Sweet Potato, Turmeric & Lentil Stew
My son has a streaming cold and literally just snotty-sneezed directly into my mouth. In. My. Mouth. I suppose on one hand I should be grateful it was only something from his nose/mouth area and not from something further down south! But on the other hand, I have so much on I really can’t afford to get sick right now. So off to the kitchen I go to armour up, ready to fight off the invading germs! And this is my ultimate go-to anti-inflammatory immune-boosting meal.
It is warming, so packed with flavour and provides 6 of my 5-a-day (because funnily enough lentils also count towards it), 11g of plant-based protein and a massive 16g of fibre. But it is really it’s antioxidant content that makes it such a winner – one portion provides over 100% and 38% of my daily Vitamin A and Vitamin C requirements respectively. I love how versatile this vegan meal is – it’s great on it’s own, with some goats cheese sprinkled on top or as a bed for grilled salmon or chicken to seriously up your protein game. I always have individual portions stocked in my freezer for a last minute nourishing and ever so tasty meal.
The sweet potatoes and butternut squash get their vibrant colour from a type of immune boosting antioxidant called beta carotene, which gets converted to Vitamin A inside the body. This goes about mopping up the damaging free radicals, helps to bolster the immune system and is also important for eye health too. This is where the old wives tale comes from of ‘eating carrots makes you see in the dark’.
Ginger has a long history of being used medicinally to reduce nausea, help with digestion and to fight the flu and common cold. The active constituent of ginger is a very potent anti-inflammatory compound called gingerol that is especially helpful at fighting infections in the respiratory tract.
Turmeric’s active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin and it has potent antioxidant capabilities that have been shown to help with a whole variety of health concerns, from arthritis, to digestive problems and even cancer. Western medicine has begun to study turmeric as a pain reliever, as an anti-inflammatory, and as a healing agent.
I really went to town with many different ingredients here, as I was trying to throw anything and everything at trying to boost my immune system. But the recipe can be majorly simplified by choosing either butternut squash or sweet potato, and only one kind of lentil.
Right, off to tend to my little booger-ball.
· 4 cloves Garlic
· 1 tbsp Olive Oil
· 1 tbsp Ground Turmeric or 5cm long grated fresh
· 1 tbsp Ginger (finely diced or grated)
· 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
· 1 tsp Chopped Red Chilli
· Juice & Zest from ½ Lemon
· 250g Onion
· 250g Courgettes
· 400g Cherry Tomatoes
· 250g Cooked Quinoa (I used a handy pre-cooked pouch)
· 200g Cooked Puy Lentils (I used Merchant Gourmet pre-cooked pouch)
· 1 tin (=240g drained) Green Lentils
· 500 ml Vegetable Stock
· 600g mixed Butternut Squash & Sweet potato (I used 2 x pre-diced 300g packets)
· Pre heat oven to 180 degrees.
· If not using a pre-diced packet, peel and dice the butternut squash and sweet potatoes.
· Line a baking tray with parchment paper, toss the squash and sweet potatoes in a little bit of oil and roast for half an hour or until slightly browning.
· Whilst they are roasting, prepare all of the other vegetables.
· Finely dice the onion and courgettes.
· Mince the garlic, and grate the ginger and turmeric (if using fresh).
· Finely chop the red chillis if you like a spicy kick.
· Halve the cherry tomatoes.
· Heat up the oil in a large non-stick deep frying pan.
· Add the diced onion and courgettes and sauté until slightly browning before adding the minced garlic, ginger, turmeric and chopped chilli, if using.
· Sautee for another 2 minutes before adding the halved tomatoes.
· Sauté for an additional 3 mins before adding 200ml vegetable stock and cover for 5 minutes to soften the tomatoes.
· Add the roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes, alongside the tomato purée and 200ml more of vegetable stock.
· Simmer for 5 mins and then mash well so that there are no big lumps of sweet potato or butternut squash.
· Add the pre-cooked quinoa and lentils and pour in the remaining stock.
· Add the juice and zest of half a lemon.
· Serve with either a sprinkling of nutritional yeast or goats cheese, or with some grilled salmon or chicken.
Calories – 262
Carbohydrates – 42g
Fat – 5g
Protein – 11g
Fibre – 16g
Vitamin A – 108%
Vitamin C – 35%
Iron – 10%
Calcium – 5%