I’ve been in a pantry cleaning mood lately. I didn’t say organizing. You can ask my husband – organization is NOT my skill set. But I’m trying to make use of ingredients we have hanging out in the back of the pantry. You know those things you need for a recipe, you use a tiny bit of, then you forget about them? Those things.
So when I found green lentils that, for the life of me I can’t remember what we used them for, I decided to go searching for a way to cook them.
I found the original recipe here, and apart from the green curry paste, I had all the ingredients I needed on hand – total win. I added a few different things to the recipe, took away some others, and the result is a flavorful, hearty dish that is thicker than soup but just as warming.
It is completely vegan, a rarity in my cooking, and I was surprised that it kept me full for hours!
The seasonings I used have all sorts of amazing anti-inflammatory properties, which is always great for brain health. Lentils are extremely high in folate, which is very much needed for those of us with MTHFR and is so beneficial for mental function as well. The canned coconut milk adds creaminess and brain-boosting fat – which is probably why it was also so filling!
One last thing before I get to the recipe – if you don’t like curry, you’re not going to like this. You can tone down the curry by taking out the curry powder seasoning, and it may be more bearable for newbies. I made this dish for myself to have on hand for lunch throughout the week, because NOBODY in my house likes curry. I offered it to both of my young boys, but they couldn’t get past the smell. My mom came over while I was making it and said it was delicious, so at least one person validated my efforts. Moms are great like that.
- 1 cup green lentils, rinsed
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 3tablespoons green curry paste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 1 orange bell pepper, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon curry powder
- ¾ cup canned coconut milk
- 1 handful fresh spinach roughly chopped
- Place lentils, ginger, curry paste, turmeric, and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and salt and continue cooking for further 10 minutes on low.
- While that simmers, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add garlic, cumin, and curry and sautè for a few minutes, until fragrant.
- Stir veggies into the lentils.
- Turn lentils back on low-medium heat, stir in coconut milk, and cook for further 10 minutes or until lentils are cooked through. Add more coconut milk if you need to. You want the lentils to be creamy, not soupy.
- Add spinach and cook for further 30 seconds, until just wilted.
Sprinkle with fresh cilantro or parsley and serve!