30 July 2009

Curried Coconut Lentils with Chopped Baby Spinach

A little disclaimer: Sorry about the blurry pics; I don't own a tripod and I still have no idea what I'm doing with a digital camera. I don't even have cable so I probably won't be figuring it out anytime soon...

Ian isn't a big fan of spinach or kale, two of my very favorite greens, so I often have to find creative ways to sneak the ingredients into dishes without him knowing. At times he doesn't even know he's eating kale (the puree is my best friend) but with spinach, I've found a better way of getting him to eat his greens: chop it into tiny, unavoidable pieces. That's right folks, back the haters into a corner and force them to down the very ingredient they despise.

And then watch in surprise as they eat it without complaint.

I make a couple of vegetarian items a week, and this particular meal is one of my favorites. There's something comforting and hearty about lentils, and in this heat, the no-fuss prep for this meal is hard for me to pass up. I could call this a dal since it's close to many recipes I've seen, but I can't really vouch for its authenticity since I really just slap it together at the last minute and then return to sitting in front of the fans with an ice pack.

The particular lentils I used are from the local Pacific Northwest Farmers Cooperative in Genesee, Idaho. I was happy to see that the lentils were great quality and didn't have any grit or grime all over them as is so often the case.

Curried Coconut Lentils with Chopped Baby Spinach

1 1/2 c. lentils
2 3/4 c. vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Walla Walla sweet onion, minced finely
1 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. cumin
2 cups finely chopped baby spinach
1/2 cup light coconut milk

1. Soak lentils in cold water for 20 minutes. Rinse.
2. In a dutch oven or heavy skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and spices to the pan and cook until fragrant. Pour in vegetable broth and lentils, and bring to a boil.
3. Turn heat down to simmer and cook until lentils are soft and broth is reduced (anywhere from 20-35 minutes).
4. Stir in spinach and coconut milk and heat for about a minute. Serve with rice or naan bread.


Cucinista said...

Fab looking recipe! Funny comment about your photo, which I think looks great. A lot (ok most) of my pictures are absolutely terrible. I have to take about 30 shots to have a hope of one good one.

Jessica@FoodMayhem said...

Hahaha....back the haters into a corner....LOL.

Lon likes spinach but doesn't like Kale either. He didn't like the red dandelion greens or the Kohlrabi greens either. He doesn't like arugula which I love! =(
But, I have managed to convert him over to a few mushrooms.

BTW, curried coconut lentils sounds fantastic!

The Cooking Photographer said...

I have a feeling this is going to be a favorite of mine. We eat a lot of Indian style food and everything about this is perfect.