Lentil and Cauliflower Coconut Curry Stew

April 28, 2014

This hearty cauliflower and lentil coconut curry is great on its own, but you can serve it over rice or with baked Irish or sweet potatoes, to stretch the portions.
Serves: 3-4

• 2 tbsp. cold pressed coconut oil
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• small piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
• 2 tsp ground coriander
• 2 tsp ground cumin
• ½ tsp ground turmeric
• â…“ cup dry lentils
• ½ cup vegetable broth or hot water
• 1 head cauliflower, cut into small pieces
• 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
• ½ cup coconut milk
• ¾ cup cooked green beans or peas
• large handful of spinach 
• 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander) leaves (plus more for garnish)

 • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
• ½ tsp sea salt

1. In a large saucepan, heat 1½ tbsp. of the oil and gently cook the onion for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin and turmeric and cook for 2 minutes.
2. Stir in the lentils. Pour in the broth, bring to the boil, and then reduce the heat, cover and leave to gently simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Add to the lentil mixture: the carrot and coconut milk. Then add in the cauliflower
4. Bring the curry to a gentle simmer and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the beans/peas (and spinach, if using) and cook for 3–4 minutes.
5. Stir in 2 tbsp of cilantro and the lemon juice, then season to taste with sea salt. Spoon onto a warmed serving dish or into four warmed serving dishes and garnish with additional cilantro.

Eat Lentils and reap their health benefits including:

1. Lower Cholesterol – Lentils help to reduce blood cholesterol since it contains high levels of soluble fiber. Lowering your cholesterol levels reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke by keeping your arteries clean.

2. Heart Health – Several studies have shown that eating high fiber foods like lentils reduces your risk of heart disease. Lentils are also a great source of folate and magnesium, which are big contributors to heart health. Folate lowers your homocysteine levels, a serious risk factor for heart disease. Magnesium improves blood flow, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Low levels of magnesium have been directly associated with heart disease, so eating lentils will keep your heart happy!

3. Digestive Health – Insoluble dietary fiber found in lentils helps prevent constipation and other digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis.

4. Stabilized Blood Sugar – Adding to the many benefits of fiber, soluble fiber traps carbohydrates, slowing down digestion and stabilizing blood sugar levels. This can be especially helpful for those with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.

5. Good Protein – Of all legumes and nuts, lentils contain the third-highest levels of protein. 26 percent of lentil’s calories are attributed to protein, which makes them a wonderful source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.And even if you are not vegetarian or vegan, still incorporate beans and peas into your weekly diet for better health and wellness.

6. Increases Energy – Lentils increase steady, slow-burning energy due its fiber and complex carbohydrates. Lentils are also a good source of iron, which transports oxygen throughout your body and is key to energy production and metabolism.

7. Weight Loss – Although lentils include all these beneficial nutrients like fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins, they are still low in calories and contain virtually no fat. One cup of cooked lentils only contains about 230 calories, but still leaves you feeling full and satisfied.

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