Superfood Spotlight: Lentil and Potato Stew

Lentils are a part of the legume family and are believed to have originated in the Near East or Mediterranean area.  Much like beans, they are a great source of protein (18g in one cup) and fiber.  By eating lentils, you can benefit from all the minerals and vitamins, at the cost of essentially no fat.

One cup of cooked lentils has a whopping 16g of fiber, almost half the daily recommended amount for women.  The fiber-filled lentils can lower cholesterol, help prevent heart disease, colon disease and diabetes.  The cardiovascular benefits can give credit not only to fiber, but to the effects of folate and magnesium on the bloodstream. See All About Fiber or more information.

Lentils are also a great source of iron, providing 37% of your daily recommended intake in one cup.  Iron is essential for hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to the body.  It also plays a role in energy production and metabolic processes.  Women are particularly at risk of iron deficiency.  Since I don’t eat red meat, lentils are an excellent way for me to obtain my iron needs.  Also, lentils are a better source of iron than red meat because they are significantly lower in calories and fat. 
With the help of one of my favorite blogs, Generation Y Foodie, I made a lentil and potato stew.  Even though I love eating lentils, it was my first experience with making them myself.  I had my girlfriends over for an Oscar party and it ended up being a hit!


Lentil and Potato Stew
from Generation Y Foodie


Ingredients

1.5 cups lentils, washed (you can use green, brown or red)
1lb red potatoes, washed and cut into 1″ chunks
4 medium carrots, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 cups low sodium veggie broth
2 cups water, divided
1 tbsp fresh or dried thyme
2 springs fresh thyme, or 2 tsp dried
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 8oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes


chopped celery and onions
Directions
1. Add lentils, vinegar, thyme, bay leaf, tomato paste and veggie broth and bring to a boil
2. Cover and reduce to med-low heat until broth is absorbed, 20-25 minutes
3. Sautee onion, garlic, carrot, and celery in olive oil until soft, 5-7 minutes (on medium)
4. Add potatoes, cook for 2-3 minutes,
5. Add water and tomatoes.  Continue to simmer until potatoes and lentils are soft

adding the veggies
stir frying…

add potatoes
mix it all together!

Cheers to a delicious and warming stew 🙂

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