Why I Am Posting These Recipes

I believe that it is healthier for an individual and for the planet to reduce the consumption of animal products in the human diet. However, I love to eat all kinds of delicious food, and find it really, really difficult to go totally vegetarian. Also, my family protests if I serve too many vegetarian meals in a row. So I am committed to making an effort to move towards a vegetarian diet without wholly doing so. I will post recipes several times a week that represent my philosophy of eating well, eating healthy, eating local. Most recipes will be easy to prepare, as I have a busy life. So I expect my followers to be people who love to cook and eat well, want to try to help the planet through their eating (by eating local foods and trying to reduce the use of meat in our diets), and have many other things to do each day besides cook.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Coconut Lentils with Indian Spices

About a week ago, I ate lunch at the Bennington College dining hall in Vermont.  The vegetarian hot lunch choice that day was coconut lentils.  I like coconut, and I like lentils, and I preferred to have a vegetarian lunch, so I took a small portion.  I did not expect to like it very much, as it looked a bit bland and mushy.  Hence the small portion.  I found it, however, mouth-wateringly delicious, and I went back for seconds.  I thought about it several times this week, so I decided to take a stab at it for tonight's dinner.  I did not know exactly what was in the dish I had last week.  I only knew it had coconut, lentils and carrots.  But I followed my intuition and came up with something that, while not exactly like what I ate at Bennington, was very delicious.  I had (I am blushing now) four helpings this evening.  I found the taste to be addictive and kept wanting more!  I really, really enjoyed this combination of flavors.  I hope you do, too!

Serves 4

2 TBS coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 cup red lentils
1 can coconut milk
2 cups water
½ tsp garam masala (an Indian spice blend.  If you cannot find it, substitute curry powder.)
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
½ tsp coarse sea salt

Saute chopped onion in coconut oil.  Cook until onions are translucent.  Add carrots, stir and cook for a few more minutes.  Add coconut milk, water, coconut flakes, rinsed lentils, and garam masala.  Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes.  Add salt and continue cooking over low heat, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender.  Serve over brown rice.   

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