Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Curried Lentils and Spinach

     I've posted a few recipes for sweets, so I decided to change it up a little. This is a recipe I have been promising to a friend of mine, Erin, for about a year, I guess it's time.
There she is, in the middle, out standing in her field
Given the nature of the blog this far, the field shot is oddly fitting

Look at that face, so sweet and wholesome

And that smile

The happy couple, Erin and her beau, Rauri

Don't let that sweet smile fool you

The pointy finger dancing shot, classic Erin

And finally
the Erin I love

   We met at working at a restaurant together, several years ago and have been friends ever since. She is a certified Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, currently finishing a residency in the States. I can hardly wait until she gets home. I unabashedly stole these pictures from her Facebook albums, I don't actually have any of her. I have the camera but always forget to bring it out. The person who took that last photo is also responsible for my Facebook profile picture. Thanks, Amy. LOL

     Erin and Rauri have often been taste testers for new cooking trials of mine and this following recipe is one she really liked. It is also the only vegan recipe I have. I have a few vegetarian, 'cause there's one in every crowd these days, but only the one vegan.

Curried Lentils with Spinach
2 tablespoons cooking oil *
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1-19 oz can lentils , drained and rinsed
1-28 oz can diced tomatoes **
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups baby spinach***
In a medium saucepan, over medium heat sauté onions in oil. Cook until transparent.
Add, curry powder, cumin, coriander and turmeric.  Continue cooking, stirring constantly, for about a minute until everything is well combined.
Add lentils and tomatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer about 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
Remove lid, bring back to a boil and add spinach and garlic. Cook until spinach has wilted then serve.

* Use whatever cooking oil you prefer, olive, canola, safflower
** I use diced fresh tomatoes, usually Romas
*** You can use Swiss chard instead, tear the leaves into smaller pieces about the size of baby spinach.

     I'm pretty sure this recipe was meant as a main dish but I use it as a dip. I reduce it until it is about the consistency of hummus and mash the lentils a little until it kind of looks like bean dip before I add the spinach and garlic. Scoop it up with pita or flat bread, it's delicious and healthy too.
    Another friend of mine who is a vegetarian, thought it would make a good soup. If you wanted to try it out, I would add a couple of cups of good vegetable stock when you add the lentils and tomatoes and go from there. Enjoy

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