1 c. organic dry lentils
3 c. frozen mixed veggies
1 c. water
sea salt and pepper
1 15 oz. can no salt organic diced tomatoes with juice
2 organic carrots
6-9 sundried tomatoes, chopped
3/4 c. shredded red cabbage
1/2 c. shredded green cabbage
1 jalapeño with seeds, chopped
1/4" chunk fresh horseradish, minced
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 can (7 oz ) drained organic great northern beans (optional)
Combine dry lentils and water in bottom of your slow cooker or a large pot. Add in the frozen mixed veggies, the tomatoes with juice, extra virgin olive oil, and sundried tomatoes. Use your food processor (I used the Saladmaster) to grate up your carrots and cabbages. Add these to the pot along with the sea salt, pepper, and all spices. Chop the jalapeño (or mince with your food processor) and add it along with the seeds to the pot. Mince the fresh horseradish and add it to the rest of the ingredients. You can toss in any other veggies or seasonings which appeal to you. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, some raisins, cranberries (fresh, frozen or dried will all work), currants, anise seeds, or perhaps some dried apricots or frozen peaches would also give this stew a nice contrast.
If you're suing a Crockpot, set it to low and cook for 8-10 hours (or high for 5-6 hours). This makes this dish great for long workdays or Shabbat. If you're cooking it all on the stovetop, bring it to a boil for about 20 minutes, then reduce it to a simmer for another 25-35 minutes. You can chose to just boil everything for 30 minutes according to the lentil directions. Careful though, as this may make the vegetables too mushy. Cook until the lentils are soft and feel free to adjust cooking times so the vegetables are tender to your liking. If you like crisper vegetables, then add them in after 20 minutes of boiling (for the stove top).
Anise seeds, otherwise known as sweet cumin, are excellent for digestion and immunity. These great tiny gray seeds are often served as "aftermints" at Indian restaurants as a digestion aid and breath fresher. Be cautious with anise seeds if you are taking iron supplements, blood thinners, or if you have an inflammatory skin condition. More information on anise seeds, their history, and health benefits is here. Be cautious taking iron supplements (or using a cast iron pan) at all if you are pregnant or nursing since iron poisoning is one of the leading preventable causes of infant death.
On a more positive note, you all know I love lentils! They provide a great vegetarian (and vegan for that matter) source of protein and dietary fiber with very little to no fat. I often cook with lentils and have a variety of vegetarian soups or meat-based soups, stews, and casseroles with lentils. You can even find decent lentil pasta which is wheat, gluten, dairy, soy, corn, etc free at Whole Foods or your local health food store (or online, jut watch the shipping cost). I like the pasta since it is a high protein and lower net carb pasta option rather than brown rice pasta. However, with all of these pastas be careful not to overuse them since they are a form of processed food. Think: lentil and rice (or wheat for that matter) pasta doesn't grow naturally in the fields! It is always better to stick to the most natural, unprocessed, and raw foods like real lentils over pastas and such. That being said, these pastas do exist and are good. They are a nice rare change on pasta night and will be a hit with the family. Alright, enough chatter - munch on!