Thursday, January 8, 2015

Wholly Legume Lentil Stew

When it is so cold outside I seriously just want to cook, bake and drink herbal tea!  It makes me very happy to be eating warm food and warming the house with the heat of the oven too!  Fall and winter is such an easy time to eat healthy and enjoy hearty soups and stews.  Here is a fun recipe for the family to enjoy!  We love lentils in many different ways.  I have made sprouted lentil stir fry, curried lentils, lentils & rice, lentil soup lentil tacos and lentil loaf.  Take your pick lentils can be made just about anyway you wish.  Lentils do not have to be soaked like other beans or legumes but I have found that if I soak them in water for 8-24 hours and then allow them to sprout for 1-3 days I am much happier with the results.  I had several clients who were bothered by lentils and when they soaked and sprouted the lentils for at least one day it did not bother their digestive system anymore.

For a hearty stew the best thing is to do is include a lot of vegetables.  And the green ones are good too!

I love adding sweet potatoes to our soups and stews these days.  It adds a nice texture and flavor that cannot be beat!

Some soups I like to chop them up fine but this recipe I decided to make the pieces big.  Sauteed the vegetables for 10 minutes with a 1/2 cup of water on medium low.

Elsie loves to help in the kitchen.  And we have an awesome vegetable chopper that makes the job much quicker.  And it cuts all the pieces evenly.  And that is wonderful for someone that is OCD like me!

Beautiful big chunks of sweet potatoes.  I sauteed the sweet potatoes with the other vegetables.  Helps it cook up faster when sauteed and it brings out the flavors.

Take two cups of dry green or brown lentils and soak for 8-24 hours.  I use a 1/2 gallon Ball canning jar with a fancy sprouting lid I ordered off Amazon.  I like the plastic sprouting lids because the holes are really small and I do not have problems with any of my tiny seeds coming out.  And the sprouting lid is easier to clean.  It goes from 2 cups of dry lentils to 5 1/2 cups of soaked and sprouted lentils.  And much easier to digest!

The spices... Homemade tomato sauce, homemade chik-like seasoning and I buy herbs in bulk because it is cheaper and I use a lot of herbs!

My sweet little helper!

What soaked and sprouted lentils look like.  To some they look funny.  They do not need to be sprouted this long.  As long as the lentil breaks open a little it is enough to help with digestion.

I sauteed the vegetables for 10 minutes before adding the water or lentils.  I like the sauteed the lentils for 3-5 minutes before adding the water.

Add the greens on top so they can simmer while the lentils and vegetables are cooking.

All Done!  It looks and smells so yummy!

Wholly Legume Lentil Stew

1 medium onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 - 1 cup water (for sauteing)
2 cups brown or green lentils (soaked 8-24 hours and sprouted for 1-2 days)
1 TBS basil
1 TBS parsley
3 TBS chik-like seasoning (I make my own so it is very low sodium)
1/2 tsp salt (add to desired taste)
2 cups tomato sauce or tomatoes or 1/2 & 1/2 (canned no salt)
4-5 cups of water 
4 cups greens, chopped (kale, collard, turnips)

1. Cook vegetables and 1/2 - 1 cup of water over medium low heat for 10 minutes.
2. Add lentils and saute for 3-5 minutes.
3. Add seasonings and all other ingredients leaving the greens on the top and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until lentils are tender.
4. Stir and enjoy with corn muffins or bread or crackers. We like it with a little hot sauce!

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