Gingergirl: ‘Break out the same old rut’

Helen Keown


Helen Keown

Gingergirl says that lentils have a mild, often earthy flavour, and theyre best if cooked with more punchy flavours
Hello and welcome to all about food. Here’s a little something to warm your soul!

Hello and welcome to all about food. Here’s a little something to warm your soul!

Ask gingergirl

Hi gingergirl,

I tend to get bored eating pasta, rice or potatoes with dinner. Do you have any alternative suggestions?

Many thanks,

Mike, Annacotty

Hello Mike,

I think we all get a little tired of our dinner options sometimes but fear not: it’s lentils to the rescue! Puy lentils are considered by many to be the best lentil because of their unique peppery flavour and the fact they hold their shape during cooking. Like other legumes, lentils are low in fat and high in protein and fibre, but they have the added advantage of cooking quickly. Lentils have a mild, often earthy flavour, and they’re best if cooked with more punchy flavours. This simple stew is delicious; don’t be put off by the addition of white wine vinegar, this is to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.

Sausage and Lentil stew

Serves 6

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

130g of cubed pancetta or bacon lardons

600g of best quality sausages

2 onions, roughly chopped

1 large carrot, chopped into small pieces

3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

A tablespoon of rosemary

300g Puy lentils

1½ pints of chicken stock

1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oil in a large casserole or a large, deep pan with a lid. Add the pancetta and sausages and cook over a medium heat for ten minutes, turning the sausages occasionally until nicely browned and sticky. Remove the sausages and set aside. Add the onions, carrot and garlic to the pancetta and continue to cook for five minutes until the onions soften. Return the sausages to the pan and add the rosemary, lentils, stock, vinegar and tomatoes, then season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil then cover and simmer over a lower heat for an hour, stirring every so often until the lentils are tender. Check the seasoning, scatter over the parsley and serve with some crusty bread.

Contact gingergirl


Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer who produces a range of handmade luxury jams, preserves and chutney’s made from local, seasonal or organic ingredients. Helen’s produce is available nationwide from independent food emporiums and is also available at selected food delis across Europe.

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