Cauliflower & Red Lentil Curry

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From EatingWell:  September/October 1993

Red lentils turn yellow when cooked and dissolve, giving the curry a nice, thick quality.  I used about 3/4 cup of lentils instead of a half-cup to enhance the stew-like meatiness.  Also, I upped the curry powder to a tablespoon (I like it hot!) and substituted a little honey for sugar.   You can serve the curry over rice if you like.  Me, I just eat it plain!

4 servings | Active Time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder, preferably Madras
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped, or one 14-oz. can tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 4 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Preparation

  1. Combine lentils, onions, curry powder, salt, turmeric and water in a large saucepan over low heat; bring to a simmer.  Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are soft and the sauce has thickened, about 45 minutes.  Add tomatoes, cauliflower and jalapeno peppers and simmer, covered, until the cauliflower is tender, 8 to 10 minutes longer.  Remove from heat.
  2. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat.  Add cumin seeds and cook for about 10 seconds.  Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, until the garlic is lightly browned, about 1 minute.  Stir in cayenne and immediately add the oil-spice mixture to the cauliflower mixture.  Stir in lemon juice, cilantro and sugar.  Taste and adjust seasonings with additional salt and cayenne.

Nutrition

Per serving : 184 Calories; 5 g Fat; 0 g Sat; 2 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 28 g Carbohydrates; 10 g Protein; 8 g Fiber; 335 mg Sodium; 812 mg Potassium

Week 9: Getting My Mojo Back!

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Where have I been the last six weeks?  Seems like  here, there and everywhere.  Not that it’s been terrible, mind you.  You can’t really complain when you’re flitting about to places like San Francisco, LA, San Juan and DC.  (You could grouse a bit about Cleveland, Ohio,  but it was my own idea to go there for work, so I can’t.)

The point is that I haven’t had much of a routine lately.

Which is a roundabout way of saying that I have strayed from my mission.  You know, the whole losing 30 by 50 thing?

Which is why I am where I am today: 181.5 pounds.  That’s a full 4 pounds over what I weighed three weeks ago, when I was 177.5.  So my net loss after nine weeks is only 3.5 pounds.  Not very impressive. 

Not that I am surprised, given what I’ve been doing — and not doing — lately.

And yet, I have to tell you that I am not discouraged either.  Now that I am back home, with no looming travel obligations, I am psyched to be in my routine again. 

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Recipe: Not Your Usual Ratatouille

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 This is from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters.  What makes this ratatouille different is the cauliflower, which adds crunch to this very healthy dish.  At Bittman’s suggestion, I threw in a can of drained cannelini beans for a bit more protein and heft.  It was yummy with the sole I made for dinner last night (another Bittman recipe from another book), but even better today for lunch with a bowl of soup.  Note:  I found it difficult to cook all the vegetables properly with only a quarter of a cup of oil, so I added some chicken broth.  You could add any broth or even some dry white wine if you like.
Not Your Usual Ratatouille
Makes:  4 to 6 servings

Time:  @ 30 minutes

  • 1 medium or 2 small eggplants (about 8 ounces)
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil leaves for garnish
  • Good vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice, optional

1.  Trim the eggplant and cut into large cubes.  If the eggplant is big, soft, or especially seedy, sprinke the cubes with salt, put them in a collander, and let them sit for at least 30 minutes, preferably 60.  (This will help improve their flavor, but isn’t necessary if you don’t have time.)  Then rinse, drain, and pat dry.

2.  Put 2 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  When hot, add the eggplant, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.

3.  Put the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the pan and add the cauliflower.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until it loses its crunch, about 4 minutes.  Add the onion, garlic, and red pepper and cook and stir for another minute or two, until they’re soft.  Add the tomato and thyme and cook for another minute, until the tomatoes release their juice.  Return the eggplant to the pan, along with basil leaves.  Give it a good stir, taste and adjust for seasoning, and serve hot or at room temperature, with vinegar or lemon.  The ratatouille will keep for a couple of days, covered and refrigerated.

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