I am really slacking in this space – I’m sorry! We have had a crazy few weeks. We bought the farm – for real! We’re in the midst of selling our house, so we can move toward the end of June. I haven’t been cooking or gardening much because we’ve been having to keep our house spick-and-span for showings, so I haven’t had much to share here because we’ve been eating this, PB&Js, and some version of this curried vegetable, lentils, and quinoa thing on repeat.
Although our meals haven’t been all that exciting, I have been making huge batches of this easy and veggie-packed concoction on Sundays for easy lunches and dinners all week long. I’ll keep having it on hand even after the move because it’s so nice to have something in the fridge that is tasty, easy, and full of veggies.
The best part of this meal is how adaptable it is based on what’s in season. In the midst of the move, we’ve also been trying to clean out the freezer and pantry, so that’s how this meal originally came about. But we all liked it so much that I’ve made it several times since. I had some acorn squash frozen in the fridge from last fall’s crazy squash harvest, so I used that for the first batch. For the second batch, I had some cauliflower frozen in the freezer from who knows when, so I used that. For this week’s batch, I used sweet potatoes and Swiss chard (again, from the freezer/pantry stash). All of that to say – the possibilities are endless – use whatever vegetables you have laying around. (Side note: this is a great way to sneak in lots of veggies for your picky eaters.)
- 1 1/2 cups lentils or split peas
- 4 cups hot water or stock
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 fresh or dried cayenne or jalapeno pepper, diced (leave the seeds in for a spicier version)
- 2-3 tbsp oil or butter
- 2 large sweet potatoes or winter squash, peeled and cubed
- 2-3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp grated ginger root
- 2 cups water or stock
- 1 medium cauliflower, chopped
- 2 handfuls fresh or frozen greens, chopped and de-stemmed if necessary (spinach, Swiss chard, kale)
- Juice of one small lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups quinoa, rinsed
- 4 cups water or stock
- Rinse the lentils or split peas. In a covered saucepan, bring the water or stock and lentils or peas to a boil. Reduce the heat, uncover, and simmer for about 30 minutes, until tender.
- In a large soup pot, saute the onion and chile in the oil for several minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, cauliflower, garlic, curry powder, cumin, and ginger and continue to saute for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring often. Pour in the 2 cups of water or stock. Bring to a simmer for additional 10 minutes or so.
- While the vegetables cook, prepare the quinoa. I like to toast the quinoa a bit after rinsing it, so I get my pot hot, dump in the quinoa and stir constantly for a few minutes - just until it starts to small nutty, but that's certainly not necessary. Add your water or stock to the pan, bring quinoa to a boil, then cover the pot, and lower temperature to a simmer for 15 minutes.
- Rinse, stem, and coarsely chop the greens. Using your immersion blender (or alternately, you can take a few batches of lentils from the pot and blend them in a blender or food processor), puree the lentil/vegetable mixture until it's to your desired consistency. I like mine a little chunky, so I don't puree it completely. Add the greens, and continue to simmer just until the greens have wilted. Remove from heat, and stir in the juice of one lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- You can either serve the quinoa on its own, or add it to the lentils and vegetables, which I prefer. We like ours with a crispy fried egg on top, but it's delicious on its own too. If you have a can of full-fat coconut milk, that's a delicious addition as well.
- Other vegetable ideas to substitute in: carrots, celeery, sweet peppers, zucchini, cabbage, winter squash (butternut is delicious).
Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home