I recently moved across the Atlantic Ocean and while awaiting delivery of all our worldly possessions neatly stacked in a container somewhere, I am culinarily armed only with an Instant Pot and one saucepan to cook in.
In addition, one sharp knife has to make-do for all of the prep and my measuring skills have adapted to this temporary (although it feels like a lifetime) lack of equipment. We have one bowl, one plate and a set of silverware each, and cups of coffee are sipped from the same cups as those from which the wine is imbibed.
Despite this new-found minimalism, the Zen lab is still fully open for recipe testing and this month, to honor Meg’s last fledgling Lucy flying the nest, it’s time to concentrate on some super tasty, inexpensive and wholesome recipes for those kids in college.
My fixation with French green lentils (Puy) isn’t new and in terms of texture these make a great case for replacing ground meat in a dish, an additional challenge in my house. With my own youngest little bird a self-proclaimed vegetarian since the age of 7, the mealtime planning ritual involves curating recipes with a vegetarian base which can easily be divided before the addition of any animal proteins.
So whether it’s a meat fix or a vegetarian feast you’re looking for, the base for this curry can be used for either. All topped off with a crunchy, toasted cashew nuts.
- 2 tbsp sunflower / olive oil
- 1 cup / 140g / 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 cup / 150g / 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup green lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 1 tbsp Madras style curry powder
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 cup cooked green beans or raw spinach
- 1/4 cup cashew nuts, toasted
- heat the oil in a skillet over a medium heat and add the carrot, onion, ginger and soften for 2-3 minutes
- transfer onion mixture to slow cooker
- add the tomato paste, lentils, curry powder, coconut milk
- stir, cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours or HIGH for 2 1/2 hours
“Love knows no boundaries when it’s crossing continents”