Lentil Stew is a great one-pot meal. Legumes, grains and veggies are all cooked together in one pot, yielding in a very satisfying stew. You can add your favorite vegetables or use the ideas suggested below; season according to taste. Some curry powders are stronger than others and some bouillon cubes are saltier than others. Millet is a great grain (see nutrition info below) or you can use quinoa or steel-cut oats, if you prefer. They add a thickness and heartiness to the dish. Soups and stews are quite welcoming on these cold wintry days. Enjoy!
1½ cups lentils*, rinsed and drained
½ cup millet (or quinoa or steel-cut oats), rinsed and drained
2 vegetable bouillon cubes (or to taste)
1–2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons curry powder
4–6 cups chopped vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots, potatoes, beets, kale, etc.)
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro (optional)
Put lentils and millet (or other grain) into a medium-size pot. Cover with about an inch of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium–high. If lentils foam up, skim and discard. Cook for 10–15 minutes until lentils start breaking down, adding more water as needed. Add bouillon, ginger, cinnamon, and curry powder. Continue to cook for a few minutes, then add vegetables. Cook for 20–25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all ingredients are thoroughly cooked and well combined. Stir in cilantro (if using). Serve warm or hot. Serves 6–8.
* Any type of lentil can be used in this recipe (red, green, brown, black or French). Red lentils cook the quickest (20–30 minutes); other varieties cook within 30–40 minutes.
Millet & Lentil Health Benefits
Millet provides a host of nutrients, has a sweet nutty flavor, and is considered to be one of the most digestible and non-allergenic grains available. It is one of the few grains that is alkalizing to the body.
- Millet is alkaline and it digests easily.
- Millet will hydrate your colon to keep you from being constipated.
- Millet acts as a prebiotic feeding microflora in your inner ecosystem.
- The serotonin in millet is calming to your moods.
- Millet is a smart carb with lots of fiber and low simple sugars. Because of this it has a relatively low glycemic index and has been shown to produce lower blood sugar levels than wheat or rice.
- Magnesium in millet can help reduce the effects of migraines and heart attacks.
- Niacin (vitamin B3) in millet can help lower cholesterol
- Millet consumption decreases triglycerides and C-reactive protein. Scientists in Seoul, South Korea concluded that millet may be useful in preventing cardiovascular disease.
- All millet varieties show high antioxidant activity.
- Millet is gluten-free and non-allergenic. A great grain for sensitive individuals.
- Millet’s high protein content (15 percent) makes is a substantial addition to a vegetarian diet.
Lentils should be rinsed before cooking. Like any legume, soaking lentils overnight and discarding the water helps speed up the cooking process and helps remove impurities.
- Protein– Lentils are rich in protein, which is well known to the vegetarian and vegan communities. In fact, a 1 cup serving of lentils provides nearly 40% of your daily recommended value of protein, and you will only be getting 230 calories for that entire cup!
- Iron– Often another big problem for vegetarians and vegans is getting enough iron in their diets. Lentils provide iron, without the fat and cholesterol associated with red meat. Women, especially pregnant women, and children should be especially careful to get adequate amounts of iron as their needs are greater.
- Fiber– Lentils are another great vegetable source of fiber, and their high fiber content helps you to feel full with less food. High fiber legumes like lentils are especially useful for those trying to stabilize blood sugar levels, as your metabolism burns them very slowly over time. The fiber is also effective in lowering blood cholesterol.
- Anti-oxidants– Lentils contain anti-oxidants similar to those in tea, red wine and other foods.
- Heart-Healthy– In addition to the fiber, magnesium and folate, a B vitamin, are found in lentils and very important nutrients to heart health.