Curried Lentils & Veggies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of a small (or medium) yellow onion, diced
  • 2/3 cup carrot, diced (about 7 baby carrots, or 2 small-ish carrots, or 1 really large carrot)
  • 1/2 Tblsp olive oil
  • 1/2 Tblsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 Tblsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (you can also use water if you don’t have broth)
  • 1 14.5-ounce can of petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and finely chopped/shredded (about 4 cups) [you could also use spinach {or any other greens} if you can’t find/don’t like kale]
  • 2 tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos (or you can use soy sauce/tamari if you don’t have Braggs on hand)
  • Optional: Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  • In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the onion, carrot, and olive oil for about 5 minutes.  (Stir the pot often – once every 20-30 seconds or so.)
  • Add the garlic, curry powder, cumin, thyme, and cayenne, and sauté for 1 minute, stirring pretty consistently.
  • Add the lentils and broth (or water if you are using that instead), stir well a few times to combine, bring the heat up to high, and bring the mixture to a boil.  (It will only take 1-2 minutes for the contents in the pot to start boiling.)  Once the pot is boiling, cover it with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally (once every 5 minutes or so).
  • After the 20 minutes has elapsed, add the drained tomatoes, kale, and Braggs (or soy sauce/tamari if you are using that instead), stir once or twice, then re-cover the pot and simmer on the low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Uncover the pot, and simmer on the low heat for another 5-10 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.  Turn off the stove, and serve the dish hot.
  • Optional: Season individual servings with salt and freshly ground black pepper as each person likes.  (I ate my dish without the salt & pepper, and enjoyed it like that.)

Makes 6 servings. (1 serving = 1.25 cups/7.5 ounces)

Nutritional information per serving (approximates): 95 calories, 1 g fat, 20 g carbohydrate, 7.5 g fiber, 3.5 g sugar, 6.5 g protein.

The finished recipe.

The first serving.

My notes:

  1. If you want to make this a ‘complete’ one-pot meal, you can also add a box of diced seitan to the dish in the last 3 minutes of cooking.  (Or, if you eat meat, you could add some diced-cooked-whatever-meat-you-want, I suppose.)  ;)
  2. One ‘warning’: Lentils are pretty high in fiber – so if you don’t usually consume a high-fiber diet, you may want to only eat half-a-serving at any one time… (Buyer beware.  I’ve done my part.)

The ratings:
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Low.
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Very low.  (If you have the spices on hand already [and all of them are very common, so you probably do {or should if you don’t – *wink*}], this meal works out to cost less than $1 [U.S.] per serving.  What can you buy for a single dollar these days?)
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Satisfyingly low-medium. (See comments below for a brief explanation of this.)
Time Cost (recipe preparation): Medium – but an easy medium.
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Nice and low.
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): 4.9

The Bottom Line: Will I make this recipe again?

After last month’s sugar fest, I felt like it was time to get back to some really healthy food – and lentils and veggies fit that bill beautifully.  (And I also had half-a-bag of lentils sitting in my cupboard, leftover from a recipe I made a few months back…)

This recipe was really easy regarding logistics.  A little chopping, a little sautéing, a little tending – enough ‘work’ to make me feel like I was really cooking, but also actions that truly anyone could do.  I am confident that any person who can read and follow directions can successfully make this meal.  On the ‘back-end’ of this dish, clean-up is a cinch.  One knife, one cutting board, one spoon, and one pot are all that need to be washed; again, a lovely balance between ‘work’ and laxity.

As for flavor: The seasonings of this dish were present, yet still mild – which I like.  I could taste the curry, as well as hints of the garlic and cayenne, but nothing was overpowering or mouth-fire-inducing.  The texture of the dish was quite chewy (which kind of surprised me), yet the overall meal also had the consistency of a thick stew.  Again, it was a really nice balance between two potential extremes.

As I ate my first bite of lentils and veg, I could really taste the health within the dish.  I genuinely felt like the meal was nourishing my body, versus just ‘feeding’ it (or even poisoning it, as I sometimes feel on the rare occasions when I consume refined, sugary junk).  All in all, this is a lovely meal that would be terrific to eat on a fall Sunday afternoon – it’s warm, soothing, invigorating…and easy.  :)

Stef

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About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
This entry was posted in carrots, greens, indian, kale, lentils, postaweek2011, stew, tomatoes, vegetables, vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Curried Lentils & Veggies

  1. singledplantlight says:

    Oh, you are excellent at making your own food, but I am not. As I am working outside far from my house, I cannot even to cook, the only thing I can do is to buy my own oil and ask the noshery cooks my own food using my oil.

    Like

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