“They” say never start with an apology. So, I am calling these first couple of paragraphs leading up to the recipe, an “explanation”…

 Many of you reading this blog are also subscribers to the Friday Four – my weekly newsletter with a healthy recipe, wine suggestion and 2 kitchen tips. I’ve been publishing it now for 6 years, (WOW! That’s a lot of Fridays:) and have the procedure down pat. I start thinking of what recipe will appear early in the week. Once that is decided, I move on to the wine and then the kitchen tips. I try to carefully document activities during the week so that I can share what’s going on in the Taste and Savor kitchen with all my friends. Okay, so that’s what I do with my Friday Four. Got it. Done.

Meatless, Luscious and Fun is another thing. I find it challenging to stop on Monday and capture my thoughts. If I don’t have an event scheduled, I try to take Sundays off. As those of you who are owners of a small company know – this is a monumental task. My mind is always full of details and ideas, and its difficult to shut it down “on command”. So Mondays are the day when I run full speed. From the very-early-hour  when my alarm sounds to the time when my head hits the pillow, I am often in constant motion. I love what I do, and there is often not enough time to squeeze it in, make plans, and deliver everything I have promised.

Which leads me back to a Monday recipe. It isn’t hard for me to come up with a meatless, yummy recipe. Although not a vegetarian, I still eat and prepare most plant-centric menus. So all I have to do is slow down, sit down, and stop for a moment to share it.

Hmmm, its Tuesday morning. Sigh. Thus, this week’s Meatless Monday recipe is a day late. The good news is that its one of my favorites, and many home cooks that have my book have emailed me to agree. Here’s to Mondays, Chickpea Stew and being on time next week!

Italian Roasted Red Pepper and Chickpea Stew

1 TB Canola Oil

1 Large Red Onion, Chopped

2 Roasted Red Peppers
1/4 Cup Tomato Paste

5 Cups Vegetable Broth
1 Cup Lentils, Rinsed Well
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 Tsp each Dried Basil and Thyme
1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
1/4 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 Can Chickpeas,
rinsed well
1 Tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Cup Brown Basmati Rice, prepared
Chopped Basil or Parsley for Garnish
Shredded Parmesan for Garnish

Step One
 Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium high
heat. Add the onion, cook until soft and golden brown about 7-8 minutes. Add
the peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Step Two Stir in the tomato paste. Add the broth,
lentils, bay leaf, basil, thyme, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Reduce
the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the chickpeas and simmer for an
additional 5-10 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.
Step Two. Add in the lemon juice and serve garnished with the basil and Parmesan
topping the brown rice.

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