I was feeling a little risky this week and set out to make something new.
This is big as I don’t usually mess with new flavors. I’m still recovering with PTSD from an attempt to make Sweet and Sour soup 6 years ago that took 9 days before we could get the smell out. Never mind what happened to the friends who came over that night for a ‘home-cooked meal’. Even Thai take out couldn’t rid the god awful sourness that took over the entire apartment.
As you can see, it’s still a sensitive topic and you can see why I’m not huge on taking risks when it comes to cooking. The biggest piece being, I hate to waste food!!
But Imma tell you right now. I ate every last bit of this Vegan Lentil African stew. PHEW.
As I was pulling out the ingredients, I was getting a little nervous. OK, a lot nervous. I was sweating and kept second-guessing myself. It takes 40 minutes to make this recipe but it took twice that amount of time to just decide to do it!
I mean tomato juice and peanut butter….questionable at first right?
But luckily for you, I am your guinea pig and I approve of this recipe on all levels!
HERE’S WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT:
- Smooth, creamy, and beyond satiating!
- A bit of sweet, a bit of spice and loads of veggies!
- The recipe creates a large batch for leftovers (it tastes even better on day 2!)- Freeze excess to pull out as needed
- The recipe says 40 mins but most of that is cooking in which creates a perfect time to squeeze in a quick workout like this one!
A NUTRITIONIST’S CHOICE:
Garlic, Ginger, and Onion- All of these delicious foods enhance our immune system as well as aiding in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. They also bring a mass amount of flavor at a low calorie, all-natural cost.
Cilantro- Cilantro offers several different types of antioxidants that support our immune system and contain anti-inflammatory properties. Cilantro is also antibacterial and has said to fight off antigens caused by foodborne illnesses otherwise known as food poisoning. A great herb to add on top of your dish while traveling!
Spinach- You may have heard it from Popeye himself but spinach is an incredible source of iron. Iron is essential meaning our body does not produce it and we must get it from food. Although spinach contains non-heme iron, which the body has a difficult time absorbing, spinach also contains high amounts of vitamin C which boosts the bioavailability of non-heme iron.
Lentils- A great ingredient to include for those who eat plant-based as they are a decent source of protein and iron. Both of which can tend to lack in a vegan diet.
High in fiber, lentils support gut health by providing nutrients to feed our healthy gut bacteria which directly affects our immune system. Fiber also helps control weight, balance blood sugar, and keep our bowel movements regular!
Lentils are rich in polyphenols which are micronutrients found in foods and are rich in antioxidants and contain anti-inflammatory properties.
Soaking and/or sprouting lentils will increase the bioavailability (the body’s ability to metabolize and use) of these nutrients and will minimize the anti-nutrient properties lentils contain.
Through all the benefits lentils have to offer, they do contain a small number of anti-nutrients. Antinutrients are exactly what it sounds like, a nutrient inhibitor. Meaning, they can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.
Soaking and/or sprouting helps minimize this from happening.
Soaking and sprouting take little to no effort! It simply requires the process to think ahead. If you plan to have lentils for dinner, remember to soak them the night before, or even the morning of!
Click here to learn how to sprout
Ok, let’s get into this unsuspecting, delicious dish!
Here we go….
Roasted Pepper Vegan Lentil African Stew
- 2 tbsp coconut oil divided
- 1 tbsp garlic diced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated or diced
- 1/2 cup onion chopped
- 20 oz can crushes tomatoes
- 2 medium yams
- 2 heads broccoli
- 1 bell pepper red
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 cup lentils preferably soaked/sprouted
- 1 head spinach
- 1/2 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp sea/rock/Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne less if you don't love spice
- Preheat the oven to 375
- Chop yams and bell pepper, lightly toss in coconut or olive oil and place in oven on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes
- In a large pan, heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil
- Add garlic, ginger, and onion to the pan sautéing for 3-5 minutes or until fragrant
- Add tomatoes, peanut butter, water, cumin, cayenne, and salt and pepper to the pan and mix well
- Add broccoli florets, cilantro, and lentils to the pan. Mix well and place on medium heat simmering for 15 minutes
- Add cooked yams and pepper to the pan. Allow to simmer for an additional 10 minutes
- Option to serve with lime wedge and peanuts.