The moment you know that little boys’ brains simply have different priorities:
8-year old son (T): “Those look like fun,” pointing at the bag of red lentils.
Me: “You mean fun to eat?”
T: “Oh, that’s food? I thought they were for a BB gun or something.”
Me (chuckling inside): “Well, I was actually going to cook dinner with those, so I think we’ll avoid shooting them today.”
T: “If there are any left over, can I have them? I want to practice shooting through a straw. They’d be great for immobilizing leprechauns.”
Whether you’re an 8-year old boy obsessed with all-things-projectile or just someone who wants to make a quick, healthy meatless meal, red lentils are a great staple to have on hand. When we re-designed our pantry, I loaded up on legumes: dried chickpeas, canned black beans and a variety of lentils. Red lentils are known as masoor dal in Indian cooking and are a staple dish. If you don’t have red lentils on hand, substitute green or brown lentils. You may have to increase the cooking time to 25 to 40 minutes, depending on the type of lentil.
I’ll admit that I used to be nervous about cooking with lentils. They always seemed like such a difficult thing to prepare, something that would require hours of slaving over the stove. The reality is that they are no more difficult than rice to cook. Saute with some aromatics, such and onions, garlic and spices or herbs, then simmer in liquid such as vegetable or chicken broth until the lentils are tender. Really, that’s it!
And if you’re not convinced about lentils yet, maybe their power-packed levels of protein, folate and fiber will win you over. Serve this stew over brown rice, alongside some steamed vegetables for a complete meal.
If you are unable to find lentils in your grocery store, they can be purchased from Amazon (disclosure: this is my Amazon affiliate link).
Heat the canola oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat.
Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the ginger and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the garlic, garam masala and curry powder, and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in the lentils and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the lentil are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide the stew between 4 bowls, and garnish each with 1 tablespoon yogurt and 1 teaspoon cilantro. Serve.
Other meatless meals:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Barley Stew with Caramelized Onions, White Beans & Spinach
Cookin’ Canuck’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Brie, Pear & Hazelnuts
Vintage Mixer’s Egg Muffins with Peppers, Kale and Cheddar
Two Peas and Their Pod’s Creamy Tomato Orzo Soup
A Spicy Perspective’s Vegetable Lo Mein with Homemade Pasta
Curry Red Lentil Stew Recipe with Tomatoes
|Serving Size||1¼ cups, plus 1 tbsp yogurt and 1 tsp cilantro|
|Amount Per Serving||As Served|
|Calories 337kcal Calories from fat 45|
|% Daily Value|
|Total Fat 5g||8%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 11g||44%|
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:
|Total Fat||Less than||65g|
|Sat Fat||Less than||25g|
From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 1/2 cups red lentils
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, including juices
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 4 tsp minced cilantro
- Heat the canola oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat.
- Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the ginger and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic, garam masala and curry powder, and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the lentils and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the lentil are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Divide the stew between 4 bowls, and garnish each with 1 tablespoon yogurt and 1 teaspoon cilantro. Serve.