MEXICAN RED LENTIL STEW
Hello food lovers! I am really proud to share this one with you guys. It’s pretty much the best stew I’ve ever made. It tastes like tortilla soup- hearty and filling, but without the empty calories from the tortillas. The texture of the lentils really mimics that of the tortillas, but let’s be real, I added some tortilla chips on top after taking this picture.
In addition to being totally delicious, this stew is also very filling, totally healthy, and costs about $1.50 per bowl. You get approximately 30 grams of protein per bowl, tons of fiber, and a big dose of folic acid and magnesium. The perfect blood sugar-stabilizing meal to keep you from late night snacking. You can omit the olive oil and cook the veggies in a little bit of the broth to make it fat free if desired. If you are on a budget or too busy to cook dinner every night, this is the perfect week night meal, and it tastes better every passing day.
Let me know what you think of it!
Mexican Red Lentil Stew
Makes about 6 big servings
2 cups dry red lentils, rinsed
4 cups of water
1 tbs olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 small jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 big carrot, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
8 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable broth
2 tbs tomato paste
1 cup fresh (or frozen) corn kernels
3 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped, plus extra for garnish
sliced avocado for garnish
1 lime cut into wedges
sriracha for garnish (optional)
Combine the lentils and water in a pot, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce the heat to low and let them cook for 20 minutes. Once done, pour off any excess liquid.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, jalapeño, carrots, and bell pepper and cook for 8 minutes or so, stirring often. If at any point the mixture gets too dry and sticks to the pan, add a splash of broth. Stir in the spices and cook an additional minute, then the garlic and stir for an additional minute.
Next, add the 3 cups of broth, cooked lentils, and tomato paste into the vegetable mixture and let it cook until the carrots are tender, stirring often for a few more minutes. Then add the cup of corn and stir it in until heated through. At this point I stuck an immersion blender into the pot and gave it a few pulses to thicken things up. If you don’t have an immersion blender, scoop out one cup of the mixture and put it in the blender for 5 sec, then add it back to the stew. This step can also be skipped altogether to save time and clean up.
Finally stir in the chopped cilantro and taste to adjust seasoning.
You could add all the lime juice into the pot of stew, but I think it was nicer to squeeze it over the top and get some layers of flavors to your bowl.
Serve each bowl with some sliced avocado, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and sriracha, if you can take the extra heat!