Creamy Coconut and Tomato Lentils

I have been eating these for weeks. Literally. Daily. For two weeks. My only explanation? I am in the middle of exams and paper writing, so I need something that keeps my brains and body happy and lasts in the fridge for a few days, and which is good even when I can’t find a microwave. While those may not seem like selling points, these lentils are delicious (otherwise, how could I eat them for two weeks straight?), and fairly simple to make. I have experimented a few times with this to get it right, and the last time, it was near perfection so it is ready to share.

Lentils are a great source of carbs, protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium, and copper. Not only do I choose lentils as a great source of protein, but lentils are also one of the best vegetable sources of iron and so should be staple in a healthy vegetarian or vegan diet. They’re also low in fat and calories. Combined with all these veggies and healthy brown rice, you have everything you need at hand for a healthy lunch for school or work.

Ingredients:

2 tblspns olive oil

1 tspn mustard seed

3 tbslpns curry powder

2 tspns garam masala

1 -2 tspns chili flakes (depends how spicy you like it – as usual, I added lots)

1 tspn paprika

1 medium sweet yellow onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tspns chopped fresh ginger

2 cups of lentils (I used red the first time, and green the second, so experiment)

3 carrots, chopped

1 can coconut cream

1 can tomato paste

6 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup frozen corn

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 cup frozen spinach or about 4-5 handfuls if fresh

Directions:

I used a big wok, but this could easily be done in a large soup pot. Heat the oil on low, and add mustard seeds, allowing them to pop for about 30 seconds. Careful! Get the onions in quickly after they start to pop to make sure you don’t get hit with flying mustard seeds ( a cover is helpful). Sautee onions for about a minute until they start to become translucent and add garlic and ginger and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add spices and sautee for about 30 seconds. You will need about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water to deglaze the pan so the spices don’t stick. Continue to add water as necessary.

Add chopped carrots and let cook for 2 minutes, adding water if necessary.

Add lentils and mix with spices and carrots before adding coconut milk, tomato paste, and vegetable stock. Mix well and let simmer until lentils become soft.

When lentils are close to ready, and peas, corn and spinach and let cook for another 5-10 minutes.

Serve over brown rice! Yummy!!

Enjoy!

E.

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