Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Indian Spiced Red Lentils and Brown Rice
First I want to thank everyone that commented or read my earlier post. Your words really touched me and I am so happy that some of you commented for the first time. I always wanted to believe that there were many more people out there that wanted to eat healthy food. Thank you for letting me know that I was correct.
As you may have guessed, all your wonderful comments started my day off on a high note. Then I spent a while talking about nutrition with my friend Sheila. It is always my favorite subject and I love her questions. She really makes me think through my position on things and helps me to focus and clarify the things that I now do without thinking. She has given me a great idea for a post that I need to start working on tonight before I forget her great question. Sheila thanks for keeping me honest!
While Sheila and I were on the phone the call waiting was beeping through and I was ignoring it because I was on the corded phone. I am using that more and more to avoid cordless phones of all types when possible. After the third beep in 10 minutes I knew I needed to find out what was going in. It was my parents. They had just discovered that the refrigerator had stopped working. Only child to the rescue! I immediately helped them to get everything into coolers and on ice. Dan came home and off we went to buy a refrigerator and bring it back and install it.
A side note for those of you in the market for appliances. Check out the Sears Appliance Outlets. We have picked up a few items there and have always been thrilled with the price. Today they had a couple gorgeous Jenn-Air Ranges I was coveting, along with a Subzero frig and Fischer Paykel dishwasher. They also had quite a few treadmills, elipticals and nice outdoor grills. The prices are great, and they will deliver.
After our unplanned appliance adventure my day was all thrown off. We didn’t finish with the process until after 6pm. At that time all I wanted was a mug of green tea and to put my feet up. At 7pm I realized I had done nothing to get dinner going. I hate it when that happens.
This is dish I used to make when we sailed. It can be made entirely from things in the pantry, although fresh items are great to have. When your kitchen is being remodeled you can make the dish in your rice cooker, I know this because I have done that too. If you are a college student this is great easy dish to have in your back pocket. Without further delay, here is what I made tonight for dinner:
Indian Spiced Red Lentils and Brown Rice
Serves 6 - very generously
1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 cups brown basmati rice
14 ounce can of tomatoes, liquid drained into a measuring cup
Enough water (with tomato liquid) to make 5 cups
¼ cup dried minced onions, or 1 onion, finely minced
½ teaspoon garlic powder, or 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cardamom powder, or 4 green cardamom pods
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon crushed red peppers
Salt and pepper as desired
1 lime, zested and juiced – optional but strongly recommended
Optional ingredients not included in nutrition information below:
A few cherry tomatoes, halved, for garnish
Fresh cilantro, for garnish
Dehydrated leeks, for garnish
A few cashews, for garnish
Baby spinach for the bed, or any green
Combine everything but the cilantro and lime and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and cook as you would brown rice. The exact time will depend on the type of pot you use. I tend to use enameled cast iron and the rice cooks in 35 minutes in that pan.
When it is time to serve remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves and fluff with a fork. Add the cilantro and lime zest and juice. You can use it as a base for seitan, or put in on top of greens. I have also added seitan sausage to this or baked tofu. There are many options. Tonight I served this on a bed of julienned baby spinach and topped it with cherry tomato halves, dehydrated leeks and a few cashews.
Nutritional Information (for beans and rice only):
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 362.68
Calories From Fat (6%) - 23.5
Total Fat - 2.83g
Saturated Fat - 0.53g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 108.51mg
Potassium - 477.79mg
Total Carbohydrates - 72.39g
Fiber - 7.9g
Sugar - 2.45g
Protein - 13.73g
This is an easy and flavorful dish but it not so flavorful that children won’t enjoy it. If you like a lot of flavor you can safely double the spices and tomatoes. In fact if you know you like Indian food I would suggest you start with double the spices. I have served the recipe, as written, to people that claim to not like Indian food, and they have liked it. Sometimes I double and sometimes I don’t, it all depends on my mood. Nothing like consistency right?
This dish came about because I needed things I could make on a sailboat when fresh produce was limited. If any of you sail you know the galley is small and confined and food storage is even tougher. I have many of these recipes from our years of sailing. It didn’t occur to me until today those recipes for be great for college students or anyone that doesn’t have a kitchen or hasn't been to the grocery store (this would have been wonderful during the blizzard if I had thought of it, LOL). Please let me know if these sorts of recipes interest any of you. I can put them into the rotation occasionally.
Do you feel like you know too much about my day? Was it TMI? I never really know where to draw the line.
I am going to clean up the kitchen and relax for a little while. I hope you all had a great day. I will chat with you tomorrow. Thank you again for all you wonderful comments earlier. They mean more to me than you know. :-)