I worked out this recipe a two years ago, during an indie summer in Vancouver. All game development jobs seem to involve some lapses of self-care, and it’s pretty common to see game devs in any segment of the industry live on caffeine and pizza for days or weeks on end when crunching on a game.
Indie devs have some additional challenges, though, because they often have to work within tight budgets AND also take decent care of themselves. When my team went fully independent in 2012, I started putting some thought into the indie dev lifestyle and how I could make it work for myself and my family.
One of my strategies was to concoct a series of recipes I called “Indie Meals”–because they were cheap, filling and nutritious, and made quantities that last a week or so with daily small servings or re-heatings, thus making them optimal for indie game developers and their housemates or families.
This one is called Wolf Mother Stew.
- 3 cups of red split lentils
- 1/2 cup+ olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 1/3 cup garlic, minced
- Leftover Fridge Veggies: (in this case, 2 green and/or yellow zucchini, diced and One red and one yellow pepper, diced–but carrots, eggplant, potatoes, turnips, parsnips and all sorts of other veggies might have worked)
- Spices: Sea Salt, Cracked Pepper, 1-3 Bay Leaves, Fresh or Dry Thyme, LOTS of cumin and curry powder.
- Optional: Meat on a Bone. In this case, 1 pound of cheap Australian lamb shoulder chops, but some other meat on a bone probably would have worked–ox tail, neck, etc. If you use some sort of bird, though, probably should remove the skin.
Sauté everything to give it a bit of browned flavor.
Add 14 cups of water.
If you can afford it, you can also:
Sauté and add your meat and pop it into the stew.
Reduce the heat almost immediately from high to medium and then low, as the lentils soften.
Two hours later, pull the meat out, cut all the meat off the bones and into bite sized chunks, throw out all the bones and gristle, and pop the meat back into the stew.
Cook on low heat another half hour, then serve with a stone-ground wheat pita.
Cost of ingredients: less than 11 dollars. Keeps well: flavors will improve over the course of the next few days, in fact. Makes many meals. Can be frozen.
When re-heated in a pot, the Greek way of seasoning it at the table might include a dash of malt vinegar and more olive oil and salt or pepper to taste on top.