If you’re looking for a delicious Lentil Stew Recipe that is vegan, gluten-free and very healthy then you have come to the right place!
Everyone loves fall because it brings with it the season for stews and soups. They are perfect for colder weather. Not only this, but they are also super easy to make suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Lentil stews are usually made with hearty ingredients and are enjoyed with some delicious crusty bread.
This article will look at a great recipe for vegan and vegetarian lentil stew as well as explore the beauty of this amazingly cozy dish! Let’s dive in.
What Is Lentil Stew?
Lentil stew is very similar to lentil soup, but it is a lot thicker. Usually, this dish is made using legumes as the base.
It is very often a vegan or vegetarian recipe because it uses lentils as the main ingredient, rather than meat.
Lentil stew is very good for you, providing you with lots of protein, good carbohydrates and low levels of fat.
Lentil stew is very easy to make and it is a very cozy meal. This makes it perfect for the fall and winter seasons.
When you are cooking lentil stew you should bear in mind that the flavors become richer the longer that it is simmering for.
Types Of Lentils To Use In Lentil Stew
There are lots of different types of lentils. All of them have different benefits and all of them go well in lentil stew. The most common lentils that are used in lentil stew are:
1. Brown Lentils
Brown lentils are quick and easy to cook. They are easy to get your hands on and add great flavor to your stew.
2. Red Lentils
Red lentils are softer than other lentils so they are great if you are looking for more of a smooth stew.
3. Green Lentils
Green lentils are peppery so they add a great flavor to your stew. They take a lot longer to cook than other types of lentils.
4. Puy Lentils
Puy lentils are from Le Puy in France. They are much smaller than green lentils but they are a very similar color to green lentils.
Are Lentils Gluten Free?
Lentils are naturally gluten-free. They come from the legume family. This means that they are not a grain.
However, you have to be careful here because there might be some instances of cross-contamination.
If you are sensitive to gluten it is recommended that you purchase your lentils from a company that processes its products in a gluten-free facility.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Lentils?
There are lots of different health benefits to eating lentils. These include:
1. Good For Your Digestion
Lentils are very good for your digestive system. They contain a lot of prebiotic fiber which is very good for your gut.
This fiber promotes the functioning of your digestive system and, in turn, reduces the risk of colorectal cancers.
2. Reduced Risk Of Chronic Illness
Eating lentils often reduces your risk of developing chronic illness. The risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and some cancers are much lower if your diet is rich in lentils.
This is because they contain a plant compound named phenols. As well as this, lentils are antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory.
This means that they are very good for strengthening your body and helping you to fight illness.
3. Good For Your Heart
Lentils are also great for the health of your heart.
They are rich in potassium, folate and fiber which all help in ensuring that your blood pressure is managed and your cholesterol is kept at healthy levels. Lentils also contain iron and vitamin B1.
4. Manage Blood Sugar Levels
Lentils are great at maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. They are filling because they are very high in fiber which makes them great for controlling appetite.
5. Plant Protein
Lentils are a great source of protein. This is very useful if you are a vegetarian or vegan and do not get your protein from meat or fish.
What Are The Benefits Of Lentil Stew?
As well as the obvious health benefits, there are many benefits to this wonderful dish. These include:
Simple One Pot Meal
This dish is fairly easy to make and it is all made in one pot.
It is very easy to throw together and you won’t make much of a mess during the making process! All you have to do is grab your pot and get stewing.
As it is so easy to make, it is also very easy to make in large quantities. This means that you can prepare the stew in advance and have it throughout the week.
Many people like to make this stew the night before it is needed anyway because the flavors will intensify if it is left to sit.
This meal is very easy to freeze and it will defrost very easily.
If you have made too much, you can easily put the rest in the freezer so that you can have it as an easy dinner anytime you need it. You can store the stew in the freezer for up to 3 months!
While this recipe for vegan and vegetarian stew is absolutely delicious, you can season the stew in whichever way you like.
Add some of your favorite flavors or take away flavors that you are not such a fan of!
What Is In A Vegan Lentil Stew?
There are lots of ingredients in a vegan lentil stew.
There are lots of different recipes for the dish but the general ingredients are very similar to each other. The ingredients that you will need to follow this recipe are:
- Dried lentils. There are lots of different types of lentils and you can choose which you would like to use. This recipe recommends using either brown or green lentils.
- Olive oil. This is used for sautéing the vegetables. You can always opt to use water here if you want to make the dish more healthy.
- Herbs and spices. This recipe recommends using paprika, thyme, cayenne pepper, bay leaf, cumin and italian seasoning.
- Tomatoes (both diced tomatoes and tomato paste)
- Vegetable broth
How To Make Vegan Lentil Stew?
Let’s dive into a great recipe for making vegan lentil stew. Follow these steps for a deliciously cozy meal! After you have prepped and chopped all of the ingredients you should:
- Heat the oil at medium heat on a large saucepan.
- Chop and add the onions to the pan and cook them for around 3 minutes.
- Next, add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Stir in the chopped celery and add the spices. At this stage you should add paprika, cumin, italian seasoning and thyme.
- Now, add in the lentils, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, vegetable broth and bay leaves.
- Bring the stew to boil. Once it is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer the stew for at least 40 minutes. You can leave the stew on the heat for as long as you like, until the stew has reached your desired texture.
- Finally, remove the bay leaf from the stew and serve the dish.
What Should I Serve With Lentil Stew?
There are lots of different ways that you can serve lentil stew. It makes a great main dish but it also makes a fabulous side.
If you are looking for something to serve with your lentil stew there are a few ideas listed below:
Serving your lentil stew with bread is a great idea. If you serve the dish with some crusty bread it will taste fantastic if you dip it into the stew.
Bread really compliments the strew because it adds a crunchy texture to an otherwise very smooth dish.
Salad also goes very well with stew. If you serve a cold salad with a warm stew you will find that they complement each other very well.
This will add something extra to the stew while keeping it suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Quinoa is a great addition to a lentil stew. It adds some more protein to the dish making it even more filling.
It is also vegetarian and vegan so it is an all round winner. You can serve the quinoa on its own or with a salad.
Tips For Making A Great Vegan Lentil Stew
With a recipe like this, you are likely to crack it for the first time.
However, there are a few places where the recipe could go wrong. Here are some tips for making a perfect vegan lentil stew:
- If you prefer your lentils to hold their shape it is best to use brown lentils.
- If you prefer a softer stew, red lentils will soften more than green lentils.
- Sort through the lentils. If you see any lentils that don’t look as good as the others then you should remove them. Also, keep an eye out for some small stones. These are normal to find in a pack of dried lentils.
- Rosemary and thyme are great flavors to add to lentil stew. Add as much or as little of each herb and spice as you prefer.
- Low sodium vegetable stocks are much better to use. This means that you will have control over how salty the dish becomes and you can add as much salt as you want to.
Are Lentils Safe For Everyone?
Lentils are safe for most people. They are very healthy and they add to a balanced diet. Having said this, lentils can be quite difficult to digest for some people.
This is because they contain phytic acid which makes the minerals in the food much harder for us to absorb.
Lots of people report having an allergy to lentils. This is very common in Spain and other parts of Europe. If you have an allergy to lentils, you are also likely to have an allergy to chickpeas.
What Other Dishes Can You Use Lentils In?
Lentil tacos are absolutely delicious and are very different from the lentil stew above. They are great fun and they add some variation to your diet.
The lentils are a great meat replacement as they bring the protein to the meal that meat would usually bring. Tacos are a Mexican dish so they have a lot of delicious Mexican flavors with them.
Hearty Pasta Soup
Lentil pasta soup is delicious and full of hearty goodness. The lentils in this dish make it much more filling and satisfying than the dish would be without.
It is full of great flavors and healthy ingredients that the whole family will love.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Vegan?
Veganism is a lifestyle choice. It involves not using any products or eating any foods that come from animal-derived ingredients.
Vegans do not eat meat but they will also not eat anything that was produced by an animal. This can include things like eggs, milk and cheese.
Many vegans also do not use any products that have used animal products to be produced or tested.
What Is A Vegetarian?
Vegetarians do not eat meat or fish.
Can Vegans Eat Lentils?
Yes. Lentils are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Can Dogs Eat Lentils?
Lentils are safe for dogs to eat. In some cases, they are actually beneficial to add to a dog’s diet. If you cook the lentils with no salt, then they can be added to the diet.
In the same way that the fiber, protein and vitamins in lentils are great for us, they are also great for your dog.
When you feed anything to your dog, ensure that you are doing so in moderation. Ensure that you watch your dog in case they have any adverse reactions to the lentils.
As well as this, consult your veterinarian before you change your dog’s diet to ensure that it is a good thing to add.
Is Lentil Stew Healthy?
Lentils are very healthy, and lentil stew is packed full of lentils.
Not only that, but lentil stew contains lots of other ingredients that have a lot of health benefits. If you eat lentils as part of a healthy and balanced diet then you will definitely benefit from them.
Lentils are also a great source of protein for vegans and vegetarians who might find it difficult to source protein.
This is because people who are not on these diets usually source their protein from meat and fish whereas lentils are a plant based source.
They are essential to the diet of vegetarians and vegans in lots of cases.
Do You Need To Prepare Lentils Before Adding Them To Your Stew?
In this recipe, just like many others, you do not need to prepare your lentils before you add them to your stew.
The lentils will cook in the vegetable broth that is in the stew recipe while it is being simmered. If you cook the lentils in this way then they will have much more flavor.
This is because the lentils will absorb the vegetable broth, giving them more flavor and moisture.
It is a good idea to wash your lentils before you add them to your dish. This will ensure that there is no dirt on the lentils. It will also remove some of the bitter taste that lentils can contain.
What Are Canned Lentils?
Canned lentils are lentils that you can buy from the grocery store in a can. While you can use canned lentils in this recipe, it will taste much better with dried lentils.
Again, this is because the lentils will absorb the flavors with dried lentils while the stew is cooking.
Do Lentils Thicken Stews?
Lentils are a great way to thicken soups and stews. If you puree the lentils then this will add more thickness to your soup.
You can do this if you want the stew or soup to be very smooth. If you want the stew to have solid lentils then you should not puree them.
Instead, you should cook the lentils in the stew until they are the right consistency for you.
People have very different preferences when it comes to the thickness of stews, and so this is a good chance for you to make your own decisions on what you prefer.
Make sure that you experiment with the stew so that you can make it exactly to your liking.
Lentil stew is a fantastic vegan and vegetarian dish that everyone will love. This recipe is perfect and it makes such a delicious stew.
Remember, when you are making stew using this recipe you can make changes to the stew so that it is exactly what you want.
If you prefer a smooth stew, then you can cook your lentils until they are soft, or you can puree them. If you prefer certain spices to others, don’t be afraid to add more or less of these spices to the dish!
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