The Makings of Basic Lentil Stew
The word nourishing by definition is food containing substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition. Most of what America considers to be food is a far cry from nourishing or even any resemblance of it. Many know that what they place in their body is not food, but rather than making changes, the contemplate excuses about why they can't eat better. The two biggest? Time and money. Basic Lentil Stew will quell both of those excuses.
Delicious, nourishing and economic all rolled into one aromatic pot on your stove or crock pot. A perfect meal for fall and winter evenings.
Literally a whole pot of stew, serving an estimated 10-12 people, costs around $4 per bowl, depending on the ingredients you choose. I am going to demonstrate the most expensive way to make it but you will find notes at the bottom how you can save in the process. I served this as a taster in our store recently and got many raves! The most beautiful thing of all about this "recipe" is that it can vary in many ways according to the season and ingredients on hand. Its not really a recipe, but a framework :) This is so easy and stores well in the refrigerator or long term in the freezer for the convenient heat up quickly meal. Hands on time for this recipe is less than 20 minutes. It's the stew that keeps on giving.
First we start with Tru Roots Sprouted Green Lentils (1). Do you know why sprouted is important? Please join us for our Foundations of Health Seminar (free) to find out more, but know that sprouting legumes and grains makes them easier to digest (important to our world of people in digestive dilemmas). Lentils tout a host of health benefits all by themselves. According to Organic Facts this include improved digestion, a healthy heart, diabetes control, cancer management, weight loss, prevention of anemia, and better electrolytic activity due to potassium. It is a good source of protein and is great for pregnant women. It also aids in the prevention of atherosclerosis and in maintaining a healthy nervous system.
Dice some veggies. Here is where you can alter the recipe to your nutritional needs and preferences. We generally use onions, celery, and bell peppers and gently saute them in a stick of Vital Farms grass-fed butter(2) We used Native Forest Mushrooms for our demo pot and diced them into smaller pieces. (3) Once veggies are soft you can add the bone broth. If you have been hanging around me at all, you know the key nutritive ingredient in this stew is the broth! We used the Pacific Brand Bone Broth. (4)
Garlic is another vital part to a scrumptious pot of stew. In a large pot like this I would generally mince up about 6-10 cloves of garlic. In this case I used a whole jar of our Emporers Kitchen minced garlic (5). Garlic has a
whole host of immune building properties! It is best to mince your garlic and let it rest on the counter for 5 or more minutes so all of the healing properties are activated.
Basically all there is to the stew is loading all of your ingredients in on top of the saute'd veggies. The lentils, the broth, garlic and I usually put in my sausage (Used our McCains pastured pork smoked sausage) (6) to cook with the lentils and then cut up later once stew is cooked. Voila. Just let it cook until the lentils are at your desired consistency. Add seasonings of your choice. This time I used a general Italian Seasoning from Simply Organic (7), cayenne pepper and sea salt, but the variations are endlesss!
I usually cook mine slowly on the stove for a couple of hours. This would be a good all-day-in-the-crockpot stew for a warm meal in the afternoon. Once the stew is ready, pull the sausage out and slice however desired. Some people like big chunks of sausage, but I prefer mine in bite sized pieces so I get sausage in almost every bite.
And thats it. So easy. So economical. So nourishing! Let me know if you made this and how you changed it up to meet your family's needs! Be sure to check out the cost savings below.
(1) You could buy lentils and sprout them yourself for significant savings, and it's easy to do!
(2) Do not skimp on butter! Grass fed butter is essential. You could use coconut oil or ghee, but butter will be the best option for taste!
(3) Fresh organic mushrooms are less expensive than the canned (and better for you too)
(4) Homemade broth is not only tastier and healthier, it's better for the wallet. Use grasss fed beef bones or pastured chicken bones and feet. You can find these in our freezer from Greener Pastures Farms and Three Twelve Beef.
(5) Obviously cutting and mincing your own garlic provides savings. Every kitchen should have the inexpensive mincing tool to accomplish this job.
(6) While link sausage seems to work well in this stew, ground pork, chicken or turkey costs less per pound than the smoked sausage. All can be found our store. You may need to add more seasonings. You would also want to brown the ground meat with or after your veggies in the butter. Then just add the broth on top.
(7) Use spices from our bulk section. Spices that are bottled and labeled are not as economical.
RECIPE: Basic Lentil Stew
Tru Root Sprouted Lentils (soaked overnight, drained and rinsed)
Diced veggies: onion, celery, mushrooms and/or bell peppers
Vital Farms Butter from pastured cows
Seasonings: Italian, sea salt, sage, cayenne, sage, thyme, Herbs de Province, etc
Broth, enough to cover the contents
Meat of choice
Saute veggies and add the rest of the ingredients and cook on low to desired consistency.
Educating and consulting on the benefits of natural and traditional foods for optimal wellness in an age of declining health.