BYÂ JOANNE BRUNO
Most days I like to think that I’m above all marketing ploys.Â I don’t own a television, so that makes it easy to avoid commercials that try to convince me that eating light yogurt that is flavored after popular desserts will help satisfy my cravings while still keeping me slim.Â (And yet somehow fails to mention that these yogurts also contain high fructose corn syrup.Â “Light” they maybe, but healthy…not so much. Moral of the story: read ingredient labels. Rigorously!)
And then, there’s pomegranate juice.Â I don’t drink juice because I’d much rather eat my calories, but I almost always have pomegranate juice on hand.Â Somehow, somewhere along the line, some ad lauding its antioxidant and health-promoting properties got under my skin and into my food.Â But I don’t regret it for a second.Â It adds such a great sweet-tart flavor to stews and soups, and with an ingredient list that is made up entirely of pomegranates, it’s something that I can feel good about consuming.
This stew features both pomegranate juice and pomegranate molasses, which lend an earthy sweet note to the lentils and barley that is both delicious and good for you.Â A truly winning combination!
Serves 6, adapted from The Tropical Vegan Kitchen
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups water
1 cup lentils
1 cup barley
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup chopped parsley
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup golden raisins
8 oz fresh baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- In a medium stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat.Â Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add the broth, water, lentils, barley, turmeric, salt and pepper.Â Bring to a boil over high heat.Â Reduce the heat to between low and medium-low and simmer, covered, 30 minutes.Â Add the juice, parsley, scallions, and raisins.Â Simmer, covered, until lentils and barley are tender, another 15 minutes.
- Stir in the spinach and pomegranate molasses, cooking until spinach has wilted.Â Serve warm.
Photos: Joanne Bruno
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