Sweet Potato-Lentil Stew

Protein is an essential nutrient in maintaining a healthy diet.  For vegetarians however, finding a steady source of foods high in protein is more difficult to come by— this is where the creativity comes in.  Lentils, beans, and legumes are excellent sources of protein as well as delicious supplements to any vegetable dish.

A sweet potato-lentil stew is both filling and hearty for both vegetarian and meat-based diets.  The sweetness in the sweet potatoes even creates the impression that the stew is actually a dessert.  The ingredients needed are listed as follows:

¼ cup safflower oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1½ teaspoons turmeric

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon cayenne

Fine sea salt

2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾” cubes

7 cups vegetable broth

1 cup brown lentils

Use a large pot to first heat the safflower oil over medium heat.  Add the onion while stirring frequently for two minutes.  Once the onion has started to soften, add the diced tomatoes and ginger and let sit for three minutes.  Next stir in the spices— ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne— adding a dash of salt.

Add the broth, cubed sweet potatoes, and lentils to the pot.  Bring the stew to a boil over high heat.  Once this is achieved, reduce the heat, cover, and cook for 40 minutes or until the sweet potatoes have softened.

Substitutions: Curry powder and chili powder are also great substitutions or additions to this dish.  However always taste for seasonings.

Sweet potato-lentil stew is quite versatile.  It works well alone or paired with brown rice or couscous.  Additionally, a bowl of tortilla chips transforms this stew into a fancy hors d’oeuvre.

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