Fall Lentil Stew
Recipe and Images by: Brianda Younggren, MPH 10/2022
Soup & Stew Season Has Arrived!
Fall is here which means it’s time to dust off the ol’ slow cooker and let the warm flavors of fall heat your home and your spirit! This month we’re showcasing the very valuable yet humble lentil! Lentils are one of the most nutrient dense legumes and they’re incredibly affordable!
Lentils are rich in fiber which promote healthy gut motility which in turn boosts our immunity. The fiber in lentils promotes cardiovascular health through helping the liver find and bind low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is also known as our “lousy” or “lethal” cholesterol, and we want these values to be “low.”
Lentils are also rich in iron! Iron is best absorbed in the presence of ascorbic acid, or better known as vitamin C. When serving cold, warm, or hot lentil dishes it’s imperative to squeeze a wedge of fresh lemon or lime over the dish to allow the iron to become greater absorbed by the body. We increase our bioavailability of specific vitamins and minerals with the support of complementary vitamins and minerals, a win-win! Proper iron intake also supports immunity and helps combat anemia.
Lastly, lentils are an excellent source of plant protein. Plan proteins have the benefit of not containing any cholesterol, because remember, cholesterol only comes from animals; and lentils also don’t contribute any saturated fat which protein from beef and pork do.
Fall Lentil Stew
1 pound dried green or brown lentils, rinsed
1-quart low sodium chicken broth
1 15-ounce can stew tomatoes
1 15-ounce canned tomato sauce
2-4 carrots chopped
2-4 stalks of celery, chopped
1 small onion of choice, chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1 lemon, quartered
¼ cup cilantro for garnish
Sauté carrots, celery, onions, garlic on low to medium heat until caramelized.
In a 6-quart slow cooker, add dried and rinsed lentils, the sautéed vegetables, broth, tomatoes and sauce. Cook on low until lentils are tender, approximately 4 hours. Serve with chopped cilantro, and a wedge of lemon.