Meat Free Monday

The clocks went back one hour over the weekend here in Ireland, which has ushered in the shorter winter days. Food writer, John McKenna, writing in the Irish Times last week believes that this change should herald a change in our eating habits too :  “we should subtly change the food we eat to food that comforts our bodies, and eat foods that usher in the textures, tastes and colours of the seasons.” believes McKenna. He offers this recipe from Diana Henry’s book Food from Plenty (Mitchell Beazley), published last month.



  • Four tablespoons olive oil
  • One onion, in slim crescent moon shapes
  • Four garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • One and a half teaspoons coriander seeds
  • Crushed quarter-half teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 100g green or Puy lentils
  • Six large carrots, sliced
  • Two tablespoons tomato purée
  • Two teaspoons caster sugar
  • 275ml vegetable stock or water salt and pepper
  • Two tablespoons chopped mint, parsley or dill
  • Good squeeze of lemon juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to serve


Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion until soft and pale gold. Add the garlic and spices and cook for two minutes. Add everything else except the herbs, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Bring to the boil and cook until tender and the liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. Taste, add the herbs and lemon juice, then adjust the seasoning. Add a slug of extra virgin olive oil. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature