Saturday, January 15, 2011

Curried Lentils with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

This past Friday, my husband. had a pretty traumatic experience at the dentists' office.  They were working on a tooth, and discovered that a simple filling wouldn't do, but that he needed a root canal.  5 pricks to the gums, and three hours of prodding with metal picks and drills later, he was in a fragile state to say the least.  The worst part is that they couldn't finish in one swoop.  He's scheduled back for round two next Friday. Any who, he needs to eat soft meals because he has some soreness and pain.  I pureed this dish for him and he was able to eat it without a problem.  Plus it has a ton of sustenance- the lentils are packed with protein and fiber, the sweet potatoes are filled with beta carotene and a great source of vitamin c.  Also, the turmeric in some curry powders is also an anti-inflammatory- perfect for his current condition. Oh yeah, this is also a vegetarian dish too that's loaded with tons of veggies.  Hurray for veggies in our diet!

1 bag brown lentils
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 large onion
6 garlic cloves
1/2 a small red pepper
2 celery stalks
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. curry powder
1 tbsp. sweet smoked paprika
1 lemon (juiced)
4 tbsp. olive oil (plus more for drizzling over at the end)
1 bunch green onions
2 cups fresh chopped spinach
2 large sweet potatoes
1 tbsp. honey
salt to taste

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.  Peel the sweet potatoes and cube them into large chunks.  Place the pieces on a non-stick baking sheet and  drizzle them with two of the tablespoons of olive oil.  Coat the sweet potato chunks with the oil and bake in the oven until they're tender and begin browning a bit.  While the sweet potatoes are baking, begin making the lentils.  Wash the lentils well under running water and drain.  Transfer them to a pressure cooker with the vegetable or chicken stock and sprigs of thyme.  Let the lentils cook on medium-heat high heat until they're tender, about 25 minutes.   While the they cook, begin finely chopping the onion, celery, red pepper, and the garlic, reserving two garlic cloves for later.  Add two tbsp. of olive oil to a non-stick pot, turn up the heat to medium-high and transfer the the onions, garlic, celery and bay leaf to the pot.  Saute until the veggies become tender.  Add the curry powder and paprika to the vegetables and blend well.  The lentils should be getting close to done by now.  Once they're tender transfer them into the pot with the onions, garlic, celery and spices.  Add salt and taste to make sure they're seasoned to your liking.  Now would be a good time to gauge if you'd like more curry flavor to the dish too.  Blend everything well.   Chop the spinach and green onions and transfer into the lentils.  Squeeze the lemon juice, and add the honey and grate the remaining garlic cloves into the lentils and combine really well.  Check on the sweet potatoes and remove once they're nice and golden brown on the outside and soft and tender on the inside.  Serve the lentils into a bowl, top with some roasted sweet potatoes and drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil.


Carolyn said...

Looks WONDERFUL! I'm a huge fan of lentils and anxious to try this. Sure hope "B" is feeling better :) I've had several root canals and feel his pain.

Jenna said...

I love lentils pretty much any way, and this way looks delicious! The root canal sounds like a nightmare--I remember being miserable when I had my wisdom teeth out years ago. Eating was a challenge for a few days.

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