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Autumn Beef lentil stew

Autumn beef lentil stew

Autumn beef lentil stew is one of my latest favorite recipes. The weather has been pretty indecisive just as Autumn aught to be I guess. I have switched my cupboards layered with winter goodies,  but the sunshine has been pretty sweet lately. What makes this stew so perfect is the fact that its low carb, healthy and packet with winter veggies that will keep you fuller for longer when the winter chills do decide to come along!

So I guess I have to gear up for the winter blues to roll around. Autumn is such perfect weather right now and I am in no mood for the cold. Castres is notorious for non-stoppable rain for dayzzz… Hearing teeth clenching, that’s me right there! Why, though? Well, I love getting out of the house once a day, take a stroll with our little man or at least going for a coffee. Rain does not stop these facts but they do tend to hinder them a bit. I just want to stay here in this season just a while longer, please.

So cooking is one thing that has to be done even though sometimes it’s the last thing you feel like doing after a busy day with baba. Especially since he has been waking up around five in the morning, ready for the day… don’t even mention the time change within two weeks. It’s gonna be four in the morning, ready for the day…Eeek. Or if you’re sleeping just fine and are just looking to bring up your cooking game then this recipe will be very pleasing to you.

In South Africa, we have a thing for red meat. Stews are loved and served by all and in all kinds of forms. Like bunny chow, curried beef stews, beef in pies and in a potjie on the fire. There are heaps and heaps of options to choose from. Castres is also especially popular for its red meat, so finding good quality cuts are no hassle at all. I was taught last year how to make a blanquette de veau if you’re keen to check out a tasty French comforting dish for the winter blues. The French do love comfort food just as much as we do. I mean the known favorites like Coq au Vin and boeuf bourguignon. Seasonal foods like hazelnuts, chestnuts, and crepes (gigantic mushrooms) have been lined in the stores and markets. I have tried the jumbo weird looking mushrooms that The French are obsessed about and it’s pretty tricky to make them like I am told to.



I am also pleasantly surprised that we have a walnut tree in our garden. This area is just so abundant with all the seasonal food. Feels as though living in Montpellier kind of made me numb to what France had to offer culinary, but in Castres, there is a little surprise with every season that rolls around. The cheeky little squirrels have been having a ball collecting the walnuts nuts and sadly I was able to just gather a few. They are so darn cute but not when they scavenge the whole tree! Also, chestnuts grow so abundantly here. I wasn’t quite sure what to make with these though.when I saw them laying on the ground I was not quite sure if they were the real deal.  New challenge making, puree de marron. The first batch was still too fresh and they tasted acidy and the second bunch from the store I left out too long after roasting and they turned rock hard before pureeing. I know it’s not so hard, but at this stage of my life, they are a bit of an effort. I’ll just have to buy a jar at the bio store already!

So what can you eat with a lovely stew? I have made some croissant foldovers with walnut cheese, honey, and roasted walnuts. These pockets of goodness were so delicious alongside the beef lentil stew and coconut cream, sage baked butternut. Easy, delish and ready in a jiffy! That is what every mom needs, I’m sure!I crave these comforting dishes right now because it’s getting close to the time of year that I really miss my family. Or maybe just because I haven’t been sleeping for oh well I don’t know eight months, haha. I swear I have a toddler by day and a newborn by night. Anyone who can relate?? No sleep makes me very very homesick! But I have been assured by others that this too shall pass, fingers crossed!


Autumn is such a beautiful season and the sunshine has been great. I love the colors, it’s just so amazing how everything turns in to the splendorous artwork right in front of our eyes! So blessed. Talking about blessed, our little man has been enjoying our grass pitch, crawling like a champ. Can’t believe a year ago I was quite far along pregnant and now he is eight months old already. Time does indeed fly! So no more complaining, becoming a parent is hard, but the rewards definitely outweigh the negative points. He just enriches our lives so much and in every season there is such beauty to be seen. I need this message this week because some days are harder than others. The thing is to stay grateful in all seasons of life.

Here is the recipe for all who needs a jiffy, taste of home-cooked meal to cure those homesick blues.


Prep Time
Cook Time


2-4 people

Autumn beef lentil stew



  • 500g sliced good quality beef beef or two cups of tofu/seitan
  • Two cups of cooked blond lentils (can be exchanged with other)
  • 1 big rutabaga/turnip sliced or a few mini potatoes
  • 2 cups of brown mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups brussels sprouts
  • 2 shallots or 1 whole red onion chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup tomato paste
  • 250ml mushroom stock
  • 1 tbsp maiziena or cornstarch
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried fine lourier leaves
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary
  • pinch of chili powder
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup balsamic or red wine vinegar


  1. Saute the onion and garlic together in the skillet that you are going to use to cook the meat in.
  2. Add the meat and brown the meat ever so slightly before adding the cornstarch.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and place this dish in the oven for an hour and a half on 165 degrees Celcius.
  4. Check on the dish every thirty minutes to make sure there are enough fluids to cook, add a bit of water if the meat is cooking dry.
  5. Serve with chopped cilantro and a few dollops of Greek yogurt. The meat can be supplemented with other meat of your preference or with plant source proteins like tofu etc.

Baked coconut sage butternut



  • Two cups sliced and cooked butternut
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp dry sage
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • pinch of salt
  • Roasted pine nuts


  1. Cook the whole butternut in the microwave by pinching it with a fork or knife.
  2. Placing it on a plate, covering it with the plastic microwave container and cooking it for 15 minutes on high.
  3. Let it cool down a bit before peeling and then slicing into thin breadlike slices.
  4. Place them tightly together in the baking dish. Mix the other ingredients and pour half of this mixture over the butternut.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes on 180 or longer with the tempo of the meat.
  6. Add the rest of the sauce just before serving with the roasted pine nuts.

Croissant walnut foldovers



  • Croustipate Croissant dough (or just any other regular puff pastry will do)
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2/3 cup walnut cheese or camembert
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup butter


  1. Roll out the puff pastry or croissant sheet.
  2. Slice into four quarters and then layer the cheese, hazelnuts and a dollop of honey in the middle.
  3. Fold over the corners and then pinch them together, smear on the melted butter to let them brown properly.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 175 degrees celsius.
  5. Serve hot out of the oven with extra honey and hazelnuts.

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