Spiced Red Lentils with Rice

Dal with rice

So, you know those meals that aren’t exactly a showstopper, but taste amazing?  This is definitely one of those dishes.  It really doesn’t look very pretty, or maybe even appealing, but man oh man, it tastes soo good.  And, it makes the house smell amazing.  The red lentils become creamy, perfectly spiced, and just downright delicious.  I love to serve it over cooked white rice.

I have been trying to find recipes to use my fresh garden tomatoes that seem to just keep coming. (I am not complaining!)  This was a perfect way to incorporate many small ones.  This dish is a great, healthy, and quick meal for those busy weeknights.  And, it makes killer leftovers.  Win win!

Spiced Red Lentils with Rice

Yield: About 8-10 servings

For the spice mixture

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if you like spicy, use more)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

For the lentils

  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil (or grapeseed, or canola oil)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup red lentils, picked through and rinsed
  • 12 ounces tomatoes, chopped (I used a combination of small romas and cherry tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter
  • salt and pepper
  • cooked white rice

Directions

In a small bowl, mix together the spice mixture.  In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering.  Stir in the spice mixture and cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds.  Mix in the onion and cook until softened, 5-8 minutes.  Stir in the garlic, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the water and lentils and bring to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer until the lentils are tender and resemble a thick purée, 20-25 minutes.

Off the heat, stir in the tomatoes, parsley, tomatoes, butter, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Stir gently until combined.  Adjust seasonings if necessary.  Serve over rice.

Source: Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen, Healthy Family Cookbook

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Garlic Hummus

Garlic Hummus

Hummus is one of our favorite snacks. My husband requests it quite frequently.  It’s one of those satisfying dips that is very accommodating to many vessels.  It’s healthy, bursting with flavor, and filling. It makes a wonderful after school snack. Creamy, garlicky and delicious. The dip will last several days in the refrigerator.  In fact, it’s better to make ahead of time to allow the flavors to meld. It’s the perfect dip for a healthy snack, or to make for a get together.

Garlic Hummus

Yield: About 2 cups

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 5 Tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons dried parsley (or 2 Tablespoons fresh)
  • salt and pepper

Directions

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the garlic cloves until minced. Scrape down the sides and add the remaining ingredients. Process until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl and cover. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Source: Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

Lentils and Couscous with Zucchini and Carrots

Lentils and Couscous with Zucchini and Carrots

This recipe is something I saw and couldn’t wait for the chance to make it. I’m always on the lookout for healthy, filling recipes. It’s a kind of killing-two-birds-with-one stone type of deal. I made it for myself for lunch because everyone has been on a sort of grumpy dinner track lately. My son doesn’t want to touch dinner at all lately, even if he really likes the dish. The days are cold, long, dark and tiring. In other words, everyone is getting tired of winter. Even my daughter is talking about summer all the time and wishing it was warm. On the upside of the never ending winter, there is more sunlight! Waking up at 6 am to get everything ready in time for the bust at 7:05, I am actually waking up to sunlight! Not pitch black anymore. That always makes waking up much easier. And, it’s still light out at 4:30! Woot woot! Perhaps there is an end in sight? (Actually, I kind of like the snow. But not the cold.)

Back to this dish. It is full of great flavor. And I finally found a use for the pearled couscous I have had stashed away in the pantry for longer than I’d like to think. The lentils are a great filler. And the addition of my all-time favorite spice; ground cumin, makes it all that much better. Yeah, I am kind of obsessed with it. This dish makes a great lunch or dinner!

Lentils and Couscous with Zucchini and Carrots

Yield: 4-6 servings

  • 1-2 cups dried lentils (If you like a lot of lentils, use 2 cups)
  • 2 Tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 2 zucchini, shredded
  • 1 cup pearl (Israeli) couscous
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • dash of garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 2-3 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley or cilantro

Directions

In a small saucepan, cover the lentils with 2 inches of water. Bring to boil over high heat. Partially cover, and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer until the lentils are cooked through and tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Place the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, stir in the onion. Cook the onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic, cumin, turmeric and garlic powder just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the broth and couscous. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and partially cover. Gently simmer until the wanter is mostly absorbed, about 8-10 minutes. Just before all the water is absorbed, add the shredded carrots, zucchini, cooked lentils and parsley. Stir until completely combined. Let cook for a few more minutes until everything is heated through. Season generously with salt and pepper and serve.

Source: Adapted from Three Many Cooks