A Lentil – Veggie Fest
March is National Nutrition Month. One powerful, yet simple, way for many people to improve their diet is to include more veggies. The recommend goal is to consume 3 cups of veggies daily, yet the average American does not reach even half that amount.
Need to get in more veggies? This dish can deliciously help up your veggie intake throughout the week. It stores well in the refrigerator, and reheats easily in the microwave. With so many veggie varieties included, it’s a festival of color and flavor. Serve it as an entree or as a side to your favorite protein. Add a side of greens for an even better, balanced plate.
In this recipe I used fresh turmeric. While it is very delicious (with flavor kind of like a spicy carrot when eaten raw), working with fresh turmeric is messy, as it can stain things yellow. Wear gloves and use a cutting board that does not have much sentimental value to you when preparing it (unless you find the color yellow on everything appealing). If you cannot get fresh ginger and/or turmeric, then substitute with a teaspoon each of the dried spice versions. Add the spice(s) when you add the onions to the coconut oil at the start of cooking.
I prefer using fresh turmeric and ginger over their dried spice versions for several reasons. The depth of flavor is definitely greater in fresh turmeric and ginger than in the dried. Using the fresh root versions are also a safer bet when it comes to food allergies and intolerances. Depending on where and how processing is done, there is often risk of cross-contamination with possible allergens during manufacturing. Always read spice labels and/or check with manufacturers first before using spices in dishes prepared for someone with a food allergy or intolerance.
I love using coconut oil with lentils because lentil + coconut flavors are so amazing together. If you don’t have coconut oil, you can substitute it with olive oil instead.
The Garlic Chili Paste can be found in most grocery and specialty stores. Don’t have any on hand? Then use 1/2 teaspoon of chili pepper flakes and 1/4 teaspoon of salt as a replacement. Add the chili pepper flakes when you add the onions to the coconut oil, and add the salt the same time you add the lemon juice.
Try to cut the veggies into very small pieces, especially the sweet potato. The larger the dice, the longer you will have to cook the veggies to bring them to an al dente consistency.
1 pound Lentils, dried (about 2 cups)*
4 cups Vegetable stock, low-sodium*
1/4 cup Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup Water
2 tablespoons Coconut oil
2 cups White onion, peeled, diced small
2 cups Sweet potato, peeled, diced small
1 1/2 cups Carrot, peeled, diced small
1 cup Celery, diced small
2 tablespoons Turmeric, fresh, peeled, minced
2 tablespoons Ginger, fresh, peeled, minced
3-4 cloves Garlic, peeled, minced
1 cup Scallion, minced
2 medium Lemons, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons Rice vinegar
2 tablespoons Tamari, low-sodium*
1 teaspoon Chili Garlic Sauce
3/4 cup Parsley, fresh, chopped
Add lentils and vegetable stock to a medium saucepan on high heat. Bring to boil, then simmer until lentils are softened, about 20-30 minutes. Set aside.
In a small bowl, add the dried tomato and water. Soak tomato for at least 15 minutes.
To a large wok over high heat add the coconut oil. Add the onions and saute 3 minutes.
Add the sweet potato, dried tomatoes and soak water to wok and saute another 5-6 minutes, or until sweet potato is softened.
Add carrots, celery, ginger, turmeric and garlic to wok and saute another 5 minutes, or until veggies are al dente.
To wok add the cooked lentils, scallions, lemon juice and zest, vinegar, Tamari, and Chili Garlic Sauce and saute another 3-4 minutes, making sure to stir well.
Remove wok from heat. Toss in the chopped parsley. Serve warm.
*Note: These food items may contain gluten; check label before using if preparing gluten-free.
Makes about 10 servings.
Serving size 1 cup.
What will you serve with it?