Red Lentil, Sweet Potato, Carrot, and Spinach Stew

DSC04295Friends, I am so excited to share this recipe with you. It’s not only great for you but for your little ones too. In teaching, everyone always says that they don’t want to”reinvent the wheel” and that’s definitely the case here. One of my favourite websites to find delicious recipes is www.allrecipes.com. I love that there are tons of reviews so I really get an idea of what a dish is like before I try it out. This incredible recipe is from allrecipes but with a couple of tweaks to make it work for your infant as well. What I like most about it are the ingredients. Seeing as most parents feed their babies potatoes, carrots, and apples at around 6 months, this dish is great to start adding red lentils or spinach into your babies repertoire.

Remembering, of course, that it’s recommended to introduce your baby to one new food item every three days or so. You may want to try this recipe without the spinach or lentils first (if your baby hasn’t eaten them both yet) and then add the other the next time you make this dish.

Another reason I adore this recipe is the number of spices in it. People tend to equate spices like paprika, cumin, and chili powder as adding a lot of heat to a dish or making it spicy, but it simply is not the case. The reality is that the correct combination of these spices can create a lot of depth of flavour, as well as enhance the flavours of the ingredients.

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Lastly, I love how balanced this meal is. Of course, I want to make sure my kids are eating from each of the food groups in every meal, but it’s really not just for them. As a postpartum mom who gained weight during my pregnancy and has had a tough go at losing the extra weight, I really want to eat well. I can’t handle boring food – I know that I’m an eater – ans don’t want to diet, but perhaps I can take care of myself too by cooking better and healthier food more often.

The version of this dish that I made is vegan but it doesn’t have to be. Just add some chicken breast, or minced turkey or pork to it and it’ll taste delicious too!

This recipe is really easy to follow. It’s literally: chop, throw it into your pot, and cook. Now the chopping part was a little time consuming. It took me about 25 minutes but that was literally all the work I had to do. If you really don’t want to spend time chopping, just slice your veggies and apple. Once you’re stew is cooked, just puree the whole thing so it’s a soup instead of a stew.

Ingredients

First, you need to peel your sweet potatoes, carrots, and apple. I use my Titan peeler that I bought a few years ago. Can we say Game Changer? It is literally the best peeler I have ever used. And no, I’m not affiliated with the company, I just really love their product. If you’re in the market for a new one, check it out. You can get it at Canadian Tire, or save some money if you have the coveted 20% off coupon for Bed, Bath, and Beyond Canada or USA.

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I always use a garbage bowl when peeling and chopping my veggies and fruits. I learned this from watching Rachael Ray’s cooking show way back when. It saves me time when I need to throw my scraps into the compost bin. If you don’t already do this, give it a try. I guarantee you’ll keep doing it.

After everything is chopped, add your coconut oil, sweet potatoes, carrots, apple, red lentils, no salt added veggie broth (another game changer), and spices to your Instant Pot/pressure cooker/slow cooker and give it a stir. Set the InstantPot to “Stew” or “High” for 30 minutes/pressure cook for 30 minutes/slow cook on “High” for 4 hours.

Once it’s ready, stir in your spinach and Voila! You’re done. Take whatever amount you want for baby, puree it, and serve/store/freeze it.

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If you want to try the original recipe or if you don’t have a pressure cooker/InstantPot, follow the directions here. Otherwise, scroll down below for my completely family-friendly version of this dish. You won’t regret it.

Title

RED LENTIL, SWEET POTATO, CARROT, AND SPINACH STEW

Prep Time: 30 mins | Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes | Serving Size: Makes about 1300 mL

Ingredients:
• 1/4 cup coconut oil
• 1 red apple (red delicious, red prince, gala), peeled, cored, and chopped
• 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
• 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
• 2 – 3 cups of baby spinach or spinach (ends cut), washed and chopped
• 1 cooking onion, peeled and chopped
• 1/2 cup red lentils
• 1/4 tsp ground ginger
• 1/2 tsp black pepper
• 1/2 tsp ground cumin
• 1/2 tsp chili powder
• 1/2 tsp paprika
• 1 container (900mL) of no salt added vegetable broth or 4 cups of water
optional: 1 cup of minced turkey or pork

Directions:

  1. Add the coconut oil, onion, apple, sweet potatoes, carrots, lentils, meat (optional) and spices to the Instant Pot/pot. Mix well.
    Note: If you are using minced meat and don’t want a lot of fat in your stew, cook the meat in a separate pot and add it to the stew in Step 3.
  2. Add the vegetable broth. Put on the lid and turn on the Instant Pot to “Stew” mode for 30 minutes (or turn on your pressure cooker; or turn on your slow cooker: 4 hours on “Low” or 8 hours on “High”)
  3. Add the spinach to the Instant Pot and cook it for another 5 minutes on “Stew” or “High.
  4. Put whatever amount you’d like as baby food in the blender and puree until smooth (about 20-30 seconds).

Note: You may need to add salt to the stew. My family doesn’t like a lot of salt in our meals so this was perfect for us.

I’ve already made this a couple of times at home and hope this becomes a staple for your family, especially on cold days. Remember to take a pic of your dish and post it to #notasupermommy or tag @notasupermommy on Instagram. I’d love to hear any comments or suggestions as well so feel free to comment below.

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