Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Slow-Cooker Curried Lentils with Mint Rice
I've just survived the horror of all horrors!
For the first time in as long as I can remember, hell maybe even since the dawn of the Adorable Monster, it's actually raining in Los Angeles. Now given Los Angelenos general disdain for all moisture that hurls from the sky, you might think that's the horror I endured, but you'd be wrong. I actually enjoy the rain - it's refreshing, cleansing, it washes the smog out of the sky and the soot off the streets.
It was what happened after it rained. My house lost power. For almost 10 hours. That's how craptacular this city is! It rains one measly day a year, and the freaking power goes out. I mean, it's not like it was even windy or anything.
No Power = No Internet!
This was the horror of all horrors, but I've survived to blog another day! I escaped the house with the A-Girl and we grabbed dinner and a movie while Kuzak slaved late into the night, preparing for his trial next week. The poor Monster sat alone in the dark house, but besides giving me an extra hyperactive greeting complete with excitement pee when I returned home, he seems otherwise unaffected by the outage.
Enough about me, and onto FOOD! Today I'm bringing you another "Meatless Monday" recipe. Now I'm perfectly aware that it is not Monday, but the idea behind the Meatless Monday campaign, a nonprofit initiative associated with the Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health, is to persuade people to consider eating vegetarian once a week. I'm a big supporter of this cause! Just reducing meat consumption by one day a week can have enormous impact on both your health and the health of the planet. Plus, I figure if I post this recipe today, you'll have time to figure out how to make it by Monday!
In addition to supporting the idea of one meatless meal a week, I am also a big advocate of convincing people to serve much smaller portions of meat than is normal in the U.S., the land of the supersized! My suggestions are also in line with what the FDA recommends. I suggest portions of meat be 4 ounces (or less) per person. All of my recipes are served in this proportion. Not only is this the healthier choice, it will also save you real cashola in your grocery bills. I regularly buy fillets of fish and break them down at home into smaller servings.
So in support of this cause, I'm bringing you my recipe for Curried Lentils with Mint Rice! I love beans, and when paired with a whole grain rice, they serve as a complete protein. The great thing about lentils is that they require no soaking (so no advance preparation needed). I always keep a bag of organic lentils stashed in my cupboard at all times.
I cooked my lentils in my favorite slow-cooker, but they would be great cooked stove top as well. I paired the lentils with a simple long grain brown rice tossed with chopped mint. The mint offers a fantastic counterbalance to the spicy curry and adds a great component to this dish.
So next Monday, try going without meat! Making this recipe would be a great start!
Slow-Cooker Curried Lentils with Mint Rice
2 cups lentils
8-10 cups low sodium vegetable stock
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups baby carrots or 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into big chunks
6 small potatoes, quartered
salt & pepper
1 cup long grain brown rice
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp mint, chopped, plus extra for garnishing
Place all ingredients except the salt & pepper into the slow-cooker. Cook for 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low, until the lentils are cooked and the carrots and potatoes are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To make the rice, place two cups of filtered water, the rice and the olive oil in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low and cover. Cook for about 35-40 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, allow to cool for 10 minutes and toss with the mint.
To plate, spoon some of the mint rice onto a plate and top with the lentils. Garnish with chopped mint. Enjoy!
A nonprofit initiative associated with the Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health, their goal is to persuade people to go without meat one day a week! Their fabulous website is packed with health news and meatless recipes to inspire your cooking! CLICK HERE TO VISIT THEIR WEBSITE!
Source for Ingredients:
organic lentils, organic potatoes, organic mint, organic long-grain brown rice & organic carrots from Whole Foods