Just wait [len]’til you try this stew!

Welcome back!

One thing that is inevitably necessary when you opt into a more vegetarian lifestyle is finding non-meat ingredients that keep you full. One filling ingredient you’ll see again and again in the Instant Pot® (IP) recipes I’ll be sharing is the legume. Today, I’ll be sharing a legume-based stew that is full of flavor and nutrition. Yum!

*Instant Pot® Lentil & Tri-color Potato Stew
Serves 4-6

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Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 pound potatoes (Any potato will do, but I love to use the tri-color baby potatoes!), peeled or unpeeled* and cubed

1 cup red lentils PLUS 1 cup brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
32 fluid ounces water
32 fluid ounces vegetable broth
Additional salt and pepper

*I like to leave potatoes unpeeled in most recipes to increase the fiber content of a dish

Instructions

  1. Set IP to sauté and add olive oil.
  2. Sauté onions until they soften and start to caramelize slightly.
  3. Add in garlic, spices/salt, carrots, celery, and potatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the lentils to combine.
  5. Add water and vegetable broth.
  6. Place the IP lid on and lock into place. Set the IP to 3 minutes (high pressure).
  7. Use the quick release method to release the pressure until it is safe to unlock the lid.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.

There’s not too much that you really need to round out this delicious soup since it’s packed with nutrition, but it could be fun, for both kiddos and adults, to serve some simple cheese and whole grain crackers on the side. Other options would be a beautiful, simple salad and/or some nice crusty whole-grain baguette for dipping!

Now for the Nutrition Highlight! Today I want to focus on one of my favorite legumes…

THE LENTIL

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Lentils contain:
Fiber: improves digestion and/or decreases blood cholesterol
Folate: required for our body to make DNA and other genetic material as well as for cell division
Iron: used to make hemoglobin and myoglobin which are critical for oxygen transport throughout the body; also required for many hormones and the structure of our connective tissue
Molybdenum: cofactor for enzymes involved in protein metabolism, antioxidant usage, drug and toxin metabolism and detoxification
Potassium: helps maintain proper blood pressure and fluid balance, lowers risk for kidney stones, and is associated with increased bone mineral density
Protein: building blocks for blood, bone, cartilage, enzymes, hormones, muscle, and skin

One non-human nutrition fact that is quite important to know about lentils, is that their cultivation replenishes nitrogen in the soil and requires less water, thereby promoting environmental sustainability.

So, that’s all for now. Please feel free to ask questions about my experience with the IP, Weekday Vegetarianism, lentils, general nutrition or whatever! See you next time!

References:
1. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-Consumer/
2. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/molybdenum#function
3. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/090115p24.shtml
4. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Potassium-HealthProfessional/
5. https://www.choosemyplate.gov/protein-foods-nutrients-health

*Recipe adapted from: https://passtheplants.com/pressure-cooker-lentil-soup/

Disclaimer:
Any content you find on Sunny Seeds Nutrition Blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition.

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