A wonderful way to incorporate legumes into your diet, load up with essential nutrients and your daily servings of vegetables
The iron contained within legumes, lentils here, is made more readily available to the body when combined with beef
Why eat legumes when you aren't vegetarian? What's so great about them? Well, besides the fact that variety is the essence of a balanced diet and it will make your body very happy, they are incredibly high in fibre and a great non-meat source of iron. Red meat consumption is generally quite high in our western culture. Unfortunately, this excess of consumption has been linked with the development of cancer and has the potential for more harm than good when compared with plant based sources of protein and iron.
But, it does taste pretty good, and by selecting organic or grass-fed varieties we're doing everyone a favour. Read more about the benefits of eating grass-fed and organic animal products here. Plus, the absorbancy of iron in legumes is enhanced by up to 80% when combined with beef. More info about this here.
Washing the legumes is a vital step in reducing the windiness factor. But, if you still find that your body is producing excess wind the extra step of pre-cooking them in boiling water (about 15 minutes) and draining should do the trick.
Ingredients 1/2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 brown onion, peeled & minced
1/2 clove garlic, crushed
100g organic ground beef (I used Aldi brand)
100g baby eggplant, washed & sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup button mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/3 cup dried red lentils, washed until water is clear
1 medium tomato, washed and diced
1 can tomatoes, no added salt
1 cup of vegetable stock
1 Tbs tomato paste, no added salt
2 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, torn
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
Wash the lentils with water until it runs clear
Heat 1/2 Tbs of olive oil in a medium sized non-stick pot over medium heat. Add onion, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent (about 10 minutes). Add boiling water if it begins to stick, ensuring it is evaporated before the next step.
Add boiling water to the onion to prevent it from stick to the pot
Using your hands, crumble ground beef into the saucepan along with the garlic and stir until browned. Add the mushrooms, stirring until tender (about 5 minutes) followed by the eggplant & carrot. Heat for a further 2 minutes.
Add the chopped eggplant & carrot
Stir in the lentils, fresh tomato, canned tomato, tomato paste, stock and oregano. Bring to boil, then lower heat to low-medium and simmer covered for 30-40 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and the lentils are soft.
Cooking is complete when lentils are soft and excess liquid has been absorbed
Season with salt and pepper and stir in the fresh basil leaves. Serve over a baked potato or wholemeal pasta drizzles with 1/2 tsp of extra-virgin olive oil per serve.
Garnish with extra basil leaves & drizzle with fresh extra-virgin olive oil
Nutrition information per serve:
Energy 1,649 kJ, Saturated Fat 4.3 g, Carbohydrates 30.4 g, Sugar 16.7 g, Protein 32.1 g, Sodium 523.8 mg, Cholesterol 50 mg, Fibre 16.8 g, Iron 8.1 mg Zinc 6.1 mg Potassium 1,915 mg, Folate 115 µg.