Lentils just don’t get the respect they deserve. Relegated to the same shelf as dried beans (cue Sweet Brown, if you please) in the grocery store (which is usually a bottom shelf), lentils blend in with boring colors (brown. orange-brown. yellow-brown) and unthrilling packaging.
Speaking of unthrilling, get a load of this dog of mine visibly pouting while I was working on this post. This blog is painfully boring to him. I can’t imagine where he learned to mope like that.
Back to the lentils: they really should be celebrated. They may be small and lacking a name as cute as “chickpea,” but they’re a mighty member of the legume family with tons of fiber and nutrients.
However, if you’ve read this blog before, you know that I can’t keep a straight face and say that I only eat healthy ingredients. Health second, butter first. That motto’s gotten me this far in life (cue Drake, then).
The honest-to-goodness reason that I love lentils is that they just soak up whatever flavor you throw at them. They become the spices. It’s all very transcendental.
This is a crock pot recipe that Husband really enjoyed. I will note, though, that his poor taste buds have been so confused by me and all the weird flavors that I throw at him that he thought it was chili and had his with cheddar cheese and saltines.
Extremely A bit weird, but whatever – he ate curry, lentils, and other such hippie foods, and didn’t quote Ron Swanson one!
I also added chicken to ours, but know that it isn’t a crucial part of the ingredients, all you vegan and vegetarian friends out there.
Red Curry Lentils with Pumpkin
You will need:
- 2 cups dried lentils
- 1 cube boullion and 2 cups water, or 2 cups stock of choice (recommend chicken or vegetable)
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 2 tbsp. garlic
- 2 tbsp. red curry paste
- 1/3 cup garam masala (orange-yellowish curry powder)
- 1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger or ginger paste
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. butter or olive oil
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup diced onions
- 1 cup coconut milk
- Optional: ~ 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast (frozen is fine)
- Optional: to serve: 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 1 sliced avocado
- Rinse lentils and drain, then pour into crock pot.
- Pour in all ingredients and stir it up a bit.
- Set slow cooker to low heat and cook for ~6 hours, or cook on high heat for ~4 hours.
- Check during the cooking process at least once to see if you need to add more water/stock.
- When the chicken is cooked, shred it with a fork and mix it in with the curry.
- Serve hot, topped with cilantro and avocado (a la Sparkle), or with cheddar cheese and saltines (say whaaat, Husband?!).