Lentil-Potato Stew

batata bi 3adas

“Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew.” (Genesis 24:34)

So as you might have guessed from the Biblical verse above, the Old Testament suggests that the origins of this dish in the Mediterranean/Levantine region may be traced thousands of years back! Like most lentil-based foods (or mjadra, as we call them), I find this is a very humble dish– I always tend to think of lentils as the pulses with the lowest profile, as they are either taken for granted or underestimated: Despite the lack of bright colors, lentils are a chock full of nutrients and flavor. Lentils are considered among the most prolific of superfoods, and that doesn’t come for no reason. Among the myriad of nutrients, the main highlights found in this lentil-based dish are an uber-wealth in folate, as each serving provides around 40% of the recommended daily value. Folate is excellent for pregnant women, and for the synthesis of the two hormones serotonin and dopamine, which makes it a great food for those suffering from stress or even depression–so expect yourselves to literally be “happy” about this meal. Manganese is another mineral found in abundance in this stew, as it yields around 30% of your recommended daily intake of the food (manganese is important for bone production, collagen production in skin and protection against UV rays, and the control of blood sugar (through glucogenesis, or the conversion of non-carb sources in the body–such as fat–into fuel). And as you can see in the nutrition fact labeling below, this lentil stew is also rich in thiamin, phosphorus, and vitamin B6 (as well as iron, vitamin C, magnesium, niacin, riboflavin, calcium, selenium, and vitamin K). And with 10 grams of protein at only 180 calories per serving, it is incredibly nutrient-dense!:

Lentils and potato stew

What I also like about lentils, and this dish in particular, is the easy preparation and the simplicity of its ingredients. Moreover, unlike beans, there is no need to soak lentils in advance. Moreover, it tastes so good that my toddler can easily eat more than one bowl!

Ingredients: (makes 6-8 bowls)

3 small onions, finely diced

2 medium potatoes, cut into small chunks

1 1/2 cup brown or green lentils (Le Puy lentils will also do)

pinch of cinnamon

1 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp black pepper (more or less, according to preference)

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt, to taste

8 cups of water

Preparation:

1. To prepare the lentils, wash them and then let them boil for around 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Saute the onions with the rapeseed oil until brown. Add the potatoes and then the spices, stir for one minute.

3. Add the water, allow to boil, and then simmer for around 30 minutes (or more, depending on how chunky you like the consistency).

4. If you wish, add some olive oil right before serving.

Enjoy! πŸ™‚

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Categories: Kids Love..., Recipes, Vegan

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