After soybeans and hemp, lentils have the highest level of protein of any nuts or legumes. They are one of the healthiest and most complete foods you can eat: a great source of fiber, folate, vitamin B, and minerals (specially iron). For extra nutritional value, add black, green or red lentils to this stew recipe! And always accompany your lentils (and other legumes) with some kind of grain food, such as rice, quinoa, pasta, bread or tortillas (grains provide the amino acid necessary in order to form complete and high quality protein).
- ½ pound of dry lentils
- 2 medium potatoes
- ½ pound of soup noodles
- 1 red bell pepper
- 4 cloves of garlic (to maximize its health benefits, mash or dice the garlic at least 10 minutes before adding it to the pot)
- 2 stalks of celery (optional)
- 1 large onion
- 6 to 8 medium mushrooms (optional)
- 1 can of tomato sauce
- 2 green onions (or parsley)
- Chili flakes, paprika, salt, pepper, and oil.
- Bay leaves (optional)
In a medium or large pot on medium heat, add the dry lentils, a garlic clove, a bay leaf, and cover with water. Bring water to a boil and cook lentils for 20-30 minutes or until they are tender. Remove from heat and let sit. Don’t drain the water, you will use it for the stew and it is full of nutrients!
- In a big pot on medium heat add some oil, chili flakes and the chopped garlic cloves. While this browns, chop the onion, the celery, and the bell pepper and add them to the stew. Peel the two potatoes, cut them in small cubes, and add them to the pot too. Let sizzle for a couple of minutes.
- Cut mushrooms into quarters and add them to the pot; then add the the tomato sauce (in order to get all the tomato sauce out of the can, fill it with water and pour it into the stew as well). Add pepper, bay leaves, salt, and the ½ pound of dry noodles, stir and cover for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of hot water or lentil water, stir and cover again.
- Let cook for another 10 minutes and then add the lentils with their water to the pot. Reduce heat and cover for another 10 minutes or until the pasta and the potatoes are cooked.
If the stew looks too dry at any point, add more water, if it looks too watery, let it cook without the lead in order to allow the extra water to evaporate.
The pasta is going to continue cooking even after you turn the heat of, so turn the burner off when the pasta is ‘al dente’ or a bit under cooked.
Finally, add the sliced green onions (or chopped parsley) and let sit for a few minutes.
Serve in bowls with spoon. You can also serve it with a piece of bread or crackers. Try one of GSU’s delicious Homemade Bread recipes!
Variation with butternut squash, whole wheat macaroni, and parsley
♥ 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!