Injera stew

One of the many restaurants we tried in Portland was Queen of Sheba, an Ethiopian restaurant.  While we have an Ethiopian restaurant we like quite a lot in St. Louis, Queen of Sheba made the cut for its mushroom dishes and the fact that it was an easy walk for picking up take-out.

Given many of the green efforts I witnessed at various Portland eating establishments, I was disappointed by the plastic take-out containers.  I mean, I knew take-out would generate waste of some form or another, and we were able to recycle the containers, but it was not ideal.

Anyway, the food was quite good, but we were left with our standard Ethiopian meal dilemma — leftover injera.  While the various Ethiopian stews reheat quite nicely, I can’t say the same for injera, the sourdough “pancake” that is both a bed for the stews and the means of scooping up the food.

A couple of searches for uses for leftover injera didn’t turn up much, so I decided to wing it.  I should add here that Matthew was very skeptical of my approach to this dish, which in turn made me a bit nervous, especially since I was cooking for his sister and her boyfriend as well.  However, I continued with my impromptu plan and heard no complaints as we devoured most of the stew in one sitting.

Injera stew

Recipe by Melissa
Serves 4-6

5-6 c. vegetable broth, or water plus vegetable boullian
3/4 c. orange lentils (small and quick cooking)
2-3 c. prepared tomato sauce or tomato puree
4-6 c. veggies, including onions, carrot, garlic, kale or other greens
4-5 cups chopped leftover injera
1 t. cumin

Place lentils in large pot (we’ll be adding other ingredients to the pot later).  Cover lentils with water and cook until tender.  While the lentils cook, chop and saute the veggies in a mix of butter and olive oil.  The veggies should be tender-crisp, just enough of a saute to pick up some fat and flavor — they’ll cook more in the stew.

Add sauteed veggies, broth, tomato sauce, injera pieces, and cumin to the pan with the cooked lentils.  Stir to combine, cover, and simmer to 20 minutes, or until vegetables reach desired tenderness.  Stir every once and awhile, and add more broth or water if it gets too thick.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot in large bowls.

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