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Meatless Monday: Spring Lentil Vegetable Stew

Springtime is finally here even though it’s still cold in the northeast!  I love to spend Sundays batch cooking for the week.  This week’s hearty meal is bright, vibrant, packed with immune supporting anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and of course 100% plant-based for Meatless Monday!
Lentils are a super energizer packed with protein and fiber.  Turmeric is a root that can also be consumed as a dried spice.  Turmeric is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds like curcumin.  Combining black pepper with turmeric helps make these compounds up to 1000 times more bioavailable or absorbable.  So enjoy some food synergy with this hearty yet healthy meal.  

I love to add a pinch of black pepper and turmeric to rice or quinoa just before cooking.  It’s an easy way to add more spice and nutrients without influencing flavor.  The turmeric will soak into the grain while cooking, in this case giving our brown rice a nice yellow hue.  

Ingredients

  • 1 bag/16 oz green lentils
  • 6 cups/1.5 L water
  • 32 oz (1 L) vegetable broth
  • 1 package (12-16 oz) mushrooms
  • 1 box (15 oz) baby spinach
  • 3 shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup kale
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 2 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 2 cups brown rice (dry) plus 4 cups (1 L water)
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste 

Directions

  1. Rinse lentils in a colander.
  2. Cook rice in rice cooker or on stove.  Add 2 cups dry rice then 1 tsp ground turmeric and pinch of sea salt and black pepper.  Add 4 cups water.
  3. Cook until tender and water absorbed.
  4. Wash spinach, mushrooms, and kale. Finely chop kale and set aside for garnish.
  5. Chop cashews, set aside for garnish.
  6. Chop mushrooms, garlic, and shallots.
  7. Heat oil in soup pot on medium.
  8. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms.  Saute for approximately 6-8 minutes until soft.
  9. Add lentils, broth, remaining turmeric, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, chili powder and cayenne.
  10. Simmer approximately 40-50 minutes until lentils are soft, adding water (approx…6 cups) as needed to maintain desired texture and thickness of stew.
  11. Serve over rice and garnish with chopped kale and chopped cashews. 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes

Servings: 12

Substitutions

  • Spinach – kale, swiss chard (silverbeet)
  • Shallots – onions
  • Lentils – white beans
  • Rice – quinoa