Monday, April 26, 2010

Curried Red Lentils and Collards

Our Monday night dinner was some curried red lentils, a whole grain roll, and salad.  This sort of thing is a pretty typical dinner in our house because it's quick and quite filling. My significant other can be a picky eater sometimes, but I'll give him this: he loves leafy greens and legumes. So when I keep it simple, it's pretty easy to get a healthy meal into him. We love collards both raw and cooked, so I often use them as an ingredient in a mixed green salad. This time, we had them both ways:  in the salad as well as some lightly sauteed to top the lentils.

This is really basic food, and  of course is very flexible and easy to adjust to varying is an approximate recipe of  what I threw it together...

Makes roughly 6 servings:

3 cups dry red lentils
3 carrots, diced fine
3 celery ribs, chopped fine
1 large onion, diced fine
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
handful fresh parsley, finely chopped (~ 1 cup chopped)
1 generous tablespoon tomato paste
8 - 10 cups veggie broth, or water, or some combo thereof (amount depends on whether you like it soupy or stew-like)
2 bay leaves
pinch of red chili flakes
1 teaspoon dry ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 generous tablespoon of  your preferred curry powder(or more to taste)
a bit of oil or water for sauteeing
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups fresh collards, cut chiffonade style
toasted cumin seeds

Sweat off the red chili flakes, onion, garlic, carrot, celery, parsley, and bay leaves in a little oil or water until it becomes a little tender, add in the cumin, coriander, and curry and continue to saute for another couple of minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Add the red lentils and water/veggie broth, bring to a simmer and then reduce heat and allow to simmer gently for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding water/broth as necessary to create the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with some lightly sauteed collards and toasted cumin seeds.

A squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some diced fresh tomatoes would be nice additions too.

Have a happy week everyone.


  1. Rose,

    Sounds great to me! I don't often think to buy collards. Thank you so much for reminding me to pick some up.

    BTW, lovely photo. I also love your flowers. Are they from your garden?


  2. Alicia,

    It was a really simple meal, but for some reason, tasted so good last night, I had to blog it...yes the flowers are from the garden.

  3. This is my perfect kind of meal. Great combination of some of my favorite things- red lentils and collards. I must try this.
    You are so lucky your hubby eats well, wish mine did. Maybe someday...

  4. Janet,

    I have a ways to go with my hubby too, but he does have some healthy propensities. And having said that, I'm not always Mrs. Healthy either, but I do my best.

  5. Rose, I'd be up for dinner at your house ANY night! Are reservations required? :-) We love simple yet hearty meals like this and have them often. Like Ali, I rarely buy fresh collard greens - I rarely SEE fresh collard greens around here. But I love collards, and buy them frozen a lot to enjoy in soups. I'll keep my beady eyes peeled for fresh ones again this summer.

    Your flowers are beautiful!

  6. Laloofah,

    You're too sweet; you're invited ANY time as well.

  7. This looks like a very nice plate of food...and flowers!!!!

  8. Thanks HayMarket,

    It was really delicious, maybe it was a function of how hungry we were, but sometimes simple is best.

  9. Looks fantastic. An anti-oxidant bonanza!

  10. Thanks SV,

    I love collards and they are very palatable raw too.

  11. Oh, Rose, you take such beautiful photos. Whenever mine turn out especially nice, I think it's pure luck. We eat many, many similarly simple dishes around here, too. My husband actually prefers simplicity to my attempts at gourmet. Everything looks great!

  12. Blessed Mama,

    Thank you. My husband is the same; he prefers simple meals to any of the fancier ones. He says they come out of the kitchen quicker and taste better.

  13. Yes, he wonders why I would spend two hours making something that he's going to practically swallow whole in five minutes. Sigh.

  14. Rose,
    i really need to try collard greens. yours looks good, also those rolls looks so hearty and delish, and im not even a bread person but i saw those and wanted them right away!


  15. Michelle and Lilly,

    The rolls were good; I bought them at my local co-op, so i'm not sure whether they are available in other states...but I'll check.


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