Dinner Tonight: Red Lentil Stew

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red-lentil-stewLow calorie, high protein, high fiber, body warming and quick and easy to make, this recipe hits every item on my checklist for weekday dinners. We are (like every family) always on the go, and between ice rinks, soccer domes and swimming pools, the temptation to hit fast food is strong.

Although the meal itself takes about an hour, most of that time is cooking time. So, when we enter the house, I send the kids to do their homework, bathe and set the table, and then dinner is ready. And it doesn’t disappoint. I use a prepared Madras curry paste that is easily found in most grocery stores, but you can make your own ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator.

Lentils are packed with protein and have a heartiness comparable to any meat. Lentils are an excellent vegan-friendly substitution in pretty much any pasta, stew, and soup.

Red Lentil Stew

• 2 tsp olive oil
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped
• 2 T Madras curry paste (see below to make your own)
• 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
• 3 cups water
• 1 16 can crushed or diced tomatoes, no sodium
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/4 cup slivered almonds
• Chopped parsley

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat, and add oil, then onion. Cook, stirring often until onion is soft (2 to 3 minutes). Add Madras curry paste, lentils and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, with pan partially covered. Simmer until lentils are tender and have absorbed the water (about 30 minutes).

Add tomatoes and salt. Bring to a gentle boil, and cook for another 10 minutes uncovered. Serve in big bowls, garnished with almonds and parsley.

Madras Curry Paste

• 2 1⁄2 T ground coriander
• 1 T ground cumin
• 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
• 1⁄2 tsp cracked black peppercorns
• 1 tsp cayenne powder
• 1 tsp ground turmeric
• 2 crushed garlic cloves
• 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
• 3 -4 T Braggs apple cider vinegar

Put all ingredients except the vinegar into a small bowl and mix together well. Add the vinegar and mix to a smooth paste. Keep for up to one month in an airtight container in the fridge.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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February 2023