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Store Cupboard Stew

Illustration by Julia Bethan This recipe has been contributed by our head chef Petit Bwyta.

They are passionate about creating meals which are accessible for all, using up ingredients people tend to have in the cupboard and also trying to avoid food waste- therefore being budget friendly.

The aim of this recipe is to use tins & dried food you have in the cupboard and to use up bits of veg you have in the fridge. Get creative with isolation cooking so that you can make a meal out of what you've already got! There's loads of swaps in this recipe - so it's super adaptable.

We love stews because they can keep you really cosy when you're at home. They are hearty & nutritious and can be super cost effective too!

Store Cupboard Stew


200g Dark lentils (Green/dark speckled or Puy -dried or tinned is fine.)

2 medium Onions Diced (white or red is fine)*

3 garlic cloves diced*

Celery finely sliced (optional)

Diced Vegetables that you have in your fridge/cupboard such as carrots, mushrooms,

1 handful fresh spinach leaves (or frozen)* (or any other greens you have.)

Balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)

3 tbsp Extra virgin Olive oil

Tamari (or soy sauce - note this is not gluten-free)

1 tsp coconut sugar (or any other sugar)

1 tbsp smoked paprika powder

2 Tins chopped tomatoes or 1x 750ml jar passata

½ teaspoon dried rosemary or thyme

1 bay leaf

1-2 tsp Hodemods British fava bean miso*** Optional but adds great umami flavour

1 Tin red haricot beans or Kidney beans

500ml hot water or veg stock

Fresh herbs to serve (chopped parsley/coriander)

Toasted seeds to serve (Whole flaxseed, sunflower, pumpkin)

1 Tsp Black pepper to taste


In a medium/large pan or medium heat, add the olive oil, onions, garlic & diced veg, stir to coat well & allow to fry off gently. - Keep fresh spinach aside to add later on.

After 5 mins. Add the balsamic, tamari, sugar, smoked paprika, bay leaf & dried rosemary/thyme. Season with black pepper.

Continue to gently fry - ensuring the mixture doesn’t catch & burn.

Next add the tinned tomatoes or passata, lentils, beans, water or stock & miso paste.

Stir through & bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer & stir occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. If you feel it needs more liquid, add a little more.

You want it to be thick but the lentils are fully cooked.

Once lentils are tender, add your fresh spinach & stir through. Season to taste.

Top with chopped fresh herbs (parsley/coriander), toasted seeds & serve with fresh salad or greens, rice or cooked grain.

*If you have access to a food processor it’s often quicker to peel & roughly chop your veg then pulse it all together a few times, then you can add it to your pot.

**Umami: Japanese word meaning “a pleasant savory taste.”


Any of the tinned beans can be swapped for dried & pre-soaked/cooked beans.

You can use any veg you like & add/omit any to suit your taste or availability.

Even adding some tinned or frozen veg is a good idea, to ensure you’re packing your meals with as much veg as possible. You can still eat nutritious vegan food- even on a budget.

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