Fall may have technically started a month ago, but it has finally hit Florida. The humidity is bearable, the nights are cooling off, and it’s getting to that time of year when you crave heartier, comforting foods, like stew! This stew is soul warming, delicious, and full of healthy ingredients. The recipe makes a large batch, so store some for easy & healthy lunches or share with your friends!
Want to know what you’re eating? Here are five of the healthiest ingredients in the recipe:
Sweet potato: Sweet potato is a way healthier alternative to regular white potatoes because they contain almost 2x the amount of fiber, meaning their caloric energy is used more efficiently. They’re loaded with important anti-oxidants and vitamins, like beta-carotene and vitamins C and E. Beta-carotene is especially beneficial to Floridians because it prevents sun-damage and aids in eye health. Vitamins C and E boost your immunity and prevent sickness, and all three nutrients are great for your skin and hair!
Lentils: Lentils are incredible. They have more protein gram-for-gram than beef, three times more dietary fiber than bran, and twice as much protein and fiber as quinoa. Not to mention, at a little over a dollar per pound, lentils are CHEAP. Lentils are also a rich source of iron, which is essential for maintaining good muscle and blood health, strengthening the immune system, and regulating body temperature.
Ginger: Ginger is a root spice that has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea effects. Ginger reduces the symptoms of indigestion, and a study from the University of Georgia found that ginger consumption could ease muscle pain and soreness.
Onions: Onions are often overlooked for their health benefits, but they are full of nutrients that improve immunity, reduce inflammation, regulate blood sugar and fight against free-radical damage. Simplified, free radicals are very reactive molecules that cause damage to surrounding molecules, including our bodies.
Garlic: This flavorful herb protects against free-radical damage, infections, several types of cancer, and most heart and blood conditions. It’s also rich in vitamins A and c and manganese.
Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. curry powder
1 diced large sweet onion
4 minced garlic cloves
2 tbsp. minced ginger
1 peeled and diced large sweet potato
2 diced orange or red bell peppers
2 cups cooked lentils
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- Begin by cooking lentils according to their bagged instructions. One small bag will make more than is needed in this recipe. While the lentils are cooking, measure the spices and peel, dice, and mince the vegetables listed in the above ingredients.
- Heat oil in a pot separate from the lentils, and cook the cumin and curry powder over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
- Add the onion and cook for 6 minutes, stirring often.
- Add garlic and ginger and cook, continuing to stir, for about 2 minutes.
- Add sweet potato and pepper and cook for 1 minute.
- Now add the vegetable broth and 2 cups of the cooked lentils to the pot with the vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.