When I was recently grocery shopping I came across a display in the isle. You know, the type that you inevitably hit with your cart when rushing through the market? One of the foods featured was a bag of roasted and peeled chestnuts. Being the food dork that I am, I scooped up three bags to take home, not having a clue what I would do with them, but knowing that I would have fun figuring it out.
The last time I made anything with chestnuts was a couple of years ago when I made this Roasted Broccoli with Chestnuts. I used fresh chestnuts that had to be roasted, scored and the shells peeled…very time consuming and messy, not to mention a detriment to my fingertips. Although the end result was well worth the effort, sometimes shortcuts are lifesavers in the kitchen. These bags of whole chestnuts are already roasted and peeled saving loads of time to get straight to cookin’.
This Lentil and Chestnut Stew is a hearty stick to your ribs but not to your hips meatless meal. Every single ingredient that goes into making it is overflowing with nutrition. By eating this stew, you just cannot help but emit a healthy glow...not a phosphorescent glow-in-the-dark type of glow, but more a “wow, she must eat really healthy” kind of glow.
The traditional Italian chestnut stew is made with lentils but because I had dried yellow split peas from a local farm, that is what I used and it turned out fantastic.
A couple of notes:
- the recipe can easily be transformed into a vegan dish by just omitting the Parmesan.
- when you have leftover canned tomato paste, keep the rest in a ziptop plastic bag in freezer. Snap off a bit later when you need it.