I think out of all the legumes I love lentils the most. Lately anyway.
I make this Spinach & Lentil Soup very often … by the vat, sometimes and eat it all week long. I did that last week, in fact. I throw a can of lentils into salads all the time for a good protein boost.
I was going to talk at length about how healthy lentils are and why they’re a wise choice for your protein source. Instead, you can find everything I would have wanted to say, but I bet they say it better, over at Live Strong.
I chose red lentils for this recipe for a couple reasons. Mainly, because they cook faster than green or brown lentils and I really wasn’t up for much of a cooking session on a Friday night. Also, I have a lot of red lentils and needed to make some room in my pantry.
You could use fresh spinach in place of the kale if you’d like. I am sure it’ll turn out just as flavorful. What I love about the kale though is how it retains some of it’s firm texture.
I used raw cashews in this recipe because, again, that’s what I had. But I bet toasted or roasted cashews would be amazing. I’d stick with using cashews. The mildly sweet creaminess of the cashews really complement the lentils. I am trying to think of another nut to use in place of cashews but I really can’t think of one that would work as perfectly. If you try this with a different nut, share what you used and how it turned out!
- 1 onion, diced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch ginger, peeled and minced finely
- 2-3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
- 2 teaspoons madras curry powder
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 cup red lentils
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2⅔ cups water, divided
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup whole cashews
- 1 small bunch kale, ribs removed and chopped
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large deep skillet.
- Add onions, garlic, and ginger. Saute for 5 minutes, until onion begins to soften.
- Add seasonings and cook 2 minutes to allow seasonings to toast.
- Add lentils. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
- Add coconut milk, lime juice and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once the lentils have cooked down and become soft, add the tomato paste. Stir well to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Next, add the cashews, kale, and remaining ⅔ cup water as needed. Stir to combine. The consistency should be rather thick but not sticky or clumpy. Let ingredients heat through.
- Serve on rice with a wedge of lime and fresh cilantro, if desired.
You might be thinking I cook with curry a lot. You’d be right. We really enjoy curries from around the world. I am going to challenge myself to try new recipes that aren’t as inspired by the curries we love. Just for a change.