A beach vacation is one of the best things in life. Last weekend I went on a lovely trip to Port Aransus, TX with my family, who participated in a relay marathon called Beach to Bay. I napped while they ran in the heat and humidity.
I like my way better.
But as fun as going away for a few days can be, it can be so hard to eat healthy in an unfamiliar place. Especially when fried seafood abounds. So when I got home, I couldn’t even look at a potato chip. Or think about a burger. All I wanted was something healthy and packed with as many nutrients as possible to press the “reset” button on my digestive system.
Enter: Sweet Potato, Lentil, and Spinach Stew. AKA, probably the healthiest thing you’ll ever have in your life.
And the taste! Don’t let the healthiness of this meal fool you. It. Tastes. AMAZING. A secret ingredient is added at the end that makes it tangy and delicious- red wine vinegar. Seriously- don’t knock it ’till you try it! It has the same affect as adding lemon or lime juice to a recipe- it doesn’t taste vinegary, but it brightens up the whole dish. I got that trick from Greek Lentil Soup (also delicious).
Between the vinegar, smoked paprika, oregano, garlic, and onions… mmm, mmm. This stew is hearty, healthy, and oh so tasty.
And we haven’t even gotten to the BEST PART yet! This recipe makes a ton for almost no money. I mean a ton. It will easily serve 10-12 people, or you can divide it into portions for easy freezer meals. Lentils and sweet potatoes are a dime a dozen, so you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck.
So there you are, folks. Delicious, cheap, and EXTREMELY healthy. Oh, and wicked easy to make (you can also make it in your slow cooker- see notes in recipe below). You’re welcome.
Smoky Sweet Potato and Lentil Stew
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 6 cups chicken stock/broth or vegetable broth
- 2 sweet potatoes diced
- 1 lb brown lentils sorted through and rinsed
- 28 oz. canned diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- kosher salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 5 oz. baby spinach
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- In a large pot, sauté the onion and celery in the olive oil (2 tablespoons) over medium-high heat until tender and starting to brown (about 3 minutes).
- Add garlic; sauté until fragrant (about 1 minute).
- Add the chicken broth (6 cups), diced sweet potatoes, lentils, tomatoes, and spices. Bring to a boil, turn heat down, cover, and simmer on low for approximately 30 minutes (or until lentils and sweet potatoes are tender).
- Using a potato masher, mash soup a few times in order to thicken it.
- Stir in the spinach and allow to wilt. Stir in the vinegar and serve.
- To make this in your slow cooker, omit the olive oil and add all ingredients except the spinach and vinegar. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Then, pick up from step #4.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.