November 24, 2009

Recipe: Lemony Lentil Stew

This stew, like a thick soup without much liquid, features a small, round bean. Lentils pack a whole lot of vitamins and minerals into relatively few calories, and  their small size allows them to cook quickly. They are the only dry bean to date that I have cooked because they are much less daunting than bigger beans. 

Just simmer them down with some other wholesome, flavorful ingredients for a hearty stew that will fill you up. The lemon and edamame enliven the usual onion-tomato-bean combo, and the tomato and edamame add to the color palette. The recipe comes from the Dec. 2008 Cooking Light, but I added lemony to the name because I found liked my end product that involved squeezing my lemon to my heart's content.

Lemony Lentil Stew
1  cup  dried lentils
3/4  cup  frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans) (I substituted lima beans because they were in my freezer)
2  tablespoons  olive oil
1 1/2  cups  minced red onion
3  garlic cloves, minced
1  (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
6  tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I didn’t measure, just squeezed a lot ‘o lemon.)
1  teaspoon parsley
1  tablespoon  chopped fresh mint (I omitted this)           
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
1/8  teaspoon  ground red pepper
1/8  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
Dash of ground cloves
Place lentils in a large saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above lentils. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain well, and set aside.
Place edamame in a small saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above edamame. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until edamame are tender. Remove from heat; drain well. (I cooked lentils and edamame in separate pots at the same time.)
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and tomatoes to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until onion is translucent, stirring often. Stir in lentils, edamame, juice, and remaining ingredients. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring often.

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