Pantry Curried Lentils

Welcome back! With these cooler winter days settling into your daily forecast, I like to pull out the hearty, “stick to your ribs” kind of recipes. This weeks recipe is definitely one of those and also one of my favourites. Its quick and easy and all my kids love it…even my 3 year old!
This time of year is not only cold but a lot of people experience fatigue, whether it be the shorter days or just trying to catch up from all of the holiday season hoopla.
“Let food be thy medicine…”
Providing your body with foods that support your adrenals supplies your body with energy. Foods like sea vegetables, kale, coconut oil, dark leafy greens, brown rice, peppers, berries and beans. Do what you can to stay away from the foods that suppress adrenal function. I know you know what they are!…but let me be the bad guy and remind you. Sugar, alcohol, hydrogenated oils, fried foods and yes, even caffeine.
Having a well-stocked pantry is so important and keeps you from running to the grocery store during the busy weekdays. I am a big fan of getting fresh produce a couple times a week but when you are low on these items then this is a great recipe to go to in a pinch. Items such as rice, dried beans, flours, and canned goods are best kept stocked as much as possible, cause you never know when you might want to create a meal around them. My “main” cabinet in my kitchen is chalked full of random glass jars (that I label- seriously I do not have OCD, I just REALLY like my label maker) and at one glance I can determine what I have for last minute meal ideas and what I am almost out of before I head to the store. I know this is only our second date but I thought I would show you inside this cabinet… is that too forward?
IMG_1624
Sea vegetables are one of my staples. Most of the time people don’t even know when I use it in my dishes (and by “people” I mean kids). It has a familiar flavour to most, incorporating a “fishy” flavour without being over powering.  Nutritionally, sea vegetables are excellent sources of so many beautiful minerals that the ocean infuses naturally. Also excellent sources of iodine & vitamin K. For this recipe take 2-3 sheets of nori and a handful on dulse (truly you cannot really get the ratio wrong), toss it in a small processor and pulse it until it is small granules. Nori is nearly 50% protein and high in fiber, plus is has a sweet flavour that balances out the salty dulse. You can purchase these sea vegetables at any specialty grocery store but I have also found them at Superstore. You only need 2 tsp of the ground sea vegetables for this recipe but place the remainder in a sealed jar and keep it in your pantry for future dishes such as stir-frys or chowders.
spices
There are many “bases” that this lentil dish goes well with. I have tried a few- jasmine rice, brown rice, millet and mashed potatoes. My family just loves it on mashed potatoes so that is how I typically make it. Mashed taters can be made many ways but because this recipe is Thai influenced this is how I like to make them; start with russet potatoes, and then once they are cooked and mashed, I mix in coconut milk (the thick, creamy stuff from the can, instead of nut milk), Earth Balance (instead of butter- but I have nothing against butter for the record), and finish with some freshly ground sea salt. YUM!
Don’t let the word “curry” frighten you away from this recipe if you are typically not a fan. There are many different types of curries out there and not all are created equal…or spicy. I use THAI KITCHEN Red Curry Paste in this recipe. It is mild and sweet and perfect for these delicate red lentils. However, if you are a person who loves spice, then use whatever heat variation you like, throw in some crushed chill flakes and a pinch of cayenne too.
Then just breathe. Stay warm. Relax into hibernation for a short while . Before you know it, it will be Spring and there will be no excuse for curling up on couch, enjoying a big bowl of mashed potatoes and warm curried lentils, while watching The Bachelor….Oooops, I have said too much. Until next time 🙂
Pantry Curried Lentils

2 Tbsp  coconut oil

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1 cup red lentils, rinsed

2 1/2 cup vegetable stock

2 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste

2 Tbsp curry paste

2 tsp ground sea vegetables (I use NORI and DULSE)

Salt/Pepper

3 Tbsp sour cream (optional), cilantro for serving

addins

In a saucepan saute the onion on med. heat for 5 mins then add your tomato paste and curry paste, saute for another 2 minutes. Add your lentils and stock and bring to a boil, turn heat down to low, cover and simmer for 7-10 minutes to finish cooking. Toss in your ground sea vegetables and stir. Add you salt and pepper to taste.

Serve lentils over mashed potatoes and top with cilantro!

final

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