I love beans. they are cheap, a great source of fiber and protein, and taste great in millions of meals. However, they do have a downside…it can take a while to prepare them (if you buy them dry in a bag like I do) and, well, there’s always that gas issue that people don’t like to talk about. Enter lentils. There is no soaking required, but 1 cup of cooked lentils provides almost a day’s worth of folic acid (great for pregnant moms), 18g of protein (that’s almost as much as many high-protein shakes), 16g of fiber, and over a third of the average person’s iron needs for the day. Many toddlers are low on fiber and iron intake as well, so this can be a great food for the kiddos as well. One other plus is that they are slightly more digestible than beans for many people.
Last night I made this particular lentil stew and served it over brown rice. My 2 year-old son asked for seconds and thirds, and it got the thumbs up from my husband as well! Hope you enjoy this one-pot wonder as much as we did:
1/2 bag lentils
1 can tomato paste
2 tbsps chicken base
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp fresh garlic
1/4 cup diced carrots
prepare half a bag (about 2.5 cups) of dry lentils according to the directions on the bag. Add an extra 2 cups of water and chicken base, tomato paste, garlic, and spices. Simmer for an extra 20 minutes until flavors blend.
Enjoy immediately, or freeze for another meal another day.
Note – we like our spices strong and food not quite as salty – if you want more salt, add more chicken base, and if you like a little less spice try cutting down on the cumin and coriander.