Spanish Lentil and Mushroom Stew

Sometimes, when life hands you chocolate, sugar, saturated fats and other lovelies of life, you need to take a time out. For detox. I’m definitely one of those people who lives to eat rather than eats to live, but I do make it a priority to eat healthfully a majority of the time. That way, I don’t feel so guilty when I do splurge.

I’ve always watched what I ate, but a few years ago I realized that many of the processed, “low fat” foods I was putting into my body weren’t the best choices. I made it a priority to change my mindset from low fat to full nutrition — focusing on whole foods that were natural, fresh and packed with healthful benefits. Now I always read labels (the fewer ingredients, the better) and make things from scratch when I can. My pantry is constantly stocked with things like quinoa, beans, olive oil and an assortment of spices, so I’m always ready to whip up something healthy in a pinch. Eating this way makes me feel good, and it tastes good, too.

This Spanish Lentil and Mushroom Stew is obviously healthy, but it’s surprisingly delicious. Packed with interesting flavors, textures and colors, it’ll leave you satisfied without making you feel like you’re officially detoxing. Score.

Spanish Lentil and Mushroom Stew (serves 4)

Adapted from Saveur

What you need:

  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup French green lentils, picked over and washed
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon + 1 tsp red wine vinegar, divided
  • 1/2 pound cremini or button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 6 basil leaves, chiffonade
  • Black pepper, to taste

How you do it:

1. In a large saucepan, over medium-high heat, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil. When hot, saute the scallion with a pinch of salt for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and continue to saute for 1 minute, until the scallion and garlic are softened. Add the lentils with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until tender but not falling apart, around 20 minutes. By the time they’re done, there shouldn’t be much liquid left in the pan.

2. Meanwhile, in a very hot saute pan, cook the mushrooms with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, turning occasionally. Try to get them to brown well on most sides. Season with salt and remove from heat.

3. When the lentils are cooked, add the smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 tablespoon of red wine vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning.

4. Toss the cherry tomatoes, basil, capers, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar, and a pinch of salt in a separate bowl.

5. To serve, divide the lentils into bowls. Top with the mushrooms, and top that with the tomato salad. Give the whole thing a grind of black pepper and another little dusting of smoked paprika.

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19 thoughts on “Spanish Lentil and Mushroom Stew

  1. I’m taking Nutrition class this semester and it’s definitely helping me be much more conscious about the things I eat and prepare at my house. I’ve started reading labels and making sure we get enough of our required carbs for the day. It’s so interesting! These lentils look so hearty and good for you. I love cooking these up during the colder months, too. Such a comforting dish!

  2. That’s a fantastic way to have lentils! It’s such an undervalued kind of food…
    BTW, I just want to tell you that I nominated you for the Stylish Blogger Award, because I love your blog! Check out my page to see it. 🙂

  3. I love lentil soup! It was one of the first posts I put on my blog. Lentils are SOOOOO good for you! Not only do lentils help lower cholesterol, they are of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. Because of the insoluble fiber in lentils they are indigestible and pass quickly through the body virtually intact making calorie absorption nearly impossible which helps with weight loss.

    With the temperatures barely hitting 20 degrees I’ve been having a cup of lentil soup for lunch almost every day. I’ll have to give yours a try. It looks great!

    ~Sarah

  4. I have clearly been missing out on wonderful recipes on
    your blog, so pleased I am now subscribed to receive all your
    updates. I love your lentil stew, especially with the salad served
    on top! 🙂 Mandy

  5. Your stew looks so cozy and simple to make. It sounds so comforting and looks like a perfet family meal.
    I will need to try it 🙂

  6. Pingback: Recipe Link Love, Feb 28 — Oh She Glows

  7. Pingback: Need to Make: March 2011 | Tiny Green Kitchen

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