As I was making dinner last night, Mr. Prevention asked, “What’s for dinner?”
When I responded with a purposefully very vague, “Pasta,” he quickly accused me of making something 1) vegetarian and 2) containing an ingredient he doesn’t care for. Guilty on both accounts, but, he liked dinner anyways. Go figure.
His next question was, “Are you trying to turn me into a vegetarian?”
I guess I hadn’t realized that we have omitted a lot of meat from our diet lately. Seafood is still served 1-2 times a week, but otherwise, I’m trending towards more vegetarian meals lately. Between summer’s produce and our CSA deliveries, I guess it’s not surprising. And despite his whines of disapproval, he hasn’t passed on a meal yet…including this meal.
We love Indian food in this house and while I love our new community, it is not abundant in ethnic food options. I’m probably best to try homemade version of our ethnic favorites versus seeking them out. When this Indian lentil recipe popped up from one of my favorite blogs, Pinch of Yum, I made it the very next week.
If there’s one steamy scent I want wafting through my house on hot summer evenings, it’s Indian flavors. This recipe uses the flavors of garam masala, curry powder, and red curry paste (all found at major retailers) along with one of my favorite ingredients, coconut milk, to simmer the lentils to a tender perfection. Add in some cayenne for heat and fresh ginger and garlic — Mmmmm.
If there’s one way to get Mr. Prevention excited about vegetarian meals…it’s through Indian food.
With some naan. The man is a carbohydrate fiend.
Red Curry Lentils slightly adapted from Pinch of Yum
1 1/2 cups dry brown basmati rice
1 1/2 cups dry lentils, rinsed and picked over
1/2 large onion, diced
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp red curry paste
1/2 Tbsp garam masala
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 (14 oz) can tomato puree or sauce
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped for garnishing
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a sauce pan. Add the rice, stir and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 35-40 minutes.
In a large sauce pan, heat 6-8 cups water and the lentils over high heat. Boil for about 15-20 minutes; drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in the same saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for a few minutes until softened. Add all the spices (curry paste, garam masala, curry powder, turmeric, cayenne, sugar, garlic, ginger) and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce; stir and simmer until smooth.
Add the lentils and the coconut milk. Stir to combine and simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro.
Yield: 6 servings (scant 1 cup of rice with 3/4 cup lentils).
Nutrition Information (per serving): 362 calories; 6.2 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 616 mg. sodium; 63.2 g. carbohydrate; 13.7 g. fiber; 15 g. protein
Result: Fan-flipping-tastic! This was my favorite vegetarian meal in QUITE some time! There was the perfect amount of heat with a great blend of Indian flavors. This is loaded with fiber (and protein) making it very filling. This reheats great and is simple to make at a very reasonable 45 minutes of prep. Loved this meal…enjoy!
The weekend went SO fast. If you’re in search of a weekly menu, I don’t have one because I am in Indianapolis most of this week at the American Association of Diabetes Educators conference!