Once again, it’s Friday night, and time to put something on the table to feed your ravenous family. You know you should take advantage of the whole family being together by serving something nutritious and delicious that you can all sit down to enjoy, but time and energy are working against you. Instead of tossing a can of wieners and beans into the microwave, consider spending a few more minutes and preparing a healthy pot of Curried Lentil and Root Vegetable Stew.
This recipe was inspired by one (Kathmandu Stew) in The Forks Over Knives Cookbook. I read about it in a recent newspaper article, and thought ‘hmm that sounds really good’, so I gave it a try. Of course, I almost never follow a curry recipe exactly, and in this case as well I tweaked it quite a bit – more vegetables, added parsnips, doubled the spices, added cloves and cardamoms…
One of the great things about this sort of recipe is how wonderfully it works as leftovers – I’ve been enjoying it as a very healthy lunch the last several days.
Curried Lentil and Root Vegetable Stew Recipe ( Serves 8 )
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 teaspoons cumin seeds – whole
3 teaspoons cumin seeds – ground
3 teaspoon fennel seeds – ground
6 teaspoons curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 pinch of cinnamon
6 whole cloves
6 whole cardamoms
1 1/2 cups yellow split peas, rinsed
1/2 cup french puy lentils, rinsed
1 1/2 medium sweet potato, diced
3 carrots, sliced
2 parsnips, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups water
Optional: 1 tbsp curry paste (I use Patak’s Madras or Vindaloo paste)
Optional: 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro leaves
1. Heat oil in a frying pan, add onions and garlic. Stir til soft and golden.
2. Add all the spices, mix well, fry another minute or two.
3. Add the split peas and lentils and stir until the spices are mixed in. Add the sweet potato, parsnips, carrots, and 4 cups water.
4. Stir, cover, and bring to a boil, then stir again, turn down the heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes until the vegetables and lentils are cooked.
5. Because the root vegetables are all rather sweet, you may want to add some curry paste – I’ve tried with and without, and like this dish both ways.
6. Add salt to taste, and serve garnished with fresh cilantro (if cilantro is something you like – I happen to love it). Serve with steamed quinoa, or brown rice, or some other grain of your choice. Enjoy!
Nutritional breakdown (per serving) [nutritiondata.com]
This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Folate, Copper and Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber and Vitamin A.
Glycemic load – 14 (low – that’s good)
Inflammation factor – 169 (high – that’s good, too)
Calories – 225
Fat – 2.5 grams
Protein – 13 grams
Fiber – 14 grams
Vitamin A – 153% RDA
Thiamin – 25%
Vitamin B6 – 13%
Folate – 42%
Iron – 16%
Magnesium – 17%
Phosphorus – 22%
Potassium – 21%
Copper – 23%
Manganese – 45%