As a busy mom, I absolutely LOVE the ease of just throwing veggies into a pot and heading over to tend to Lil’ Bub. Here is another new one-pot wonder recipe for you—my Spinach, Veggie and Red Lentil Stew Recipe. It’s loaded with hearty beautifying veggies and lentils to boot! So easy and delish :).
By now you know how much I love my spinach and veggies, but what about…
The Protein & Fiber-Packed Lentil
Of course, one of the things I love about lentils is that they are pretty quick and easy to prepare (especially when compared to other types of dried beans) and absorb flavors, not only from the seasonings you add to your dish, but from other foods as well (like in this recipe!).
These little guys aren’t so little when it comes to their high nutritional value, and bonus: they are available throughout the year—so there’s no excuses when it comes to adding this beautifying food into your repertoire.
One cup of lentils has a whopping 18 grams of easy to digest ans assimilate plant protein.
Another reason I like to add lentils to many of my soups and dishes is that they are the leader of the pack when it comes to their fiber content. You may have heard me say it before, but lentils are rich in dietary fiber—the soluble and insoluble type. Just remember that soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract that grabs bile and pushes it out of the body, whereas, insoluble fiber helps increase stool bulk and prevent constipation. They get an A+ in my book!
Lentils are sold whole or split into halves (brown and green varieties retain their shape after cooking better than others). They are available in prepackaged containers but I usually try to buy them in the bulk bins—just make sure that the bins are covered and that the product turnover is good (this will ensure its maximal freshness).
Another thing to be on the lookout for is that the lentils are whole (not cracked), and that there’s no evidence of moisture or insect damage. If you can find them “germinated” or “sprouted” it means you won’t have to soak them overnight, which is something I recommend, always, to help them digest easier.
Canned lentils can be found in some grocery stores but I don’t encourage them (unless you’re in a bind), since they lose much of their nutritional value. Since they cook pretty easily – please do try to make them yourself whenever possible!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! In under half an hour you’ll have a nourishing, antioxidant and protein-rich meal that you can enjoy over several meals even. Now that’s eating for the smart way for beauty! xx
Check out the full recipe below…
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil,
- 1 large onion, chopped (optional - see note!)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (optional - see note!)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 quart organic vegetable broth (homemade or store-bought)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 cup chopped broccoli
- Juice of ½ lime, more to taste
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes.
- Stir in cumin, salt, black pepper and cayenne, and sauté for 2 minutes longer.
- Add broth, 2 cups water, lentils and carrots and broccoli. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 20-30 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary.
- Using a Vitamix or high speed blender, purée half the soup then add it back to pot. Soup should be somewhat chunky. Now add in your spinach and let wilt.
- Reheat soup if necessary, then stir in lime juice and parsley once the heat is off.
Note: Adding garlic and/or onions is optional. See why I am personally not eating onions and garlic right now, in this blog.
Let me know what you think and don’t forget to add this recipe to your Dinner Recipes Pinterest Board!
All my love,