Cooking Beans

It has astounded me how many vegetarians I have talked to of late who mentioned they don’t make/don’t know how to make their own beans. From scratch.

I too used to be in the canned bean buying club. With my budget concious ways making my own beans was just a matter of time. At first I found it frustrating and confusing between the soaking and the rinsing and the simmering. And I always seemed to have too many or not enough when I was done making a batch.

Cooking Dried Beans

Then I learned you can freeze them after cooking. Freeze.them. What?!

World turned upside down.

Cooking Dried Beans

Now this is the only way I make beans. I keep all sorts of dried beans on hand at all times because I buy them in bulk from my co op. A pantry full. Many of them from the local valley too. I’m a lucky girl. Also I tend to keep at least 3-4 different containers full of different kinds of cooked beans in my freezer.

Cooking Dried Beans

Pretty much a kitchen full of beans. Not really but you get the idea. But seriously since I learned that you can make and freeze beans I haven’t bought a single can from the store. Mostly because I can’t bring myself to buy a can of beans when I know I have so many at home. Sure if I have to make a batch from dried its going to take an hour and half ish or if I need to thaw them it will take a while but I am more than happy to go this route.

Or I’m neurotic and just love making everything from scratch.

Anyways. It’s easy. It’s cheaper. You should do it. Join me.

Cooking Dried Beans

One year ago today: Orange poppyseed scones

Cooking Dried Beans (makes as much as you want)
Mine (ish)

Dried beans
Water

It is not necessary to pre-soak most beans but you can if you want. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) must be soaked overnight however.

Place your beans in a large pot, pick them over for any rocks and broken beans. Rinse a couple of times in cold water to get off any residual dirt. Drain the dirty water. Cover the beans with 2-3 inches of water and place over medium high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Set a timer for one hour. Once the timer goes off taste test at least five beans from the pot (try to get them for different places) to see if they are done. Continue checking in 10 minute increments till they are perfect. Drain and allow to cool slightly. Use immediately or cover with fresh water, cover, and freeze till you want to use them. Enjoy!

Cooking Dried Beans

Spanish Lentil Soup

When Little was born one of the pieces of advice about taking care of my new mama self was to eat nourishing food. And more specifically it was to eat food I personally found nourishing. To trust my body to crave what I needed and then to eat that.

In my mind nourishing food was things like casseroles and stew and this soup.

Spanish Lentil Soup

Funny thing is as a kid growing up in Spain I hated this soup. Hated it. I think it was the in thing to do amongst kids my age. I was just trying to fit in probably. Now the much older version of me loves this comfort food. The flavor is so familiar and the way it looks in the bowl is nostalgic.

This is a staple I think in almost every Spanish home. Much like tortilla it is simple every day food. The ingredients cook up fast and you can go from start to finish in just over a half an hour if you work quickly.

Spanish Lentil Soup

And the house smells so so so good. Like I said these are all comfort smells and flavors for me- the paprika in the chorizo especially.

My toddler true to form refused to eat it. He was trying to stick with the cool kids too and hate on this deliciousness. That is until I made him his own dinner and sat down with my bowlful of lentils. Then he promptly refused his dinner and demanded to eat mine. That was a win I guess? Kinda? I’ll take it. At least he tried it.

Spanish Lentil soup

We ate it for days. Delicious nourishing food.

Spanish Lentil Soup

One year ago today: Roasted Banana Ice Cream with Hard Chocolate Topping and Tiramisu Ice Cream Cake

Spanish Lentil Soup (serves at least 8)
Learned from watching many spaniards make it

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion diced
1 lb ground chorizo sausage or 1 dried spanish chorizo chopped (I recommend Palacios but at $11 for 12 oz I compromised for cheaper ground chorizo)
2-3 russet potatoes peeled and diced
3 carrots peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cup brown or green lentils
Water
Salt to taste

In a large soup pot over medium hit heat sauté the onions in the olive oil till they just start to soften. Add the chorizo. If using ground cook it all the way through breaking up as you go. If using dried cook for 3-4 minutes till it starts to release its oils and smell delicious. Add the potatoes and carrots and sauté for a minute. Cover with water then add the lentils and stir. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils, potatoes, and carrots are all soft. Enjoy with big slices of crusty bread.

Spanish Lentil Soup

Veggie Tortilla Soup

Hey there.

Yeah still on the needing to eat well kick over here. Yoga and whole foods are helping to make me feel whole. I swear about half of my anxiety and mood can be attributed to how I eat. Eating well helps keep me sane.

Tortilla soup is one of my all time favorite soups. For some reason I have always had it in my brain that it had to be made with chicken. Happily I stumbled on this recipe and realized I was so wrong.

veggie tortilla soup

Even as I started making it I was skeptical. Could it be just as tasty meatless? Surely it could right? And can these measurements for the spices be accurate? That is a big bowl full of spices for just one pot of soup… On and on I doubted.

Till I took the first taste. Perfect. Delicious. Spicy. So full of flavor. And completely vegan. Well at least until I topped it with cheese and sour cream. Stick with just lime, avocado and cilantro and it would be.

Nathan, who is not very thrilled with my vegan/vegetarian attempts of late, has gone to the fridge and unprompted eaten this soup as a leftover. This man is not know for eating leftover ANYTHING (well except for pizza and tortilla) fixed himself a huge bowl and raved about it the whole time.

As with most flavorful soups this was definitely better the next day. And the next day. It made a huge pot and I will happily eat it for days to come.

veggie tortilla soup

One year ago today: Roasted Chickpeas and French Apple Tart

Veggie Tortilla Soup
From The Cooking Photographer

2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (4 ounce) can diced mild green chiles, drained
1 (28 ounce) can fire roasted chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cup fronzen whole kernel corn, defrosted
32 ounces vegetable broth homemade or store bought
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 lime

Garnishes:
tortilla chips
shredded cheese
diced avocado
chopped cilantro
sour cream
hot sauce
lime juice

In a small bowl mix together cumin, sweet paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, coriander, salt and black pepper. Set aside. In a large pot heat the oil over medium high. Add the onions and bell peppers. Sauté until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the spices and garlic; cook for 2 minutes. Add the green chile peppers, tomatoes, corn, black beans and vegetable broth. Cook until warmed through. Squeeze in lime juice. Serve in bowls and garnish as desired.

veggie tortilla soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Absolutely positively 100% stuck in a rut.

Does that ever happen to you? The minute the weather turned I wanted to make all my favorite recipes from this little blog. Problem is that then leaves me with nothing to share with you. Nothing new. Same old same old.

Cream of mushroom soup

There were a few attempts at creativity but it was more a clean out the fridge and attempt to call them enchiladas type of creativity. Nothing that would impress you much I am sure.

However we did eek out this soup last week. I was looking for something lighter and not so cream laden. When I actually pureed it up with the immersion blender and tasted it I realized it needed no cream at all. So can I still call it cream of mushroom soup?

Cream of mushroom soup

Eh. Whatever. It’s delicious.

You do have take the time to brown the mushrooms and chanterelles. Color is flavor so don’t rush that step. Otherwise this is a basic throw together on a Sunday afternoon soup. Delicious.

I promise there will be more excitement to come. Lots of things in the works. For now… soup. And lame excuse for enchiladas.

Cream of mushroom soup

One year ago today: Homemade buttermilk ranch

Cream of Mushroom Soup (serves 4-6)
Adapted from Food.com

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 lb chanterelle mushroom, sliced 3-4 big ones reserved
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons white wine
4-5 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
Sour cream for serving

In a saucepan, heat the olive oil, then add the onion, garlic and chanterelles. Cook until the onions are transparent. Dust with the flour. Add the white wine and water. Stir to combine. Simmer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile tear the leftover mushroom. Melt the butter in a small nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and slowly sautee till a deep rich brown. Check the soup for season and salt and pepper to taste. Serve in prewarmed bowls, and garnish with mushrooms and sour cream.

Cream of mushroom soup

Tuna Roll Ups

I start work this week.

Type those very words have brought tears to my eyes. It has been a hard to come to decision. I have been a stay at home mama since April last year. One year and five months. I am so incredibly grateful for all the time I have had at home with Little.

Tuna Roll Ups- delicious and easy weeknight dinner

Can we talk about my feelings for a moment? We are about to get super honest here. Mothering doesn’t come naturally to me. I miss working- project completion, adult interaction, mental stimulation, etc etc. I feel like a bit of a failure as a mom that I WANT to go to work. Sorting out daycare, getting work clothes altered so they fit, planning how our week is going to look has all been a huge challenge. I want to go to work but my heart wants to stay home. But staying home makes me a bit crazy. But getting ready to go back to work is making me a bit crazier.

Tuna Roll Ups- delicious and easy weeknight dinner

It will be fine. That’s my mantra. It is only 20 hours a week and it is only four days a week. I bet after a month of this we will find a quiet rhythm and we will all be happier. In the meantime cut me some slack. There will be tears. I will most likely eat way too much chocolate and drink too much coffee.

One thing I am doing to help my sanity is plan out dinner. Lots of foods I know Little enjoys and eats easily along with what I consider to be comfort foods. Nathan is headed off into another long juice fast so it will be cooking for just Little and me.

Tuna Roll Ups- delicious and easy weeknight dinner

Last night was comfort food. It was an overcast cool August day that hinted fall is coming. These tuna roll ups were on the regular menu rotation when I was a kid and I hope Little grows up loving them as much as I do. Such a simple dinner that can be thrown together in minutes for a hot homemade dinner that is faster than take out. Certainly a must for a soon to be working mama.

Tuna Roll Ups- delicious and easy weeknight dinner

Ps. Can we please note the fact that I am not a “add a can of cream of whatever soup” type of cook. This is one of my FEW exceptions. I love the cream of portabella mushroom soup from Trader Joes. I can live with most of the ingredients in it.

Tuna Roll Ups- delicious and easy weeknight dinner

One year ago today: Brownies Plain and Simple

Tuna Rolls Ups (makes 6)
Biscuit recipe from Joy of Cooking, rest is my own

2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt
5-6 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup milk
One can of tuna
1 egg
6 small slices of cheddar cheese
1 box/can of cream of mushroom soup

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt thoroughly into a large bowl. Drop in 5-6 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces. Cut in the butter with 2 knives or a pastry blender, tossing the pieces with the flour mixture to coat and separate them as you work. Continue to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Do not allow the butter to melt or or form a paste with the flour. Add 3/4 cup of milk all at once and mix with a rubber spatula until most of the dry ingredients are moistened. With a lightly floured hand, gather the dough into a ball and knead it gently against the sides and bottom of the bowl 5 to 10 times, turning and pressing any loose pieces into the dough each time until they adhere and the bowl is fairly clean.

Dump out the dough onto the floured counter and pat into a disk. Gently roll out to about 12 x 8 rectangle. Cut into six pieces. In a small bowl mix the drained tuna with the egg. On each square place a small piece of cheese then top with 1/6 of the tuna/egg mixture. Gently fold each square around the filling pinching the edges to seal. Place seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. While the roll ups are baking place the soup in a sauce pan and only add half the recommended amount of liquid (so it is thick). Once biscuits are done allow to cool for 5 minutes. Serve in a bowl topped with the soup.

Tuna Roll Ups- delicious and easy weeknight dinner

Sausage Potato and Spinach Soup

The first time I made this recipe it was inhaled so quickly two things happened. First, I didn’t manage to get pictures taken to share with you. Second, I flat out forgot how I made it.

Around here most meals and cooking is planned around what we have on hand, what I feel like making, and what can I share with you lovely readers. Often the three intersect which, when it does, it makes me a very happy camper.

The problem is I get stuck in a cooking rut because so many of our standby favorites I don’t feel like making because I have already shared it here. Then I just get grumpy and don’t want to make anything at all and end up eating quinoa for dinner again.

Sausage potato and spinach soup. Super easy and amazingly tasty.

Happily I got to make this crowd pleaser a second time in a few short weeks. Honestly I think I could eat this for dinner every night it was so good.

Yes there is a bit of cream but not too much. Overall it is packed full of dark green leafy spinach, savory sausage, yummy potatoes, and tender zucchini so it can’t be all that bad for you.

Now if you bake up a loaf of homemade bread and slather it with homemade butter that is a completely different story.

Maybe fruit for dessert if you choose that course of action.

I know we are headed in to summer and soups will be fewer and fewer as the weather warms so hurry up and make this soon so you don’t miss out!

Sausage potato and spinach soup. Super easy and amazingly tasty.

Sausage Potato and Spinach Soup (serves 6)
Mine

2 tbs olive oil
1 onion diced
2 garlic cloves minced
1 lb ground Italian sausage
4 cups of water
1 cup cream
2-3 cups of milk
2 lbs of russet potatoes peeled and diced
1 lb chopped zucchini
Salt and pepper
1 6oz bag baby spinach roughly chopped

Set a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and when it begins to shimmer add the onion and garlic. Sautee till the onion softens then add the sausage. Brown it breaking it up into pieces with a spatula. Once it is fully cooked add the water, cream, milk (start with 2 cups) potatoes, and zucchini. Add a bit more milk or water if needed, you are looking to cover the ingredients plus about an inch. Season well and bring to a good simmer. Cook till potatoes are done (easily pierced with a fork). Add the spinach and stir till wilted, about 3 minutes. Serve in big bowls with generous slices of crusty bread.

Sausage potato and spinach soup. Super easy and amazingly tasty.

On Delivering Dinner

Hopefully we have been friends for a bit. If not no worries. I’m always happy to make new friends.

If we have been friends for a awhile one thing you will know about me is my reaction to pretty much any major life event is to throw food at it. Not literally but figuratively. You moved? Had a death in your family? New baby? Generally speaking an awful week? Birthday? Anniversary? I’m there with food in hand.

On delivering dinner

Over the years I feel I have become a bit of an expert on what to take to people. There are a few things I try to take into consideration:

1. I never make anything for a someone I wouldn’t feed my family. Good food but also good for you (well besides the cookies maybe). This means whole grains, locally sourced meats, as much organic produce as I can afford, little or no refined oils

2. Aim to include veggies. So often I feel when people drop off dinner the dishes are rich and calorie laden. I always pick main dishes that are chocked full of veggies.

3. Include something for breakfast. Ages ago I read a post about delivering dinner to a new mom and it suggested to take breakfast foods along with the dinner. I tend to make something like muffins or scones for an easy next day breakfast.

4. If you can just bring along some plain fresh fruit- apples, watermelon, grapes, strawberries. you know- whatever is in season. When we are in the midst of a life changing event I don’t think we tend to eat well. Wash and cut up the fruit for easy, mindless snacking.

5. Always ALWAYS ask about allergies, aversions, preferences before deciding on your menu. I don’t like blue cheese but you wouldn’t know that unless you asked. Or know me well.

6. Don’t break the bank. The reason I have such a deep repertoire of recipes is I cook and deliver based on what is in season, on sale, or on hand. Most meals I deliver cost me less than $10 to make. The entire meal- fruit, breakfast, and entree.

7. Only deliver on dishes and in tupperware you don’t want or need back. The last thing these people need is to keep track of your stuff. Make sure they know they don’t need to wash or return anything.

Do you ever make and deliver food to friends and family? This little blog has a long list of recipes that are perfect for delivery. Here is a list of my favorites:

Casseroles:

Black bean and spinach enchiladas

Black bean and spinach enchiladas– Healthy and hearty. I actually delivered this to a new mama yesterday.

lighter tuna noodle casserole

Tuna noodle casserole– First reference #5 above. Not everyone loves tuna casserole BUT if they do this lighter version is packed full of veggies and is sure to please!

chicken or turkey biscuit pot pie

Chicken or turkey biscuit pot pie– A twist on pot pie that is a bit quicker to prepare. Still a showstopper and again loaded with veg.

Baked penne bolognese

Baked penne with bolognese– This dish packs a veggie punch without you realizing it. Plus there isn’t anything out there as hearty or heartwarming as homemade pasta sauce.

Baked mac and cheese

Baked mac and cheese– This recipe offers two ways to make it- both with veggies! And who doesn’t love homemade mac and cheese? Fascists that’s who.

Easy to reheat dinner:

Easy veggie curry

Easy veggie curry– Perfect vegan or vegetarian dish. Make brown rice for an extra hearty fiber punch.

Lentils, sausage and swiss chard

Lentils, sausage and swiss chard– Yes this sounds a bit unusual but make it and I promise the recipient will be impressed. This basic dish has so much flavor.

Soups:

Broccoli cheese soup

Broccoli cheese soup– Loads of veggies in this lighter version of an all around classic. Be sure to include bread for dipping!

Beef barley stew

Beef barley stew– Veggies, meat, barley. Yum. Stick to your ribs soul food.

Saffron chicken veggie soup

Saffron chicken veggie soup– Did you know saffron is a mood booster? Ideal dish if someone if having a particularly hard time.

Leek and potato soup

Leek and potato soup– One of our standby faves for weeknight dinner. Simple mild soup made with nourishing chicken or veggie broth. A must make for anyone recovering from illness.

Sweet potato quinoa chili

Sweet potato quinoa chili– Another great recipe for the vegetarian or vegan. Be sure to make cornbread (suggested recipe below).

Breakfasts:

Banana bread

Banana bread– Does this really need an explanation? A classic favorite.

Cranberry orange muffins

Cranberry orange muffins– Perfect around the holiday season or if you have frozen cranberries lurking in your freezer.

Homemade granola

Homemade granola version one or version two– Cereal lovingly made by someone else is always a welcome treat.

blueberry-muffins

Blueberry muffins– I make this recipe so often I have it memorized. First time I made them was to deliver to a friend at the hospital right after she had her baby.

Sides (to go with soups or casseroles!):

Brown butter rosemary cornbread

Brown butter rosemary cornbread– I think this would go great with the sweet potato quinoa chili. Just sayin.

Artisan bread

Artisan bread– This bread is no effort at all on your part and is a stunner. Sure beats spending $5 on a loaf at the store.

Cheddar scallion drop biscuits

Cheddar scallion drop biscuits– Ridiculously cheesy and flavorful biscuits. Goes great with the saffron veggies soup.

 

I hope this has given you some ideas and inspiration. What are your favorite recipes to deliver?

 

 

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Sorry things are quiet around here. It has been a sad week as my father-in-law passed away peacefully on Sunday morning. This will be the only post this week as we are slowing the pace of life way down and spending time with loved ones. See you next week.

This was yet another case of starting to follow a recipe, realizing it wasn’t going to turn out the way I wanted, and improvising (AKA throwing things in the pot).

A lighter version of broccoli cheese soup

It was so incredibly good. Healthy? Eh. I can’t decide. It is a lot of veggies and when you divide all the cream and cheese between each serving I don’t think it is THAT bad for you. I feel my adaptation of it is infinitely healthier than the cream laden version I based this recipe off of.

The best part? It is incredibly comforting. Hearty food that feeds your soul as well as your tummy. Exactly what we are needing these days.

A lighter version of broccoli cheese soup

Broccoli Cheese Soup (makes 6 servings)

1 onion,diced
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 cup half-and-half
3 cups chicken broth
3 bunches of broccoli cut into florets
3 cups grated cheese (I used white cheddar)
Salt and pepper

Melt butter in a pot over medium heat, then add the onions. Cook the onions for 3 to 4 minutes till translucent, then sprinkle the flour over the top. Whisk to combine and cook for 1 minute or so, then pour in milk and half-and-half whisking all the while. Add the broccoli, chicken stock, a small dash of salt, and plenty of black pepper. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Stir in cheese and allow to melt.

Taste seasonings and adjust if needed. Puree well either in a blender or with your immersion blender. Serve with more cheese sprinkled on top.

A lighter version of broccoli cheese soup

Beef Barley Stew

I’m have been in a bit of a cooking rut. I went a week without cooking anything interesting. Nathan is juice fasting again so I am cooking for just Little and me. We are eating a lot of sweet potatoes, zucchini and sausage. Well, I should say I am. Little will eat the sausage and zucchini.

Beef Barley Stew- easy, healthy and frugal.

There are two main reasons I have been stuck in this rut. First I have gone to all cash spending for our everyday expenses, including groceries. I am trying to cut my day to day spending and man has it worked. It was incredible how much money I was spending on food. I’m buying much more simply these days and cooking from my pantry and freezer as much as possible. I have not been reading as many recipes because I don’t want to be tempted to blow my budget. I’m starting to get the hang of minimal spending so have no fear, I am finding more and more room in my budget these days. Exciting cooking will continue I promise.

Secondly, Little is getting picky. I try my hardest to get fruits and veggies in him everyday but I hate spending an hour making dinner for us only to have him throw it on the floor. He is quite happy to just eat zucchini or avocado or pear or anything equally simple. I eat a lot of leftovers.

Beef Barley Stew- easy, healthy and frugal.

One way the monotony around here gets broken is when I have company over for dinner. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday we always have people over. Sundays my brother in law and sister are over. Monday it is just my sister and Tuesdays it a “y’all come” for pizza. I was so sick of eating the same thing over and over again so I promised my sister, Tiffany, that I would make something interesting AND healthy this past Monday. Mercifully my Rachael Ray magazine had just arrived. It took me all of 30 seconds to spot this recipe. The best part? I had all the ingredients except for the beef stock and pearl barley on hand. Something interesting, healthy, and doesn’t ruin my budget?!? Win!

As if all that weren’t enough to make this recipe perfect it comes together in a flash. It is kind of a throw things in a pot sort of situation then wait an hour and then chow down. Oh, and it is even better the next day. I bet it would freeze beautifully.

Enjoy.

Beef Barley Stew- easy, healthy and frugal.

Beef Barley Stew (makes 6+ servings)
adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray

1 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14 1/2 ounce can  diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon oregano
4 cups beef broth
2-4 cups of water
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
3 ribs celery, sliced
1/2 cup pearl barley
1 can green beans drained
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper

In a large saucepan, cook the ground beef over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it starts to brown. Stir in the onion and garlic, lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is well browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and oregano and bring to a simmer over high heat. Stir in the broth, water, carrots, celery and barley and return to a simmer. Lower the heat and cook until the barley is very tender, about 1 hour. About 15 minutes before the soup is finished add the green beans. Stir in the parsley; season with salt and pepper.

Beef Barley Stew- easy, healthy and frugal.

Lentil Pumpkin Curry

I absolutely love curry. I don’t know why I don’t make it more often. It is one of those great foods that the recipe always seems to make alot and is always better leftover.

I wish I was better at making curries. Often I find myself with a curry spice mix hoping and praying it all turns out ok. I don’t know why I am so terribly intimidated by Indian cooking. Perhaps it is the laundry list of spices often needed for just one dish. I need to work on this irrational fear. This simple lentil curry seemed like a great place to start.

Lentil pumpkin curry

Lentils are very classic in Indian cuisine. Indian dishes cooked with lentils are called dahl. There is such a wide variety of recipes out there for dahl. While this particular dish wasn’t classified as such I feel it fits the bill. Dahls don’t always have curry in them but often do. I appreciate the addition of pumpkin and coconut milk in this particular dahl. The coconut milk adds a richness and the pumpkin gives it a great meaty/earthy texture. And the apples. It has apples. They add a hint of sweetness and texture.

To make this even better I love how hearty and healthy this recipe feels. In my mind all these ingredients are not only tasty but good for you. I was so hoping that Little would enjoy this too but he was having none of it. In his defense I don’t think he was feeling well but still… Could we please live in a world where toddlers eat what they are served? Particularly when it is tasty and healthy? Oh well.

Let me know how this turns out for you. It is a lovely well rounded, easy breezy dish that warms up your house and tummy on these post daylight savings time evenings.

Lentil pumpkin curry

Lentil Pumpkin Curry (serves 4-6)
(adapted from Yummy Mummy)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 small apple, chopped
1 quart vegetable/chicken broth
1 can pure pumpkin
2 teaspoons mild curry powder (can add more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 large pinch red pepper flakes (can add more to taste)
1 1/2 cups dried red lentils
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
plain Greek yogurt or sour cream for garnish

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute until beginning to soften. Add the apple, and continue to saute until both the apple and onion are tender. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Whisk in pumpkin, curry, cinnamon, nutmeg and red pepper flakes. Stir in lentils and coconut milk. Simmer over low heat for 30-40 minutes until thickened and lentils are soft. Adjust spices to taste. Serve in bowls and garnish with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream.

Lentil pumpkin curry