I’ve been wanting to experiment with lentils for dinner. I don’t cook them often enough, so I found myself thumbing through How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Bittman to get my creative juices flowing.
While chopping up my ingredients for last nights dinner I was chatting with my good friend and cooking buddy *E* who reminded me of all the different types of lentils available with which to experiment: French lentils, red lentils, and the variety of green and brown lentils. I got very excited!
Saturday night’s recipe was Curry Lentils with Russet Potatoes, served with organic Jasmine rice. *J* & I loved the dish! But Booh … not so much. She didn’t like the cilantro sprinkled throughout, plus it was complex with flavors and spices, not her favorite. But that was okay. Meant more for me! Between negotiating half of *J*’s fourth serving onto my plate along with Booh’s picked-apart small serving, I managed to squeak out a second serving for myself. I ended up serving her an avocado and assortment of fruit instead.
But my favorite part of the meal wasn’t the lentil potato dish … it was the veggie dish: Carrot, Cabbage and Red Onion Salad in a Cilantro Maple Tamari dressing. Yum! Let me say that again … YUM!
CURRY LENTILS & POTATOES
Preparation: 1 hour. Serving size: 4
- 1 cup dried organic brown lentils
- 1 can organic coconut milk
- 1 1/2 cup homemade organic veggie stock
- 1/2 tablespoon Muchi Curry Powder (turmeric, cumin, black pepper, ginger, coriander, fenugreek, garlic, celery seed, cloves, cayenne pepper, caraway seed, white pepper, mace)
- 1/2 tablespoon Sambhar Curry Powder (coriander, red chili peppers, fenugreek, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, black pepper, asafoetida)
- 2 medium organic russet potatoes (cut into large chunks)
- 2 tablespoon organic virgin olive oil
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cilantro for garnish
- Combined the first four ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Turned the heat down to low to simmer gently, and partially cover with lid. Stir occasionally while allowing the lentils to start absorbing the liquid, @ 15 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and gently stir in. Put the lid on and allow to cook for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, check and add vegetable stock if needed. Don’t let them dry out. Add olive oil (or butter/ghee) and stir in.
- Cover and allow to continue to cook until lentils are soft and potatoes are tender (not mushy!). This takes 5-10 minutes. Add more stock if needed.
- Season with black pepper and sea salt to taste. Lots of black pepper is good, but careful with the salt. I almost put in too much, so go slow!
- Removed from the heat and let it stand with the lid on while finishing up the salad (recipe to follow). It allowed the potatoes to cook more (not mushy!) with out drying out the dish.
- Garnish with cilantro. Yogurt too if you have it. We didn’t. Used rice as our cooling agent instead.
CARROT, CABBAGE AND RED ONION SALAD IN A CILANTRO MAPLE TAMARI DRESSING
I had a bunch of cilantro I purchase to garnish the lentil dish with that I decided to use in my vegetable dish. I found a recipe for a dipping sauce in the mentioned cook book that I modified to go with the veggies I had on hand. If you can, make the dressing ahead of time and allow to sit:
- 1 clove organic garlic
- 2 tablespoon wheat-free tamari
- 2 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (grade B if you have it)
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili peppers
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves (finely chopped)
Stir ingredients together and let it sit while cooking the lentils.
- 2 cups organic cabbage (shredded into long thin strips)
- 1 cup organic carrots (shredded)
- 1 cup organic red onion (cut into thin strips)
The longer and thinner the cabbage, carrots and red onion are cut into the better. I used my Black and Decker Handy Slice ‘ Shred appliance (I picked up at a tag sale new in the box for a buck!) but a sharp knife for the onion and cabbage and a peeler for the carrots would work fine.
Blanch the cabbage for 30 seconds, strain and the into a cool water bath. Strain again.
If you can, make a double batch of both recipes for lunch the next day! The next day I brought leftovers over to *E*’s house to share for lunch, and they were just as good as the night before … if not, better!