Chef Aja T Marsh is a healthy food consultant and chef, and this is her favorite healthy, quick weeknight meal. We make this ourselves (in different incarnations) at least once a week and agree that very few recipes are as cheap, tasty, and filling.
I love lentils because they are quick to cook from their dry state (about 20 minutes) during which time I can usually get the rest of my dinner prepped and ready. I started with dry organic lentils and had them simmering in a pot while I chopped and prepped everything else. They weren’t completely cooked when I added them to the rest of the mix, but I just let the whole thing simmer while I did dishes. This is a great make-ahead dish as it tastes even better the next day or two. This also freezes well and actually tastes really good at room temperature– so bring it for lunch!
Lentils are awesome! Protein rich, at 18g per cup of cooked lentils, they’re also crazy rich in fiber, help stabilize the blood sugar, and are a great plant-based source of iron.
- 1 tablespoon coconut or canola oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped carrots (from about 2 medium)
- 1 cup cooked brown lentils (from 1/2 cup dry)
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
- whisper of nutmeg
- 14 oz crushed or diced canned tomato
- 1/2 14 oz. can light coconut milk (reserve the rest in the fridge or freezer for another use)
- 3 to 4 cups frozen spinach
- 1/2 to 1 cup water (based on your consistency preference)
- salt and pepper
- chopped cilantro, for serving
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sweat the onions and carrot for about five minutes, turning down the heat if they are getting brown. Add in the spices and cook for another minute, then add the lentils and cook for another minute. Add in all of the remaining ingredients, except for the salt, pepper, and cilantro. Turn the heat up to high, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20-30 minutes until heated through, adding more water if you like Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve as a stew or over brown rice, millet, or quinoa. Top with cilantro.