Super Serious Stew: Iron-Packed, Vata-Balancing, Hunger-Obliterating

Iron-Rich-Foods

Ever since my ayurvedic assessment and my being a bit anemic on the regular, I’ve been making it a point to include more iron in my diet. Some of my favorite ways of getting in sneaky iron (and greens) are:

– Blending spinach, a banana and a bit of water together, then adding it to my oatmeal in the morning. Green oatmeal takes a bit getting used to, but spinach has such a mild flavor and the banana’s sweetness cancels it out entirely.

– Kale and Beet Chips. Sprinkled with a little Himalayan salt and chili pepper–crunchy, salty, amazing.

– Reigniting my love affair with hard-boiled eggs. I get how eggs can be weird texture-wise for some, but I’m not one of those people. I found a great method to hard boil eggs without grey yolks . The only thing I would add is 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the water–the shell comes off effortlessly!

It was also recommended that I eat more warm, cooked foods to get my vata back in balance. So I traded my raw salads and green smoothies in for this warm, hearty stew action-packed with roasted, high-iron veggies and lentils.

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I’ve been living on it all winter, and it just feels good. It’s awesome as a little pick-me-up in the middle of the day for lunch, but also signals my body to wind down if I have it for dinner.

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Best of all, it’s so easy to make and really forgiving. If you don’t have something on hand, just sub out something similar. (Don’t forget the carrot, though: vitamin A helps with iron absorption.)

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And it makes a LOT. I get at least 6 servings out of this AKA food for the week. Here we go.

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Kale and red cabbage about to get steamed.

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 beet
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms
  • 6-7 medium roma tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 medium red cabbage
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 2-inch knob of ginger, shredded
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 1/4 cup bulgar wheat
  • 1/4 cup red quinoa
  • 15 oz organic vegetable broth
  • 3 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbs tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 2 bay leaves

turmeric, garam masala, cumin, himalayan salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary, herbs de provence, dried basil, cilantro, and whatever else you wanna toss in there.

Directions

Preheat your oven to 380 degrees. Chop up all the veggies, except the tomatoes, kale and red cabbage, and toss them in a bit of melted coconut oil, salt and pepper. Put those babies in the oven, where they’ll stay for about an hour, or until you can pierce everything with a fork.

Then dice up the tomatoes. Put them in an casserole dish and sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano. In the oven they go, about 45 minutes.

Once the veggies are done roasting, mince the garlic and grate the ginger into a big pot. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil and brown everything. Then add in the tomatoes and roasted veggies and let everything simmer for a bit–about 10 minutes. Pour in the broth, the tamari, balsamic and the lentils/quinoa/bulgar wheat (you could also just use one cup of lentils or other beans here).  Add in all the spices your heart desires. Cover and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.

While you’re waiting, chop up half the red cabbage, and de-stem and massage the kale–it should total about 4-5 cups. Put this aside.

After the 15 minutes is up, add the kale and cabbage. Mix it in a bit then cover and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.

When the 10 minutes is up, turn off the heat and let it stand for about another 10. Aren’t you hungry now?

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Finally, serve yourself a bowl. Garnish with a bit of avocado for maximum nutrient absorption and a little romano cheese for maximum deliciousness. I also love to shred nori at the bottom of my bowl then pour the soup on top of it. Little hidden seaweed surprises!


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