The slow cooker is a busy person’s best friend. Even Farm-to-table living expert Allison Smith, co-founder of Olivette Riverside Community and Farm near Asheville, North Carolina, agrees.
She says she loves slow-cooking. “It’s so easy. You set it up in the morning, and in the evening, your dinner’s ready and your house smells wonderful. It’s very warm and comforting.”
Olivette in case you’re wondering, is a fascinating place. It’s a 346-acre planned community and historic, biodiverse vegetable, fruit and flower farm, located along the French Broad River, near Asheville NC. Known as an “agrihood,” it’s an alternative to the traditional neighborhood model, centering the community around a working farm.
Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? Olivette Riverside Community and Farm recently won the National Association of Home Builders Best in American Living Award for Best Green Community! It’s no wonder great food is inspired in a place like that.
Smith knows all about growing many of the ingredients herself, as well as cooking them in ways that will tempt even the most vegetable adverse. And the prep doesn’t have to be wild, crazy and complicated.
Smith notes that using the slow-cooker spices up their lives, with not just that tasty transition from work to relaxation in the evening, but its versatility, as well. “From soups to baked potatoes and stews, it’s a wonderful way to prepare a whole stuffed-squash or prep your baked potatoes. It’s very warm and inviting,” she says.
This particular lentil and vegetable slow cooker stew recipe has the advantage of being nutrient-dense and high in beta-carotene potassium and fiber. And don’t forget delicious. Can’t you just smell it cooking right now?
Olivetti Lentil and Vegetable Slow Cooker Stew Recipe
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into half-moons
- 4 stalks of celery, sliced
- 3 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and diced small
- 2 cups French green lentils
- 2 tsp herbes de Provence
- 2 Tbsp dried mustard
- 8 cups vegetable broth, adding more if needed
- 2 cups kale, torn into medium-sized pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh Chèvre and rosemary for garnish
- Prep all ingredients
- Place olive oil, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, potatoes, French lentils, herbes de Provence, dried mustard, and vegetable broth into a slow-cooker.
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.
- 30 minutes before serving, add kale and salt and pepper to taste. Adjust other seasoning and add additional preheated broth if needed to adjust consistency.
- Garnish with fresh Chèvre and fresh rosemary. Bon appetit!
*Swap carrots for fresh turnips or parsnips, or swap the white potatoes for sweet potatoes for an interesting variation. Fresh arugula is also a great substitution for the kale.
French Lentils and veggies with a chèvre and rosemary garnish — this lentil and vegetable slow cooker stew recipe is hearty, healthy and easy peasy!