Friday, February 6, 2015

28 Day Challenge....Day 4


Day 4 of the Challenge and I am needing to boost my greens intake.  I love putting this recipe for Green Lentil Curry in a wrap, so I decided to try out collards as wraps.  It's a very simple process of blanching large collards leaves after you remove most of the hard stem.  You can see how the leaf is trimmed in the leaf on the upper right hand plate in the photo.  If you are gluten-intolerant, you'll appreciate the use of collards as a wrap.  You can also use your favorite whole grain wrap if you wish to save the step of blanching greens.
There are two appliances that make this recipe less time consuming at the end of the day; using a crock pot to make the curry and a rice cooker to make the brown rice.  You can still make these if you don't have either of these appliances, but the appliances do make life easier.

Green Lentil Curry

    1 teaspoon grated ginger
    1 garlic clove, mashed to a paste
    2 teaspoons ground coriander
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
    1 small shallot, minced
    1 tablespoon tomato paste mixed with 1 tablespoon of water, or 1 tablespoon low sodium ketchup
    1 1/4 cups dried green lentils, rinsed
    1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
    2 medium carrot, thinly sliced
    1 cup finely chopped cilantro, optional
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    1. In a crockpot set on high, combine the ginger, garlic, coriander and ground cumin. Stir in 1/4 cup of water to make a paste.  Add the cumin seeds and cook on high setting, until fragrant. Add the shallot. Stir in the tomato paste.Stir in the lentils with the turmeric and 5 cups of water.  
    2. Add the carrot, three-fourths of the cilantro and the cayenne.  Cook on high setting until the lentils and vegetables are tender.  Season with salt and the remaining cilantro.  If there is still a lot of broth, pour mixture into a saucepan and gently boil until the liquid evaporates and the lentils plump.
    3. Serve on wrap with brown rice, cooked green beans, fresh spinach or blanched kale.  Wonderful with caramelized onions and a squirt of siracha.
    A note about Green Lentils:
    Green lentils hold their shape well when cooked.  They have a sweet and a little peppery flavor that goes well with savory spices.  I find that if you salt them as you cook them they take longer to soften and plump, so I salt them at the end of their cooking.  Cooked lentils store well in the refrigerator and are great to take and reheat or toss into salads.  They make hearty dishes and lend themselves well to pairing with brown rice for a more complete protein.

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