warming red lentil dal with ginger, yam & cauliflower


It’s the spring equinox today, a time to celebrate balance, warmth and hope. Today it’s also cool and wet, the sky dark gray, the earth and my garden muddy. Thinking about balance in our diet, and wanting to make a warming and bright meal to celebrate the equinox, I made this to share.

ingredients:

  • 1 cup red lentils IMG_1395
  • 2-3 shallots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 t turmeric
  • 1-2 t curry powder
  • 1 t cumin
  • 2-3 t fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1 jewel yam, cut into 1/4″rounds then pared, cut into chunks
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 head cauliflower
  • 6 oz coconut milk
  • 6 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed, for optional dressing

instructions:

Cull through and rinse lentils, then cover with 2 1/2 c fresh water. Add a dash of salt, bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until fully softened and water is mostly absorbed. Set aside uncovered. Saute shallots in 2T or so of olive oil in a large frying pan until they start to turn translucent, then add chopped yam, minced garlic, turmeric, curry powder, cumin, and black pepper; continue to saute for another 2 minutes until spices are fragrant and yam is well coated with spices. Add several tablespoons of water, cover and reduce heat to steam yam for about 12 minutes until softened (but not dissolved into mush). When yam is soft, remove from pan into large casserole dish with lid, then stir in cooked lentils. Using same frying pan, saute chopped celery and cauliflower with minced ginger for about 2-3 minutes, then add the coconut milk and yellow pepper, stir to combine well, cover and steam for about 3 minutes until peppers turn bright and begin to soften. Add this to casserole dish, stir everything together well. Serve over fresh raw spinach.

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red lentil, yam & spinach dal


The weather forecast was my muse to look in my cupboards and get creative… IMG_3232

Thinking warm and moist would be a healthy choice on such a cold and windy day, I thought of dal… and saw I had on hand everything I’d want to make it except for cumin. That’s okay, I could readily work around that with the ingredients and spices I have on hand now.  #warmingfood #letitsnow

ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3t chile powder
  • 1 scant T tumeric
  • 2-3t curry powder
  • 2-3 t fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1 large jewel yam, cut into 1/4″rounds then large rectangle chunks
  • 6 oz coconut milk
  • 1 cup cauliflower flowerettes
  • 5 cups fresh spinach, cut into thick ribbons
  • 1/2 lime, squeezed

instructions:

Cull through and rinse lentils, then cover with 2 1/2 c fresh water. Add a dash of salt, bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until fully softened. Using a dutch oven to accommodate the bulk of spinach, saute chopped onion in 3T or so of olive oil until they start to turn translucent, then add minced garlic, chile powder, tumeric and curry powder and continue to saute for another 2 minutes until spices are fragrant. Add chopped yam and several tablespoons of the coconut milk, continue to stir for 2-3 minutes. Then add a little water, cover and reduce heat to steam yam for about 20 minutes until softened (but not dissolved into mush). Add cooked lentils including remaining cooking water, coconut milk, stir to combine well, then add spinach to pot. Cover and steam for about 3-4 minutes until spinach turns bright green and begins to soften. Squeeze lime over dal, remove from heat with lid on to continue spinach cooking gently without significantly reducing moisture of the dal. Serve over brown Basmati rice for a heartier meal.

mung beans with bok choy in ginger coconut milk


Put in everyday Western terms, if the windy change in season and too much stress wear you down and suddenly you’re miserable with a hot clear runny nose, then this mung bean recipe will be comforting. It’s warming with lots of flavor and fortifying with plenty of protein, yet is moist and light. Simply put, this meal tastes so good and is beautiful. For those interested, this recipe is inspired by Ayurvedic principles for health and healing for people with a Vata disposition. If you want to learn about cooking with Ayurvedic principles, you might enjoy Ayurvedic Cooking for Westerners by Amadea Morningstar.

ingredients:

  • 1 cup mung beans, well rinsed
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, well rinsed
  • 1 pkg firm tofu, cubbed
  • 3-4 medium scallions, chopped
  • 2T fresh ginger root, finely chopped
  • 1t each turmeric and cumin
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large bunch bok choy, chopped
  • small can of thai coconut milk
  • 1/2-1 lime, well squeezed juice & pulp
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

IMG_2446_2instructions:

Rinse the mung beans (pre-soaking is not needed), then cover with 2 cups fresh water. Bring to a boil then simmer for 20-25 min until soft. Drain off any remaining water and set aside. While mung beans are cooking, rinse the quinoa well, then cover with 1 1/4 cup fresh water, add a pinch of salt, bring to a boil, cover and simmer at reduced heat for 20 min and all water is absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with fork and cool uncovered. In a large dutch oven, heat 2 T olive oil then saute chopped tofu until lightly browned, about 5 min. Add chopped ginger and spices, then thai coconut milk, cooked mung beans and quinoa, chopped celery and bok choy. Simmer until bok choy is bright green and soft, about 3-4 min. Add squeezed lime, and salt and pepper to taste.