I had the leek post all ready to go for today then last night I made this dish and it was so delicious that I had to share it right away. I made it once before when we were still living in SF but with the move and a million other distractions it got lost in my mind’s recipe file. Thank goodness I found it again.
This dish also fulfills a request I got a few weeks ago from my sister’s friend Nisha, from work. She asked if I could do a quick tutorial on lentils and offer up a few dishes that includes them.
This is a great starter recipe for those that are just beginning to cook with lentils. It’s simple, quick and flavorful. Plus you can use whatever vegetables you’d like. I particularly love peas with coconut milk so that is my only non-negotiable in this dish, but, there really are no rules.
How To Cook Lentils:
The best thing about lentils is that they don’t need to be soaked like dry beans do. From start to finish they take about 20 minutes.
1 cup lentils, rinsed
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
Rinse lentils and pick out any twigs or little pieces that don’t look quite right. Once the lentils are rinsed, place them in a pot.
Cover with water and add salt.
Bring lentils to a boil then reduce to medium heat for 20 minutes.
Stir a few times during the cooking process. When the water has evaporated taste your lentils. They should be soft but not mushy. If they are still a little hard, add another 1/2 cup of water and let the lentils cook for a few more minutes. Lentils are very forgiving so don’t worry too much about them. Although overcooked lentils don’t keep their shape well, they still taste amazing.
Now that we’ve mastered lentil cooking let’s move on to the main event.
Lentils and Vegetables in Spicy Coconut Sauce (vegan, gluten-free)
1 tbsp garlic infused olive oil or regular olive oil
1 carrot, chopped
1 zucchini, diced
1 bunch bok choy, chopped
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
8 asparagus spears, cut into fourths
8 brussel sprouts, cut into fourths
2 big handfuls of broccoli slaw, optional
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 can light coconut milk
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp tandoori masala spice mix
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 tbsp white miso paste
Make lentils according to the above recipe.
Chop all your vegetables.
Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat.
Add vegetables and saute for a 2-3 minutes making sure not to let the vegetables brown.
Add coconut milk, water, garlic, tandoori masala, cayenne pepper and garlic salt. Stir to coat vegetables.
Cover veggies with lid for 8 minutes or so until vegetables are soft but still have a little bite left.
Stir miso paste into vegetables.
Serve over a big pile of lentils.
I added a little hot sauce for extra spice or you can always increase the cayenne pepper if you want it spicier.
This meal will serve 3 big helpings.
Hope this helps answer your lentil questions. If you’d like more lentil recipes try my Lentil Sloppy Joes, Healthy Lentil Dinner Bowls or Red Lentil Chickpea Hummus.
And as always, if you have questions on how to cook specific foods or have recipes you’d like me to develop please let me know.
Back with the leek recipe tomorrow.
Enjoy and Exhale!