This creamy lentil and kale stew will warm you up and keep you healthy…
I follow lots of vegan food bloggers, and let me just say that so many of these blogs are drool-worthy. As soon as I saw a recipe for lentil stew from Veggies Don’t Bite I knew I’d be making it soon. This recipe is awesome. I learned from Sophia’s awesome blog that the original recipe is from one of my all-time favorite vegan blogs, Oh She Glows… wow, these women are talented.
Anyway, I made the recipe with a few minor changes (because I’m just always have to take a little creative license…). It’s so good. I use cashews in so many recipes, but I would never have thought to use them here! This stew is so creamy (thanks to the cashews) that it tastes like heavy cream was added… but it’s vegan and so healthy!
Creamy lentil and kale stew is just that. It’s creamy. And it’s filled with lentils and kale. And lots of turmeric. And delicious veggies and spices. This is great on a cold winter day.
Right before I started typing this post, I went into my fridge and took out the leftover stew and transferred it to my freezer because I cannot even think of getting rid of it even though there’s a good chance that everyone here would throw things at me if I served it again this week. Sometimes something is just so good that I can eat it over and over again all week long. My family… not so much…
You also really should try my recipe for Lentil Vegetable Soup.
There are lots of awesome healing ingredients in this creamy lentil and kale stew:
Lentils help lower cholesterol, manage blood sugar levels, are high in vitamin B and protein, and have hardly any fat. They are a good source of long-term energy and are very high in fiber. These tiny legumes also help with digestion and they are the perfect protein to eat in the summer because they actually clear the body of excess heat; long ago, cold lentil soup was prescribed for patients with heatstroke or fever.
Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.
Kale is everywhere these days. It is extremely nutritious, and because it to so popular you can find it already washed and prepared in lots of markets. My cheat for this recipe was that I bought this kale already cut up and washed at the market. If you are using a whole bunch of kale, make sure you clean the leaves thoroughly and remove the center thick stems if they bother you (I don’t like to eat these think stems when they are raw). This dark leafy green is a great source of fiber and calcium. It’s also rich in many minerals, including magnesium, iron and potassium. One serving contains 200% of the daily requirements of Vitamin C and 180% of Vitamin A.
Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. The cashews give this dressing a velvety, creamy texture.
Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and tonsillitis.
Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is also a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….
Celery actually helps stop bleeding — so if you or anyone you know has just had surgery, start adding celery to your dishes! Celery is also great to help lower blood pressure and it’s been known to help with insomnia.
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ½ cup water
- 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- ¾ cup dried french green lentils
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 2 cups cleaned kale, torn into pieces
- Blend the cashews with ½ cup water in a blender until smooth and creamy (I used my Vitamix -- I'm not sure how creamy this would get with a regular blender).
- In a large soup pot, heat the oil.
- Add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots to the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Saute, stirring often, until the veggies are starting to soften, about 6 minutes.
- Stir in the thyme, turmeric, and cumin, and stir 1 minute.
- Pour in the tomatoes, lentils, broth, and 1-1/2 cups water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered 30 minutes.
- Stir in the kale and the cashew cream and cook an additional 10 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls and serve with your favorite crusty bread (I used paleo toasted bagels) or a nice crisp green salad.