Stew with Quinoa and Orange Lentils (No oil) WFPB and Vegan

One pot meals are a favorite in my house. But they have taken on a whole new form lately. About 3 months back I decided to stop using oil or processed food. The family was not really on board so I made small portions for myself. To make it easy on myself I would cook one pot meals. As the recipes evolved everyone in the house wanted what I was having. We all love fresh vegetables and with the right spices and legumes for flavor these one pot meals are delicious. I add a whole grain to the pot to make it it a complete nutritious meal. There is so much variety in beans, lentils and whole grain, there are endless flavorful combinations. Try it, you will love it.

This is a very nutrient rich dish. Each serving is rich is protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and complex carbs. When you eat this kind of food you have to remember that a large volume accounts for a relatively small amount of calories. Each serving of a large filling bowl of food is about 140 calories.

Note: Cook the legumes and grains first. Then add the vegetables for the last few minutes of cooking time. This way the vegetables will not get mushy, they will retain their shape and color but will be fully cooked.

You will need (5 servings)
1/2 cup rainbow quinoa
1/2 cup orange lentils (masoor dal)
1/4 onion
3 shitake mushrooms, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup zucchini, diced
1/2 cup green beans, diced
1/2 cup yellow squash, diced
1/2 cup red bell pepper
1 large tomato
1 handful each of spinach, arugula and kale
1 tbsp. cumin coriander powder
3 tbsp. sambar or dal masala (I added rasam masala)
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 1/2 tbsp. nutritional yeast (source of B12 for vegans, you can skip if you want)
salt to taste

Wash and rinse the quinoa and lentils. Soak in a about a 1/4 cup water and keep aside until needed.

Bring about 3 cups of water to a boil in a large pan. Add the diced onion and the soaked quinoa and lentils. Cover and let it cook, about 5-8 minutes. The lentils and quinoa should be cooked completely. Add salt to taste and the spices (the last 5 ingredients on the list).

Now begin adding the vegetables. Place them one by one in the center of pan starting with the mushrooms in the order listed. Push down in the center as you add them. This will create a well for the vegetables in the center pushing the cooked lentils and quinoa to the sides of the pan. Add all the vegetables except the greens, sprinkle with a little salt, cover and let it cook on medium-low heat for a 2 couple of minutes.

Uncover and stir the vegetables in the center of the pan leaving the ring of quinoa and lentils on the side. The fresh vegetables will release juices and cook in them. Cover and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Then add the greens. Combine all the ingredients in the pan and let them simmer for a couple of minutes. If it feels too dry add a little water warmed in the microwave.

Turn off the heat and serve hot. Optionally, top it with roasted sesame seeds or seeds of your choice to increase the fat content.



  1. It’s nice to see a complete colorful one pot meal. Until sometime back, I used to make a variation of this regularly, a pressure cooker version. Now your post is reminding me how long it’s been since I made it.

  2. I love one pot meals and I like the way you cooked the veggies, spreading it out on cooked quinoa and dal.

  3. Its awesome you can get such delicious results without using oil. Looking forward to more of your WFPB recipes. Lovely pick!

  4. This is simply awesome Varada, I know how tough it would be for me to make that diet change, however, I hope I do it sometime, not just for health reasons, just thinking about the change it can bring, makes me want to try it. The dish looks and sounds so wholesome! Nice to know you have the whole family following your diet now...:)

  5. Wow! What a colorful bowl of goodness. I have never used nutritional yeast. Wonder how that tastes.

  6. This one pot meal with all the required macros looks fantastic Varada. And the best thing is that it is low in calories. With the vegetables it also looks so colourful.

  7. Such a hearty, colorful and filling dish. Love the addition of all those veggies with lentil and quinoa in there.

  8. Healthy and flavor loaded one pot meal. This is my way to go one pot meal when I need to cook something quick and nutritious though I don't add the nutritional yeast.

  9. nutritious and healthy bowl. one pot meal is always comfort food.


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