It’s fitting that my first post is in the soup/stew family. Whenever I make dishes and bring some to my dad and stepmom, my stepmom always declares my food to be so “savory”! That’s probably because I live in upstate NY where it’s on the cold side of things most of the time, so I tend to always crave warm, comforting dishes. This dish is no different, except that it’s a warm, comforting dish that you can feel SO good about making and eating! It’s vegan, full of fiber, protein and vitamins thanks to the lentils, greens, sweet potatoes and spices. It’s a dish that I’ve been trying to get right for some time now, as it’s inspired by a dish that I had Restaurant Good Luck right here in town. Although my dish isn’t *exactly* the same, it’s pretty darn close if I do say so myself! This is easy enough to make on a weeknight for dinner, but elegant and interesting enough to serve for company, and I think it’ll please carnivores and herbivores alike! I hope you’ll try it, and that you love it just as much as I do!
curried lentils with sweet potatoes and greens
inspired by the curried red lentils at Restaurant Good Luck; recipe adapted from smitten kitchen
2 tbsp. olive or grape seed oil
1 medium onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 1.5-2 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 tsp. garam masala
1.5 tsp. ground curry powder
2 bay leaves
1 small jalapeño pepper, finely diced (leave in seeds for more heat)
3-4 cups vegetable stock, more if needed
3 sweet potatoes (orange flesh), peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
1.5 cups red lentils
1 lb. bunch swiss chard, center ribs removed and thinly sliced (can also use kale)
2 4.5 oz cans of tomato sauce, no salt added if you can find it
1-2 tsp. sea salt to taste
1 tsp. black pepper
zest and juice of one lime
1 large handful cilantro, leaves removed and roughly chopped
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1. In a large, deep saucepan or skillet, heat oil of medium heat and add onion. Saute until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another 1-2 minutes until they begin to soften. Add jalapeño, curry powder, garam masala and allow to cook for another minute so that the spices can bloom and become fragrant. Add cubed sweet potatoes and stir to combine for 1-2 minutes.
2. Add in bay leaves, both cans of tomato sauce, lentils, and 3 cups of vegetable stock. Bring to boil, stir, and partially cover the pot, allowing for some steam to escape. Cook for 10-15 minutes, checking and stirring occasionally, and add additional cup of vegetable stock if lentils seem dry (I often have to add in about a cup of additional liquid). At about the 10-15 minute cooking mark, add in swiss chard (or kale) and cook another 15-20 minutes or until lentils and sweet potatoes are softened and cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, add in zest and juice and the cilantro. Taste, and add in a sprinkle of cayenne if desired.
Serve as is or with garlic naan. Serves 6 as main dish. Freezes well.