Friday, June 1, 2012

French Lentil Stew - Moroccan style


French Lentils, or any lentils actually, I consider to be SUPER FOOD!  Lentils have been around for a long time (they were the first crop to be domesticated) and there is a reason for that, just like Quinoa, they are protein packed (30% per serving, to be exact). They are also super charged with fiber, Vitamin B1, Folate and minerals (36 % iron per serving cup).               
So if you are iron deficient and are trying to cut on meat - Lentils could very well be your new best friend!

 Copyright from Miller's Grain House

That said, I would not recommend you purchase canned lentils as they are often times too soft, over cooked and loaded with preservatives and salt.
Lentils are easy to prepare and cheap to purchase - I bought my French Lentils by the pound at Whole Foods, but you can easily find them bagged or boxed at your local supermarket.

There are many varieties of lentils, the French ones are green and dark gray, but there are also orange, yellow or red varieties (I have never tried those).

You can find out more about Lentils and their nutritional value on the World's Healthiest Foods website.

My lentil stew takes less than 40 minutes to prepare and cook, most of the time goes towards cooking. I would estimate 10 minutes for preparation.

Ingredients:




3 cups French Lentils
1 large onion (chopped)
2 Celery stalks
2 Green Onions (chopped)
4 Carrots (diced)
1/3 Large can of Crushed Tomatoes
3 Bay leaves
2 Tblsp Moroccan Tajine Spices Blend 
1 Can of Low Sodium Chicken Broth (not shown)
1 1/2 tblsp olive oil

My spice blend came directly from Morocco, however, it is not difficult to put together yourself, all you need is paprika, coriander, cumin, ginger, turmeric, pepper, and salt mixed together.

Preparation:


Pre-soak the lentils in hot water for about 15 to 20 minutes or the time it will take you to prepare all the other ingredients. I usually soak them in a large pot with about 5 inches worth of water over them since they do tend to soak up a lot of water.
Once they are soaked, rinse the lentils under warm water to wash away dirt or small rocks. If you see broken lentils (split etc) floating around, remove them.

Chop onions, celery, carrots, green onions and add to a large skillet with the olive oil and Bay leaves.




Stir in 2 tblsp of the Tajine Spice blend and continue cooking (cover if you wish) until the onions appear soft and have taken on some of the spices' color.

Add the lentils and mix well.




Add one can of Chicken Broth and follow with one can of water.



Add the Crushed Tomatoes ( I am only adding 1/3 of a cup but you most certainly can add more to your taste).




Stir well and cover. Reduce heat to medium to low and let simmer for about 30 minutes. You may stir occasionally and taste to check on consistency and crunchiness of Lentils. They should not be mushy.





I usually serve my Lentils in a bowl, as though a soup but use a slotted spoon to drain some of the broth. I also add some chopped fresh mint and serve with fresh grapes on the side.







 This is a delicious, easy to prepare, not to mention healthy dish. It keeps well for a few days in the fridge and left-overs could be frozen, though I prefer mine fresh. Lentils make for an awesome side, though this stew can be a meal on its own!

Meat eaters can add Lamb Chops or Grilled Chicken...Enjoy!

Let me know what you think of this recipe and don't hesitate to share a link to your own recipe in the comments section.

Thank you.


4 comments:

  1. This looks yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm glad I found this recipe! I have a bag of barely used lentils and needed some inspiration for what to do with them. I'm also trying to add in more SUPER foods to my diet. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Let me know whether you like it and if you found it easy to replicate.
    Thanks for sharing.
    S.

    ReplyDelete
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I welcome your feedback and comments. If you have a question or a specific request, do not hesitate, I am here to help! Thanks, S.

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