Lentils belong to the legume family. After soy beans, they contain the highest level of protein of all legumes. Lentils are one of the healthiest and most complete foods you can eat: great source of fiber, folate, vitamin B, and minerals, specially iron.
Lentils are very easy to prepare and exist in a variety of sizes and colors, such as green, brown, black, orange, and yellow.
♣ For extra nutritional value, add black, green or red lentils to your stew recipe. Also, try to always accompany your lentils–and other legumes–with some kind of grain, such as rice, quinoa, pasta, bread or tortillas. Grains provide the necessary amino acid to form complete and high quality protein.
- 1 cup of dry lentils
- 2 minced cloves of garlic–>to maximize its health benefits, mash or dice the garlic at least 10 minutes before adding it to the pot
- 2-3 diced stalks of celery
- 1 medium diced red onion
- 1/2 diced red bell pepper
- Diced jalapeño or serrano pepper to taste (optional)
- 1 cubed carrot
- 1 cubed potato
- Optional: cubed butternut squash
- 1 can of tomato sauce
- Chili flakes, paprika, bay leaves, salt, pepper
- Optional: Soup noodles (1 or 2 cups, it’s up to you)–>gluten free small shells were used for this recipe, you can also serve on top of brown rice or quinoa.
- 4-5 diced green onions
- Chopped parsley
- Olive oil
- Optional: vegan Italian sausage, tvp, or meatless grounds
- In a medium pot on medium heat, add the dry lentils, a crushed garlic clove, a bay leaf, and cover with water (3-4 cups of water). Bring water to a boil and cook lentils for 20-30 minutes or until they are tender. Don’t drain the water, it’s full of nutrients and you will use it for the stew!
- While the lentils cook, in a big pot on medium heat add some olive oil, chili flakes, and the minced garlic. Then add the onion, celery, carrot and bell pepper. While this browns, cut the potato into small cubes and add it to the pot. Sauté for a few minutes.
- Add the the tomato sauce to the pot. To make sure you don’t waste any sauce, add some water to the empty can to rinse the left overs off and pour it into the stew. Add pepper, paprika, bay leaves, and salt. Stir well, cover, and cook for ten minutes.
- Add the lentils from the pot with all of their water, stir well, cover, and cook for a few minutes.
- Then add the ½ pound of dry noodles; add hot water as needed, stir well, set heat to low, and cover. Cook for 10 more minutes and remove from heat. If the stew looks dry at any point, add more hot water.The pasta is going to continue cooking even after you turned the heat off, so turn the burner off when the pasta is ‘al dente’ or a bit undercooked.
- Finally, add the sliced green onions and let sit for a few minutes. Serve with a spoon in bowl and garnish with chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!
♥ Serve your stew with a piece of bread or crackers. Try one of GSU’s delicious Homemade Bread recipes!
♥ Lentil Stew with butternut squash and whole wheat macaroni:
For this variation, add the dubbed butternut squash when instead or with the dubbed potatoes.
♥ Lentil Stew with Wild Rice (served on a bed of spinach):
For this variation, you can use raw lentils. Add 1 cup of wild rice and the uncooked lentils when you add the cubed potatoes. Cook for at least 40 minutes and add water as necessary. Extra recommended seasoning for extra flavor and exquisiteness: cumin!