I’m currently doing a 2 week cleanse with my group and I’ve made the food on the meal plan really simple but nutrient rich – it’s proper wrap you up in a big hug kinda food, with the benefits of keeping you heart healthy, keeping you regular and supplying you with antioxidants to remove damaging oxidising agents that roam around these bodies of ours. These free radicals as they are called are the nasties that cause things like cancer and heart disease and we are exposed to them on a daily basis from pollution, smoke and all the emfs we’re surrounded by.

I came up with this recipe after seeing some beautiful Cavolo Nero (Tuscan Kale) in my local M&S. It was so dark, brooding and velvety and I really felt it deserved to be something more than just a side dish.  So here it is, now showcased in my sweet stew recipe. This stuff is  wholesome and takes me back to my Grandads kitchen in the East End – a more innocent time, when there were no GMO’s or processed foods. Of course, back in the day I was a meat eater and Grandad would make oxtail stew with pearl barley … oh so delicious!

I don’t eat meat these days though I still love the pearl barley and if you’re transitioning to a  meat free diet, or you’d just like to include more veggie meals, then this is a great recipe for you.

Sweet Stew with Cavolo Nero


  • Dessert spoon of olive oil
  • 1 cup of red lentils and 1 cup of pearl barley
  • 6 cavolo nero leaves (ordinary kale if you can’t get cavolo)
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, skinned and smushed
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • Heaped teaspoon of ground mustard seeds
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme (or heaped teaspoon of dried)
  • Heaped teaspoon of dried oregano
  • Dessert spoon of tomato puree
  • Teaspoon of sea salt


Heat the oil in a large saucepan,  add the onions and saute 1 minute. Add the mustard seeds, oregano and thyme and stir, then pour in the lentils and pearl barley lentils and give a good mix around.

Dissolve the tomato puree in a cup of hot water and add to the pan, then cover the mix with boiling water and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the sweet potatoes and add more water to cover if necessary then simmer for 10 minutes. Next add the garlic, salt and cavolo nero, pop the lid on and let it simmer away for a further 10 minutes.

Sprinkle with a few smokey chilly flakes and serve as steamy bowls of pure goodness to ‘warm the cockles of your art’(heart) as my Grandad would say.

If you’d like more recipes or you want to get healthier and happier, come on over and join my free Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Bellibones/

Love always,