Monday, May 14, 2018

Curried Lentils and Carrots

This lentil recipe makes a stew, though with some extra liquid it could certainly be a soup. I like it because it's got lentils and lots of veggies, but the mushrooms and the small amount of bacon give it the flavor boost to make even the meat lovers in the family think this tastes just great. Give this a try!


1 cup lentils
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
4 slices bacon, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbs grated ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 Tbs spicy mustard
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
3 small carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1 can (14-1/2 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 Tbs sriracha sauce (optional)
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
several grinds of sea salt (to taste)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Directions: Add the lentils to the water and the bay leaf in a deep soup pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover, with the lid ajar. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Prepare the remaining ingredients while the lentils cook. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon until crisp, then remove the bacon to paper towels. Drain the bacon grease and discard. Wipe the skillet, add the olive oil, along with the onion, garlic, ginger and spices. Cook for about 3 or 4 minutes, until the onion begins to turn translucent. Add the red pepper and mushrooms, and continue to cook for another minute or two. Turn the heat off the skillet, and let sit until the lentils have cooked. Add the bacon and vegetables to the lentils, along with the carrots, tomatoes, and optional hot sauce. Cook until the carrots are tender and the tomatoes are hot, about 10 minutes. Taste, adding lemon juice and sea salt, if needed. Serve, topping with cilantro.
Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Draining bacon grease and cooking the remaining vegetables in the olive oil keeps the saturated fats low, while adding the deep flavor of bacon to this dish. To make the flavor even deeper, add a spoonful of chicken broth flavoring when you add the tomatoes. 

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