I’ve been in a rut lately in terms of cooking. I can’t help it, I blame the weather. It’s been cold, windy and rainy. I’d rather sit on a couch under a blanket then stand in the kitchen doing dinner preparations. Also, because of the winter weather, all I want to eat are soothing stew-like meals. Both of these requirements are met with the curried lentils with spinach recipe. The preparation is pretty much letting the lentils cook and allowing the meal to simmer away on the stove. If you’re feeling spectacularly lazy, as I did this particular night, you can even get away with not having to chop a thing if you use pre-minced garlic and ginger, frozen organic spinach and organic diced tomatoes from a can. I was back on the couch in no time!
Curried Lentils with Spinach
Adapted from the 1984 edition of “Vegetariana: A Rich Harvest of Wit, Lore and Recipes”
4 to 6 servings
1 cup raw lentils
1T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound (225 g) spinach leaves, preferably fresh, de-stemmed, washed, and chopped or equivalent of frozen, thawed and drained
1 14-oz (400 g) can imported plum tomatoes with liquid, chopped
2 to 3 T soy sauce or tamari
2T good curry powder, more or less to taste
1/4t freshly grated ginger
Wash and sort the lentils and cook until they are tender but firm. (Megabeth note: put 3 cups of water into pan, add lentils, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat then simmer on low for about 40 minutes until lentils are cooked. Check water level towards end of cooking to see if more needs to be added. Drain when lentils finish cooking.)
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. When it is hot, add the garlic and saute over moderately low heat for 1 minute or so. Add the spinach leaves, cover, and steam until they are wilted. (Megabeth note: I used a bag of organic chopped frozen spinach by Stahlbush. I put in a covered dish, added a little water and put in the microwave for 2 minutes – just enough to thaw. I then added the thawed spinach to the pan, stirred it, and covered for a few minutes to heat it through.)
Add the lentils and the remaining ingredients to the skillet. Cover and simmer over very low heat for 15 minutes.
Serve over grains. This is especially good over brown rice or couscous; or, for a delicious change of pace, try this over mashed potatoes.