A quick and tasty lentil stew is ideal for January. It is cheap to make but full of taste and will keep you full during the colder weather.
Do you find in January that you are short of money? Overspending at Christmas means we have to look at ways to save pennies. It can seem a long time till the end of the month. January brings cold bleak weather with it. Days can seem grey and endless without much to look forward to. Recently I have been experimenting with lentils. Red lentils are a store cupboard stable and make a wonderful lentil soup. Add some onions, garlic and carrots and cook with water for a warming and filling lunch. Green lentils have always been a bit of a mystery to me. I never know what to do with them. One of my recent experiments was a quick and tasty lentil stew which is delicious.
Lentils are a great food to consume if you want to lose weight as most of us do in January. They are high in fibre which keeps you feeling full for longer. Lentils are also packed with protein whilst being low in fat. Eating lentils helps to reduce cholesterol, lowers the blood pressure, and reduces the risk of diabetes and heart disease. For those of us who are trying to save money lentils are a great choice. A big bag costs pennies and you will get at least two meals from it. Adding lentils to a meat dish will make the meal go further.
The British do not tend to add pulses into the diet, unlike our European neighbours. We are much more comfortable with a plate of meat and two vegetables. It can be hard to add lentils into the diet, but it is worth it. Studies have shown that people who eat protein from vegetarian or plant sources live longer. Adding one meat free meal into a week will help our health as well as our purses. Lentils are one of the easiest pulses to cook as they do not need to be soaked in advance.
I have always been suspicious of lentils. I remember my mum feeding us weird meals made with lentils or soya mince in the seventies. Soya mince was a big thing then. It was meant to taste exactly like mince but it really didn’t. We could always tell the difference and would complain bitterly when she made it. I did wonder if lentil stew would be similar but this is delicious. I found myself going back for more after clearing my plate.
This lentil stew is really quick to make. The stew will easily feed four and it is really tasty. A mixture of tomatoes and coconut milk with a blend of spices create a lovely sauce which is perfect for a cold day. Butternut squash adds a touch of sweetness the complements the crunch of the lentils. Green lentils form the base of the lentil stew. These are boiled for twenty five minutes in some water until they become nice and soft. Once the lentils are ready they can be set aside while you cook the onions and garlic with the spices. Throw the lentils back into the pan with the other ingredients and cook until the butternut squash is soft. Serve with rice or crusty bread. I added a side dish of cucumbers with a dash of rice wine over them which added a nice sharp contrast to the sweetness of the lentil stew.
Why not pin the recipe to make later?
Do you have any favourite lentil recipes I could try? Let me know below.