Sunday, January 13, 2013

Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew

Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew served with homemade vegan Seeduction bread
This blog is the result of watching too much cooking shows on TV.  I was watching the show called The Chew with Daphne Oz's healthy recipes and was inspired to cook this stew.  I changed it a little bit and I love the result.  It is a stew with full of vitamins from lentils, sweet potato, and other vegetables like carrots, kale, celery, and leeks(leeks was my addition).  This is a stew that you can consume to avoid colds, flu, and other ailments during the cold winter months.

I like what Daphne said about red lentils.  She said that after cooking red lentils the orange color of the lentils disappeared so she used carrots and sweet potato to maintain the orange color in the stew.  It is definitely true.  If you buy Red Lentils raw ( which is also called Masoor Dal in India), you buy orange color lentils as the picture shown below.  They are very pretty.  Then, after you cook them, they become cream color or light yellow.  I often become disappointed with the disappearing color such as shown in the picture above.  Using vegetables such as carrots and sweet potato will maintain the orange color of the dish so it looks more appetizing.  Daphne even chopped the sweet potato so small, the same size of the red lentils.  What a great idea!   In this stew I chopped the carrots and sweet potato the same size so you will need to guess when you bite into it:  Is it carrot or is it sweet potato?  Or you can slice the carrots bigger like Daphne did (coins size).

Uncooked red lentils or masoor dals
The addition of kale is for health and color, adding deep green color into the stew.  The final result is a stew with light yellow, green, and orange color.  She also used cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chipotle pepper flakes, the spices I love.  I don't have chipotle pepper flakes so I used chipotle pepper powder. 

The stew is really easy to make and delicious.  It is a bit sweet from the natural sweetness of carrots and potato and it went well with whole grain Seeduction bread.  The chipotle pepper added a little bit of bite of spicyness.  I served the stew with the home made bread I made with a recipe I've been working on for a month.  It is the healthy Seeduction bread.  I will blog about it later when I am satisfied with the result.  Meanwhile I can show you a picture of a Seeduction loaf I baked.

Homemade Seeduction bread with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, millet, flaxseeds, and sesame seeds
Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew
Serve 8-10
Adapted from Daphne Oz stew recipe

1 Tbsp. Olive oil or Safflower oil
1 Red Onion, finely chopped, about 1.5 cup
1 small Leeks, cleaned and finely chopped (the top part only), about 1 cup
2 cups Carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch cubes or smaller
2 cups Sweet Potato (yam), peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch cubes or smaller
1 Tbsp. minced Garlic
1 cup chopped Celery, about 2 ribs
2 cups Red Lentils or Masoor Dals (rinsed thoroughly)
2 tsp. Cumin powder
1 tsp. Corriander powder
1/2 tsp. Turmeric powder
1 tsp. Chipotle Pepper flakes or 1/2 tsp. Chipotle Pepper powder
6 cups broth made from  Better than Bouillon No-Chicken base ( I used 4 tsp with 6 cups of hot water)

4-5 cups Lacinato Kale (black kale), ribs removed and chopped coarsely

Salt and Pepper to taste (about 3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper)

  1. Heat a 4-5 quart soup pot and then add the oil.
  2. Add onions, leeks, and minced garlic. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and black pepper.  Saute for 4 minutes.
  3. Add celery, carrots, sweet potato.  Then add all the spices: cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chipotle pepper.  Stir and saute for another 4 minutes.
  4. Add the red lentils and vegetable broth.  Bring to a boil and turn down the heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Finally, add the chopped kale and simmer for another 5 minutes.  Taste for more salt and black pepper.  Turn off the heat.



Krista said...

I must be one of the luckiest girls alive since I just popped by today and got to eat your fresh stew and bread. The best stew I have eaten in my entire life (and as I told you, I hate stew!) Thank you for being a WONDERFUL neighbor!

Unknown said...

Thanks Krista! Drop by anytime, I've been baking bread, learning to do artisan breads. It's fun.