Food, Recipe

Moroccan Inspired Lentil Stew

It’s now sort of cool eat healthy, so every now and then I see people on my Facebook posting pictures of fresh, green salads with avocado and beans and lentils and frankly, they look disgusting. No dressing, no flavour, no spice. Can’t do it. If I’m eating something healthy it better taste delicious. I can’t eat a bunch of shit just tossed into a bowl to be called a salad. I hate the taste of lettuce, kale and celery. Basically anything healthy tastes like shit. So I research and make up my own recipes that are delicious AND healthy.

That’s sort of how I came up with this recipe. Originally, it was a lentil salad. The only difference was there I used dry spices and there was no tomato sauce. I was idly browsing through one of those super market recipe magazine things and I saw something that resembled a lentil stew with meatballs in it and I was “inspired” aka needed to consume it immediately.

Meatballs are healthy if you use the lean/extra lean ground meat. That plus lentils makes this dish super high protein. I’m not sure if you’re supposed to eat protein before or after a work out but I’m guessing if you’re working out, it’s a good meal to eat.

I’m lazy AF, so when I go back home I try to find all my favourite foods in powder, mix or ready to eat form. The closest I could get to Lebanese Kebabs are these little flavour sachets.

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They’re made by Knorr and are great for lazy people like me because all you have to do is mix it in with about a tablespoon of olive oil and a fourth cup of water to half a kilo of ground meat. And then shape them however you like. I usually go with the phallic shapes because that’s how I roll.

According to the ingredients on the package, here’s what you’ll need if you want to be NOT lazy and make them at home yourself:

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powdr
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes (dry or fresh, I use dry because: lazy)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 500 gms of meat

Basically just stir this all together really well. I don’t know what else to tell you. But make sure it’s all well incorporated because the worst thing is when you bite into a delicious juicy kebab and you get this nasty chunk of spices because you were too lazy to stir it properly. Don’t do it. Don’t be lazy.

I’ve heard from my soon-to-be chef sister that lentils are full of cholesterol lowering fiber – both soluble and insoluble. Not only does the fiber in lentils lower cholesterol, it’s also great for keeping blood sugar down so they’re awesome for diabetics or if you’re someone who’s at risk for diabetes. They’re full of minerals, vitamins and proteins and have virtually no fat. A cup of cooked lentils is about 230 calories, which is awesome. And they help make you feel full so you don’t eat like an elephant, which is basically my problem. My stomach is a bottomless pit. It’s a good idea to incorporate lentils into your diet. My mom tells me they make your hair luscious and awesome too, but I can’t tell the difference, yet.

In addition to lentils you can add other veggies that you’re not a fan of eating on their own, like broccoli, sweet potato, edamame, peas, carrots, zucchini, brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, celery, whatever. It’s a great dish to mask all the gross stuff you hate eating. I served mine on a bed of spinach the first time I made it because I forgot to add the spinach in the stew.

I might have gone a little overboard with adding the eggs on top of the stew as well, so if you don’t want kidney stones, you should probably avoid that or at least drink lots of water.

Lastly – you can eat this dish on it’s own as a meal (because it’s got basically everything) but if you’re a serious carb fiend you can eat it with pita, whole grain bread (or white bread, baguettes if you want to ruin the healthy eating).

So before I go on about something else, here’s the recipe.

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can of mixed beans
  • 1 cup each of green, beluga, orange, brown lentils
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 zucchini (optional)
  • 2 cups of raw spinach (optional)
  • 2 small tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 bell pepper (any colour – optional)
  • 2 cups of broccoli (optional)
  • 4-5 big mushrooms, brown or white (optional)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or chopped, whatever you’re into
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • Parsley flakes or fresh parsley

I suggest cooking the lentils before hand, for about 20-25 minutes or until al dente in salt water. Cooking lentils in tomato sauce takes a looooong time, so you’ll take hours to make your dinner.

Fry your garlic and onions in olive oil and add your veggies. In a separate bowl mix your tomato paste with 3-4 cans of water and mix. Pour this tomato sauce into the frying veggies. Add your cooked lentils. Rinse the beans – please, please, please do this. Unless you want to die of a heart attack at 25. Sodium content in canned food is ridiculous. And sodium is terrible for you. Anyway once you’re rinsed all that heart stopping sodium out of the beans, add them to your stew. The consistency of the stew should be pretty thin, watery, almost.

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Let it boil a little bit and then add your meatballs. Let that sit for about 10-15 minutes and then crack eggs into it. Cover it, switch the heat to medium and take a walk. No don’t, that’s messed up you could burn your house down. Read a book maybe. Beat your friends at Candy Crush. Or try.

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Your stew’s done when the eggs are cooked through. If you like them sort of runny, crack them about 5 minutes before you think the meat is done. I can’t tell you exact times because I’M DOING YOU A FAVOUR BY TEACHING YOU TO COOK. You just have to check if the meat is done by testing firmness or just cutting it in half if you’re useless like me.

You can serve this on its own or on some quinoa, rice, with bread, with couscous. Couscous seems most appropriate since it’s sort of Moroccan inspired.

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Enjooooy.

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