One of the coolest things that people discover when they begin to take a more plant-based approach to eating is the startling variety of legumes and lentils available. Black lentils are a recent discovery at Fooducate HQ, but have since become a favorite. Round and black, they are sometimes called Beluga lentils, due to their similarity to the pricey caviar variety. As with all lentils, you can buy these in bulk for a pittance.
All lentils are nutrition powerhouses. Just half a cup of cooked lentils provides close to 20% of your iron requirements, over 30% of fiber, 10% of potassium, and host of other vitamins and minerals.
The recipe below is simple and straightforward and requires almost no cooking skills.
Black Lentil Stew
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 cup of black lentils
- 2 cups of water or vegetable stock
- 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- Soak lentils for 1-4 hours in advance of preparation. This is not a must, but shortens cooking time.
- Heat olive oil in a saucepan over a medium-high flame.
- Add onions and saute´ for 3 minutes.
- Add carrots and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes.
- Boil 2 cups of water.
- Drain and rinse the lentils, then add them to saucepan.
- Stir veggies with lentils for a minute, then add boiling water. You can add regular water too, but it cools down the mix and takes longer to prepare.
- Add sprigs of thyme and mix.
- Reduce heat and cover saucepan.
- Cook for 25-35 minutes until lentils are soft but not falling apart and most of the water has either been absorbed by the lentils or evaporated. Stir occasionally.
- Remove from heat and remove thyme stems. The tiny leaves will have fallen off by then.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with rice and salad, or as a side dish to poultry or fish dishes.