Lentils and Purple Sweet Potato Stew

Lentils and Purple Sweet Potato Stew

Lentils as well as any legume are an inexpensive source of protein, as well  as fat-free, high in fiber and rich in a number of essential nutrients. Adding lentils to your diet offers a number of health benefits, from controlling your weight to promoting heart health.

varieties of lentils You need 25 to 30 grams of fiber everyday, and one half cup of lentils will supply 8 grams of that fiber. Fiber in foods helps suppress appetite, helping you to manage and maintain a healthy weight.  Eating a diet that is rich in dietary fiber also decreases LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in your body.

If you have diabetes or are at risk of developing diabetes, fiber rich foods can also help in the regulation of sugar in the blood stream.

According to the World Health Organization iron deficiency is the most common nutritional disorder in the world, and 1/2 cup of lentils provides 3.3 milligrams in a 1/2-cup serving.

Keep in mind though, that your body can’t absorb as much iron from plant-based foods, including lentils as it does from meat sources. Eating lentils with a food rich in vitamin-C, such as sweet peppers, can help improve absorption.

As you might have guessed by now our featured recipe has lentils, and to  help your body take advantage of the iron in them, the recipe includes vitamin-C sources, including green beans, carrots, and celery.

Our featured recipe is: Lentils and Purple Sweet Potato Stew, and here is what you will need.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 medium rainbow carrots, sliced (colors include yellow, purple, and red)

2 medium celery stalks, sliced

1 bay leaf

1 garlic clove, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

2 cups dried green lentils, picked over and rinsed

2 medium purple sweet potatoes, 1/2-inch dice

9 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch slices

1 – 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Himalayan salt and fresh ground black pepper

Whole leaf cilantro and plain Greek yogurt, for garnishing

chopped vegetables for Lentils and Purple Sweet Potato Stew

Prepare vegetables and in a extra- large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and bay leaf. Cook the vegetables while stirring until they are softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Next add the garlic and curry powder and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Next add 7 cups of fresh water and the green lentils. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook 10 minutes.

Next add the sweet potatoes and continue to cook, with the pot covered, until the lentils and sweet potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes.

Nest add the green beans and can of diced tomatoes with juice, and cook until warmed through, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove bay leaf from stew pot, and add the chopped cilantro and stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Bowl of Lentils and Purple Sweet Potato Stew

Serve with a dollop of yogurt and whole cilantro leaves. Enjoy!!

What Others Are Reading:

Greek Cucumber Yogurt Sauce for Gyros

Greek Cucumber Yogurt Sauce with Lamb - Beef Sirloin StripsTzatziki sauce is a Greek sauce served with grilled meats or as a dip. Tzatziki is made of strained yogurt, usually from sheep or goat milk, and is mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, sometimes lemon juice, and dill, mint, or parsley.

The culinary cuisine of Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Serbian use this sauce as a cold soup by just adding water to thin it out.

Caucasus Mountains Map LocationThe people who live in the Caucasus Mountains, between the Black sea and Caspian sea, use kefir instead of yogurt to make Tzatziki. Doing so makes the sauce a drink that is poured over a mixture of vegetables, eggs and ham to create a variation of okroshka, a Russian cold soup by origin.

This cool and creamy Greek Cucumber Yogurt Sauce or Tzatziki sauce is used in preparation of  Greek Gyro Sandwiches.

You will need whole grain flat bread, the soft and thin kind ready for wrapping up your Gyro.

Depending on the amount of servings you want you will need both Lamb and Beef  sirloin strips, about 1/2 pound of each. BBQ the meat is the best way to prepare it.

As for the sauce you will need…

diced English Cucumber1 English Cucumber – peeled and diced
1 tablespoon Himalayan salt

Place diced cucumber in a colander and spread out evenly and sprinkle salt over it. Place colander over a large plate or bowl and top the colander and set aside for 30 minutes. The salt will drain the water from the diced cucumber. Leaving the moisture in the cucumber will make for a runny sauce.

ingredients for Greek Cucumber Yogurt Sauce1 garlic clove minced

1 tablespoon fresh dill

Juice of one fresh medium lemon

2 to 4 pepper corns – either white or black

3 cups of real Greek Yogurt – the one that is authentic strained

Place all ingredients but the yogurt into a blender or food processor – processes or blend about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

mixing cucumber sauce with Greek yogurtAdd mixture to the yogurt and mix in until well combined. Cover bowl and let sit for 2 to 3 hours in refrigerator, which will allow flavors to blend and infuse.

Greek Cucumber Yogurt SauceIt is optional to add more salt, but doing so after you have prepared the sauce.

Greek Cucumber Yogurt Sauce with Lamb - Beef Sirloin Strips for GyrosThis sauce can also be used as a dressing for a Greek salad or any salad of choice that goes well with cucumber.

What Others Are Reading:

Healthy Mouthwatering Lunch

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake

Gluten Free Pumpkin CheesecakeSome may wonder what this is all about calling a cheesecake gluten free. It is referred to as gluten free because of the crust, as it is prepared  without gluten. We used graham cracker wheat flour, gingersnap cookies, and both contain no gluten. If you would like to read about the history of cheesecake, and the battle over if it is truly a cake or not, read our article titled Thank the Greeks for Cheesecake.

The article also offers another way to prepare a cheesecake crust gluten free, using almonds, flaxseed, and oats (make sure the oats are certified gluten free). It also offers images and step-by-step instructions on making cheesecake.

Here is what you will need for the featured recipe: Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake.

gluten free ingredients for a cheesecake crust10 gluten free gingersnap cookies, crushed to flour (makes about 3/4 cup)

3/4 cup gluten free graham cracker flour

1/4 cup sugar

8 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

adding and forming cheesecake crust to the bottom of a springform panIn a medium mixing bowl combine flours, and sugar. Add melted butter, and mix in well.

Prepare a springform pan with parchment paper, and place crust in the center and spread the crust out evenly, touching all sides of the springform pan ring. Bake  in oven for 8 minutes. Place on a rack to cool.

The cheesecake ingredients are:

2- 8 oz. cream cheese, soft

1- 14.5 oz. can organic pumpkin

1 cup Greek yogurt

3 eggs, large

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp. pie spice

2 tsp. vanilla extract

¼ tsp. salt

processing cream cheese and sugarIn a processor place the cream cheese, sugar and process until smooth and creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes.

adding pie spice and vanillaAdd the yogurt, pie spice, vanilla extract, and salt and process together until well mixed. Next add pumpkin and mix in till well incorporated.

Add eggs one at a time, processing after each addition, but do not over mix.

Pour mixture over cooled crust.

Bake cheesecake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until center is set.

For best results fill a roasting pan to ½ inch from top with hot water. Place the roasting pan on bottom rack and place spring-form pan on top rack directly over roasting pan.

Do not open oven at all until 55 minutes has past. Turn off the oven and jar the oven door for one hour more. Remove cheesecake and cool 30 minutes on a rack, run a knife between cake and sides of pan to loosen as it cools. Place into refrigerator for up to 24 hours but no less than 4 hours.

Gluten Free Pumpkin CheesecakePlate and enjoy your gluten free cheesecake topped with whipped cream, and chocolate sauce.

What Others are Saying About Cheesecake: