as a kid? Macaroni and cheese, or else a holiday meal with all the trimmings :).

  2. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    This looks delicious, like everything on your site!

    My favorite meal as a kid was spaghetti with mushroom soup meat sauce… not Kosher, but amazing!

  3. Macaroni & cheese…

    (I’ve since been spoiled by recipes for mac & cheese that are muuuuuch better than the box version I grew up with. There’s no comparison!)

  4. My favorite dish as a kid was grilled cheese and tomato soup, with a dill pickle spear on the side. I love to do upscale versions of it now, with fancy cheeses, fruit, and carmelized onions on the sandwhich. SO COMFORTING!

  5. Live and work from my RV so love recipes like this. I happen to be a big fan of both lentils and cauliflower so this is going in the slow cooker this weekend, since it is supposed to be a rainy, cool weekend (near Phoenix) after a long, triple-digit summer.

  6. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    The stew looks yummy. I certainly never saw lentils as a kid.

    My favorite dish growing up would be spaghetti with meatballs. I lived in an Italian neighborhood and I loved getting invited to my friends’ houses for dinner. Yum.

  7. perfect fall recipe as the leaves are turning! love the healthy benefits as well. thanks! my favorite meal as a kid was my mom’s “crummy” chicken, which sounds like an insult but was her cornflake crumb coated chiken which had been dredged in Russian dressing first! the pan drippings are still my favorite :) thanks, Tori!

  8. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    One of the many favorites that really brings back great memories is my mom’s chicken soup. It was always so comforting. I still love chicken soup.

  9. Very nice and healthy recipe. Also a quick tip for the lentils to cook faster if not using a slow cooker. The lentils can be soaked for an hour or two before they are cooked. This will reduce the cooking time.
    My favorite meal as a kid was my mom’s palak dal and shaami kababs !

  10. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    How nice to see one of my favorite bloggers mention one of my other favorite bloggers! :-) I have been looking for a way to add cauliflower to my cooking and this soup will definitely be on my meal plan very soon, it looks awesome!

    My favorite meal as a kid was what my family called the “Great American Sandwich” – toasted rye bread with Helmann’s mayo, yellow mustard, Hebrew National salami (wouldn’t touch it nowadays), lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes! Not really sure in retrospect what made this “American” though …

  11. this stew looks beautiful!

    My favorite meal as a child? I would have to say Friday Night dinner. My late mother used to make the same meal almost every week, and we all looked forward to it. There was probably a first course, such as soup or fricasee, but the piece de resistance was roast chicken over rice. My mother would take a big roasting pan, pour in a layer of rice, and place whole spiced chickens over the rice. Then it all went into the oven to roast. I don’t know exactly how she did it, if she used water or oil or nothing, but I know that I have never been able to duplicate that taste. That chicken represents our Friday night dinners – that special “spice” that is generations of Jewish mothers!

  12. My fav meal as a kid was chicken nuggets with a side of broccoli… I think it was the only meal I woul eat until u was 7 lol.

  13. My favourite meal was the meal my mum made us when we had been sick.
    Farex ( farina) in one bowl and grated apples in the other.
    hardly glamour food but definatley comforting.In fact 40 years on I made it tonight for my sickee 5 year old for the first time and he loved it!

    Ps love your site and the recipes

  14. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I love Catherine’s blog and I’m so glad she posted the link to yours on facebook too!!! Thanks for this adaptation it looks great!

    My favorite meal as a kid was my grandmothers fried potatoes with some good bread. She always made a huge batch when we visited.

  15. Can’t wait to try this recipe! My favorite meal as a kid was the same as Craig’s: grilled cheese, tomato soup, with a dill pickle. I always ate it on our aluminum TV trays while watching Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood!

  16. My father insisted on meat, potatoes, bread and butter with every evening meal. We didn’t eat out. So when my mother made her chicken chow mein with “oriental” vegetables, rice and crunchy noodles, it felt like we were having an “exotic” meal. It’s not just about the food, it’s about the memories that go with it.

  17. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    My mom wasn’t that great in the kitchen, but I did love her hot dogs. Who says home cooking hasn’t improved in 40 years?

  18. When I was a child my favorite meal was Chicken a la King in pastry cups! I was so excited to see those pastry cups prepared by my dad!

  19. Loved my mom’s matzo ball soup and her sweet noodle kugels. I guess it was at Passover Seders that I always had my favorite meals.

  20. Definitely my mom’s sinker matzo balls in her chicken soup, medium rare romanian steak with very creamy, almost soupy mashed potatoes.

  21. As strange as it sounds, I LOVED to go to the local restaurant and order sweet and sour stuffed cabbage to share with my Bubby. There were always two pieces of stuffed cabbage so we each had one and she always let me have the mashed potatoes and she ate the side dish of veggies that I didn’t like.

  22. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Looks super yummy and I’ve been dying for a lentil soup recipe! My favorite recipe when I was a kid is hard to narrow down because my mom and both of my grandmothers are/were great cooks! I’d have to say though, that I adored my mom’s homemade lasagna. We’re talking homemade sauce, lots of cheese, and for me, no meat- amazing!!!! Serve it up with some salad and bread and it’s what’s for dinner!

  23. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    This look amazing!

    We will be having this for Shabbat lunch this week. I couldn’t get kale, so we’ll be throwing in spinach instead!

    Favorite childhood meal? Scallopped potatoes! My Mum would make them rarely, citing they were too fattening, but whne she did make them, she made them well!

  24. My favorite meal as a kid involved my mom’s stuffed cabbage, but tomato soup and grilled cheese on a winter Sunday was also a keeper.

  25. So many favorite meals to chose from. Whose mom isn’t the best cook ever?!! Her homemade tomato soup, her spaghetti and meatballs and don’t laugh, but my mom made a mean peanut butter and homemade pickle sandwich ;D #kitchenlovebymom

  26. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Yum – my mom used to make lentil soup for us – loved it.

    Favorite childhood meal – My dad would make us Campbell’s Tomato Soup and grilled cheese (Velveeta & white bread, naturally) on Saturdays. The fact he didn’t cook all the time is what made it special, I think.

  27. Seems like we’re doing favorite meals! Just about anything my mother made was my favorite – even liver. The only thing I hated was when she made tongue. Never ate it. Too damn ugly.

  28. I just put this recipe together this morning and it’s cooking in the slow cooker now. I thought the cauliflower would be mushy after cooking that long so I substituted some diced butternut squash. I left the kale out but will put it in an hour or 2 before the end. I also had to omit the leeks because they were extremely expensive. Looking forward to the tasting!

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