The luck o' the Irish will surely be with you this St. Patrick's Day as you put a healthy twist on the classic beef stew by substituting lentils for beef. This stew is a perfect seasonal choice for those looking to eat healthier and on a budget. Replacing beef with lentils will help cut calories and fat from this traditional favorite dish, not to mention help put a few pennies back into your pocket. Here are just a few reasons to grab lentils for your next stew:
Inexpensive source of protein: One serving of lentils (1/2 cup, cooked) contains only 115 calories but packs in 9g of protein! For 9g of quality plant-based protein, you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank. A 16-oz. bag of dry lentils costs about two dollars, which means your serving of protein only set you back twenty cents. Not a bad deal!
Excellent source of fiber: A serving of lentils boasts 8g of soluble fiber, which is equivalent to 32 percent of the daily value. Soluble fiber is an important nutrient especially for clients with diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, forming a gel in your digestive tract that delays stomach emptying, which may have a beneficial effect on satiety and insulin sensitivity. Soluble fiber also helps block absorption of dietary cholesterol, lowering LDL cholesterol levels.
Good source of vitamins and minerals: Lentils are quite the nutritional powerhouse, packing in a host of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and iron. Lentils are an excellent source of folate for women of childbearing age, providing 90 percent of the daily value. Recommend lentils to your vegetarian or vegan clients for an excellent source of iron — about 7mg per serving.
Lentil Guinness Stew
Recipe developed by Kara Lydon, RD, LDN
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 celery stalks
3 small yellow onions
10 oz. button mushrooms, sliced, divided
4 russet potatoes, peeled
3 small to medium turnips, peeled
3 large carrots, peeled
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 14.9-oz. can of Guinness®
4 ½ cups vegetable broth
1 cup dry black lentils, rinsed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Chopped parsley for garnish, optional
- Finely chop the celery, onions and half of the mushrooms. Chop the potatoes, turnips and carrots into large chunks. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat and add finely chopped vegetables. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add flour to vegetables, stir to coat and let cook for a few minutes, until the bottom of the pot begins to brown. Pour in the Guinness and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, about one hour. Garnish in bowl with fresh chopped parsley.