Every year, thousands of people are hospitalized with food-borne illnesses, but 3.7% of those hospitalized are hospitalized for nutrient deficiencies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Which is why this Tamarind Red Lentil Soup could be so important to your wellfare.
In other words, there is a good chance you are not getting enough of the nutrients you need from the foods you eat.
Lentils are the ultimate superfood for this reason. They are incredibly nutrient dense, fiber rich, and low in saturated fat. Lentils also contains Vitamin B-12, Folate, and Vitamin C which just makes them really, really good.Since my memories are clouded by wanderlust and imperfect memories of my past many years ago, a few of my favorite vegan sources for the high fiber value of lentils are these 5 recipes.
- Asian Lentil Soup
- Potato Lentils and Chickpeas
- Light and fluffy vegan enchiladas
- Easy Potatoes and Vegetables with Red lentils & Creamy Green Chiles
Tamarind Red Lentil Soup
My favorite way to cook red lentils is in a slow cooker. Quick recap: cook the lentils as directed and season with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Cook on low for 8 hours (or on high for 3 hours) and you have a delicious and deeply flavorful lentil soup.
If you’re not comfortable cooking red lentils in a slow cooker, you can also use dried red lentils in most of the recipes here.
“What could be the healthy alternative to meat? Vegetarian food, of course!” I used to scoff at this idea. I had come across recipes all over the internet that listed out so many diet-friendly vegetables and foods I vowed never to eat again. Boy, was I wrong!
Although, vegetarian food can satisfy cravings far better than meat, especially when it is so easy to prepare! One of my all-time favorite lentil soups is Mushroom Curry in White Bean Sauce with Chickpeas. You can add a splash of almond butter, curry powder, turmeric, ginger, and garlic paste, or nutritional yeast. It’s a meal you can make on the weekend, have on hand, and keep on hand for lunch the next day when you need a lunch that’s quick, filling, and nutritious.
Cashews have disappeared from most grocery store shelves, but fortunately we can still get them. Snag a handful of good-quality hard ones at a super value price and you have even more options for creativity.
As I mentioned above, I used to avoid lentils, but now that I have them in my pantry they’re always a welcome addition to my meals. They come in many flavors, some bold and some mild. If you’re looking for a starker flavor, try these 3 recipes I wrote back in April.
Anti-inflammatory Properties of Lentils
Tamarind has amazing anti-inflammatory properties and there are over a thousand types of flavorings you can use to enhance its amazing flavor and enhance your health.
Tamarind dal can be eaten hot or cold, and it can easily be doubled or tripled for a large meal or as a side dish.
However, meat, fish, and poultry should never be added to the filling for this dal, nor should any beans be cooked with it.
But, these recipes are adapted from a collection of my lentil cooking recipes that can be found in Vegan Meals in Whole World Kitchen. The original recipe for red lentils can be found in Anand Karimkhanan’s cookbook, Here We Go Again.”
Ingredients and Cooking Instructions
- 2 tsp coconut oil or vegetable oil, divided
- 1 yellow onion, small dice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- chilis, minced (to taste)
- 1-inch piece ginger, minced (~1 1/2 tbsp)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- Halfr tsp salt, or to taste
- 2 cups (400 g) dry red lentils, rinsed clean
- 6 cups water
- 1-3 tbsp tamarind concentrate
- can crushed or diced tomatoes (1 1/2 cups diced fresh tomatoes)
- 1 15 oz can coconut milk
- 2-3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- cilantro, to garnish (optional)
- minced chilies, to garnish (optional)
- vegan butter, to serve (optional)
- Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large heavy bottomed stock pot over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté it for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent.
- Add the additional teaspoon of oil and the minced garlic, chili, and ginger, and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
- Stir in the cumin, coriander, and salt, then add the rinsed lentils. Mix the lentils in and let cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Then add the 6 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of tamarind concentrate.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, or until lentils are soft.
- Add the tomatoes and coconut milk, and bring to a simmer. Cook for an additional 15 minutes to allow flavors to meld and tomatoes to break down. As it cooks taste and add 1-2 more tablespoons of tamarind concentrate if needed.
- Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice, taste, and adjust any final seasonings to taste.
- Serve warm with a dollop of vegan butter (optional), minced cilantro, and minced chilies to taste.