Lentil Cauliflower Curry

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This month’s movie for Food ‘n Flix couldn’t have come at a better time for me. The Lunchbox is a movie set in Mumbai, India. A lunchbox delivery service starts delivering the wrong lunchbox to the wrong man. They begin sharing notes through the lunch boxes.

I have given up meat for Lent. I’m including fish and other seafoods in Lent – the reason being to make more vegetable heavy dishes. I use Lent as my annual exercise in self-control. Given I’ve been dreaming about buckets of bacon and eating meat, clearly this is a good exercise for me.

Because so much of Indian food is vegetarian, this movie really came at a good month for me.

Ila learns that her husband has no idea that he isn’t getting the food she was making for him when he comments on her cauliflower – needless to say, she did not make him cauliflower.

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Though Ila may not have made her husband cauliflower, I figured I would make my boyfriend cauliflower.

I love curries in general. For such a simple meal to make, curries are packed with flavor.

This month Culinary Adventures with Cam is hosting the film. There’s just a little bit of time left if you decide to join us. If you don’t make it this month, next month we’re watching A Walk In The Clouds!

Lentil Cauliflower Curry

Ingredients
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
1 chunk ginger root, minced
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp crushed red chili pepper
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
4 cups water
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a pot heat over medium-high heat, heat the coconut oil. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Once the onion is translucent, add the ginger, turmeric, curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, and crush red chili pepper. Cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  3. If your pan is getting dry, add some oil. Add the carrots and sweet potato to the pot and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the lentils and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over low heat.
  5. Then add the cauliflower florets. Cover and cook for 20 more minutes over low heat.
  • serves 2

Food n' Flix: Eat Pray Love ROUNDUP

Curried Lentil Squash Stew

IMG_9025This month I hosted Food ‘n Flix, showing the French  film Delicatessen. As I mentioned in my announcement postDelicatessen is a dark movie. The movie focuses mainly on Louison, an unemployed clown, who answers an ad in a newspaper for work. This ad however actually designed to lure unknown victims to the building, so that he can butcher them for meat.

Let me say, this isn’t a movie based in the world as we know it. Rather, Delicatessen is a post-apocalyptic film in a time where people use food as currency.

In the beginning of the movie, when Louison arrives at the butcher’s in a taxi, he pays the cab driver in lentils (and his shoes.) I love lentils, and such, I ran with that thread in making this dinner of lentils and squash. I wonder how much all of the components of this dish would be worth in Louison’s world.

If you haven’t yet, make sure you enter your post-apocalyptic or French or wherever you decide to take it dish before May 29th to be included in our round-up. Please no cannibalism! 😉

Curried Lentil Squash Stew
(source)

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger powder
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried lentils
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 summer squash, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
2 red potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
5 oz baby spinach

Directions

1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and carrots, for about 8 minutes or until soft.

2. Add the garlic, ginger, curry, and salt. Cook, stirring until fragrant.

3. Stir in the lentils, broth, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil and cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

4. Add the squash and potatoes. Cover and simmer for an hour.

5. Remove the lid and stir in the spinach until wilted.

* serves 2
* besides Food ‘n Flix, this dish is being shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

 

Slow Cooker Lentil Cauliflower Stew

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This week’s slow cooker meal was another lentil dish. I’ve been going through a lentil thing lately. I’ve been using them a whole lot. This stew has lasted multiple days. I made it on Tuesday and I’ve had a bowl everyday since then. Tomorrow will be the day I kill the last of it.

I have a lot of problems with beans typically. I can’t eat black beans, white beans, and kidney beans among others because I get such bad stomach cramps from the gas that beans gas. You know that old song, “Beans beans they’re good for your heart, the more you eat, the more you fart?” Yeah.. I get so much gas that I feel like a hot air balloon. The point of my story about gas is that lentils don’t do that for me.

Slow Cooker Lentil Cauliflower Stew
(source)

Ingredients
16 oz dried lentils
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb cauliflower, chopped into small florets
2 leeks, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
8 cups vegetable broth
2 15-oz cans petite diced tomatoes
cheddar cheese, shredded to taste

Directions

1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Saute the onions for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for an additional minute.

2. Pour the softened onions and garlic into the slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients as well (except for the cheese.)

3. Cover the slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on low.

4. When the stew is done, serve and sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.

* serves 12
* shared with Souper Sunday at Kahakai Kitchen and Weekend Cooking

Lentil Chili

IMG_8559This month’s Random Recipe challenge was to borrow a random cookbook from a friend and cook a randomly chosen recipe from the book. My cookbook this month was Still Life with Menu Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. My random recipe happened to be the lentil chili. I’ve never cooked out of this cookbook before, but after this chili dish I may need to add the book to my collection.

The only thing about this dish is I think it’s dryer than it should have been. My schedule during the week is nuts, so on Wednesday and Thursday I actually make dinner in the middle of the afternoon and then heat it up after I get home from my classes that go until 9 p.m. For this chili I did the first hours work of cooking in the afternoon and the last 10 minutes when I got home from class. I think the chili sitting there made it thicken up a whole lot more than had I done the whole dish at once and then eaten it.

The flavor was great though and that’s all that matters.

Lentil Chili

Ingredients
2 cups dried lentils
3 cups water
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
ground black pepper, to taste
crushed red pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add in the lentils. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover, simmering for 30 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes, cumin, paprika, thyme, garlic powder, and onions. Stir in and cover again, simmering for another 30 minutes.

3. Add the salt and tomato paste, stirring into the lentils. Simmer for 10 more minutes, uncovered this time.

4. Stir in the vinegar, black pepper, and red pepper. Serve hot either alone or with toppings such as sour cream, cheddar cheese, etc.

* serves 4 large servings
* besides Random Recipes, this recipe is shared with Full Plate Thursday, Catch A Glimpse Party, Linkin’ Up Thursdays, & Showcase Your Talent Thursday  

 

Slow Cooker Lentil Vegetable Stew

 

The first week of my last year in law school was this week. Just two semesters left and I’ll have to change the name of my blog. It won’t be the Law Student’s Cookbook anymore, but the Unemployed Law School Graduate’s Cookbook. Well, that is until I pass the bar and hopefully get hired somewhere great. Then my blog will be called The Public Defender’s Cookbook. But more likely it will just need a new name that leaves me unaffiliated with a career. When that day comes . . . No. I can’t even think about it. It’s still so far off.

Anyway, school started this week and I have night classes two days every week. Last semester I had a ton of night classes.
Last semester I also got really fat because I ate out so much. On top of gaining pounds, my wallet got pretty slim. I would prefer things to work in reverse, so I’ve decided I really just need to implement ways that make getting home just before 9PM okay. The number one way this is going to work is if in the morning before I leave for work or school I throw everything for the day into a crockpot. That way when I do get home just 2 hours before my bedtime, I don’t feel like I need to run and get fast food to satiate myself. And frankly, anything I can make at home tastes a million times better than something that comes through a drive through.

This week has been a pretty mellow week compared to what the rest of my semester is going to look like. Two of my classes got cancelled the first week of school, so instead of two nights of needing quick dinners (rather, slow cooked dinners,) I only had one.

During the middle of my Prosecutorial&Defense Ethics my stomach started grumbling. I was happy to find this slow cooker stew when I got home.

Slow Cooker Lentil Vegetable Stew

Ingredients
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 potato, peeled and cubed
4 carrots, sliced
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 cup green beans, broken into pieces
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup tomato juice
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup dry lentils

Directions

1. Add everything except for the lentils into a slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low. Add lentils during the last hour of cooking.

* serves 6
* 273 calories per serving
* Shared with Souper Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen & What’s Cooking Wednesday

Chicken, Chickpeas, and Lentils

This was actually two dishes, but as I was making dinner it kind of became one. I had sort of an ingredient snafu, having to throw away the kale because it became inedible. So instead of making kale with lentil and the chicken, I kind of just threw the chicken on top of the lentils without the greens on top of rice.

It ended up being really good and hearty, so while I do wish my kale hadn’t been sitting in the garbage, my meal still came out delicious.

Chicken, Chickpeas, and Lentils

Ingredients
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped, divided
1 carrot, diced, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1/4 tsp kosher salt
ground black pepper to taste
1/4 tsp ground red pepper flakes
1/4 lb uncooked lentils
1 can diced tomatoes, divided
2 1/4 cups chicken broth, divided
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp ground cayenne
1/8 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained
1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Directions

1. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir half of the onion and half of the carrot in the hot oil, until softened. Add half the garlic, the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir to coat and cook for 1 minute.

2. Stir the lentils, half the tomatoes and its juice, and 1 1/2 cups of the chicken broth into the onions. Cover and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes.

3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  In a new pan sprayed with cooking spray brown the chicken over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and set aside.

4. Saute the remaining onion, garlic, and carrots. When tender stir in ginger, paprika, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and turmeric. Stir fry for 1 minute, then mix in the remaining broth and tomatoes. Return the chicken to the pan and reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Add the chickpeas to the pan and simmer. Cover pan and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. Serve both the lentils and chicken over rice.

* serves 2
* Shared with Foodie Friday & Foodie Friday

Sloppy Lentil Sandwich

Sometimes my boyfriend gets these silly food ideas that end up being great. I call them “little boy food” or “little boy ideas.” These ideas usually come in the form of desserts, where he’ll go into the kitchen and make some sweet concoction that looks bizarre but tastes delicious. Tonight he actually semi-hijacked my meal and turned it into his little boy food.

I had made lentil soup for dinner and I probably let it cook a little too long. Because of that, a lot of the liquid had cooked off. And by “a lot,” I mean the majority of the liquid was gone and it was more just lentils with vegetables rather than lentil soup. Matt walked in, looked at what was cooking, and said, “Hey, we can make sloppy joes.” I kind of looked him confused, because clearly this is not sloppy joe filling, this is lentil soup! But the more I thought about it, the more I really loved the idea of making it into a sandwich. Since the consistency of the lentils definitely wasn’t soupy, it could easily go on a bun.

The sandwich was messy, much like a sloppy joe. The lentils weren’t entirely happy being between the bun as they slipped out occasionally. But for the most part, most of my lentils did stay on the sandwich.

Very simple and very yummy!

Sloppy Lentil Sandwich
(original lentil soup recipe)

 Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp paprika
1 1/2 carrots, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups lentils, soaked, rinsed, and drained
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 ground black pepper
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp white wine
2 bay leaves
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 hamburger buns

Directions

1. In a large pot heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until glossy. Add the garlic, paprika, carrots, and celery. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the tomatoes, lentil, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer. Pour in the wine and stir. Bring to a rolling boil.

3. Lower the heat slowly on the soup. Let simmer at medium-low heat for one hour.

4. See if enough of the liquid has cooked off. If not, keep cooking until the lentils aren’t soupy.

5. Divide the lentils between the buns.

* serves 4
* 362 calories per sandwich
* shared with Tasty Tuesday Party &  Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

Lentil Soup

Last week was soup week. It was kind of unintentional, but after I finished my meal plan I realized I had an abundance of soups on my list. This was hands down the best soup of the week and actually the only one I’m going to share, since I only share the yummiest of yummies. It’s been really cold here in Sacramento, reaching below freezing most nights for the past week. I had a final on Saturday and by 9 in the morning it was only 32 degrees. Brrrrrr….

Soup is good!

French Lentil Soup

Ingredients
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp lentils, rinsed
7 oz petite diced tomato in juice
balsamic vinegar

Directions

1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic, sauteing until the vegetables are brown, about 15 minutes.

2. Add 2 cups of broth, lentils, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat over medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 35 minutes.

3. Transfer 1 cup of soup to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Return the puree to the soup. Season with salt, pepper, and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

* serves 3
* 333 calories per serving

Lentil Chicken Soup and Spinach Pinwheels

I’ve written about this before, but I’ll mention it again since it’s relevant right now because of the dish I’m posting. I’ve lost about 50 pounds since August of 2010. This has all been thanks to the website myfitnesspal. Besides the wonderful calorie database, it also has a great community of other individuals also losing weight. I’m part of a group over there called RECIPE SWAP. Each week two members of the group share a recipe for everyone else to cook.

Last week nattiec21 shared this recipe with the group. It definitely pushed me outside of my “normal” ingredients. I have never cooked with kale before and really, I’m not even sure if I’d ever eaten it before. Also, I had an unopened package of lentils in my cabinet, but I had never used them before. The nice thing about the group is I get stuck on the same flavors sometimes, the same ingredients, and the same dishes. This allows me try things I just wouldn’t otherwise.

I made this dish with those cute spinach pinwheels in the picture. They worked similar to croutons and were very delicious. Overall, I’d rank this dish high on the recipe chain and I would make it again.

Lentil Chicken Soup

Ingredients
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 tbsp fresh basil
2 cups coarsely chopped kale
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 skinless boneless chicken breast, cooked and cubed
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
1 cup dry brown lentils

Directions

1. Coat a large saucepan with cooking spray. Preheat the pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic to the heated saucepan. Cook and cover for 5-7 minutes, allowing the vegetables to begin to tenderize, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the kale and the dried lentils. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and cover for 30 minutes.

3. Stir in the chicken, tomato, and basil. Cover and simmer for 5 more minutes.

* serves 3
* 228 calories per serving
* shared to be by nattiec21

Spinach Pinwheels

Ingredients
1 8-oz package refrigerated reduced fat crescent rolls
2 wedges Laughing Cow creamy Swiss cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
several handfuls of spinach, coarsely chopped (I didn’t measure this)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400.

2. Split the crescent dough in half along the center to form a rectangle. Press the perforated edges of the dough together with your fingers.

3. Spread each rectangle with one block of the creamy Swiss cheese. Sprinkle with garlic powder and spinach.

4. Starting on the long side of the dough, roll together as if you were rolling a cinnamon rolls. Cut into 3/4-inch slices. Arrange on an ungreased cookie sheet.

5. Continue until you have used up all of the crescent roll dough.

6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

* makes 10 servings
* 3 pinwheels per serving
* 165 calories per serving