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Eating a low gluten diet has meant more lentils on our weekly menu. Tonights recipe came from the book QuickCook Vegetarian. The great thing about this book, besides the photo of each recipe, is that it gives you 3 versions of the meal. One can be made in 10 minutes, one in 20 minutes and one in 30 minutes. This recipe can be made in 30 minutes, and unlike Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals, it really can be done in 30 minutes.
I had never really eaten lentils before I started cooking with them. And they offer a great variety of preparations. Lentils were actually one of the first domesticated plants, with evidence of growth in Asia as far back as 13,000 years. Lentils are a great source of protein, right behind soy beans as one of the highest proteins per gram around. Since we are eating a pescatarian diet, lentils serve as a source of protein for us. They are also high in fiber, so they will keep you regular.
Rinse the lentils in cold water (I actually found a small stone in ours, so rinsing is definitely important). Into a large pot add te lentils, coconut milk, stock, cumin, ginger, turmeric. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
While the lentils are cooking, prepare the tarka (which is a shallot mixture you will add to the lentils). In a non-stick pan, heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic and quickly saute until fragrant. Stir in the ginger, chipotle powder and cumin. Set aside to stir into the lentils.
After 20 minutes, stir in the spinach and tomatoes with the lentils. Cook for 6 minutes until heated. Add in the tarka. Add the curry powder, stir and serve over rice. Top with freshly chopped cilantro.
This recipe makes about 8-10 servings with the rice, and was a delicious dinner and a great lunch. In fact, tomorrow I am sending a salad topped with the lentils to work with Meg for lunch.
For those counting along, this recipe has 6.5 weight watchers points for 1/2 cup of lentils. You can add in 3 points for 1/4 cup of basmati cilantro rice.