I’ve been sick. The flu finally had it’s way with me, and I thought, F-that! I decided to take action and kick the flu’s butt! I was downing copious amounts of water and various ginger-green-honey-hippy-teas, drinking fruit smoothies, eating lots of raw veggies, taking vitamins, spiking everything with garlic and poppin’ echinacea like it ain’t no thing. To be honest, the first couple of days I was too much of a sook and just felt too miserable to leave the couch, but then I knew I had to start moving, and this dish was one thing that I knew would make me feel oh so better.
I call it Spinach Lentil Awesometown because: a) I’m ridiculous and b) it’s awesome and makes you feel spot on. It’s super simple and can be presented almost as a stew, served over rice, or as a dip. You could also probably use it as a pasta sauce. It’s simple, warms up your belly and heats you up from the inside out. It has a bit of a kick to it, and is just a lovely and versatile dish. PLUS it makes you forget about the stupid cold! Try it and tell me what you think!
Spinach Lentil Awesometown Recipe
-Measure out 1c of dry Red Lentils. Put them in a mesh strainer and rinse well.
*Dried lentils and beans are notorious for having random debris in them, so rinse well and pick out any funny lookin ones or small rocks or whatever you may find.
-Put your rinsed lentils in a pot along with 2 1/2c cold water. Turn heat on high and bring to a boil. Once they reach the bubbly boil, give them a stir, turn your stove down to low and cover. Let them simmer for approx. 20 minutes (set a timer!), giving them a stir every now and then to prevent burning (don’t stir too often as it’ll slow down your cooking time as you let the steam escape. But hey, adding a few minutes isn’t that big of a deal!)
-As your lentils are boiling, mince 3 cloves of fresh garlic. With a little bit of oil, sautee in a frying pan over medium heat along with 1 small minced onion. Cook until onions are tender.
*If you’re using powdered garlic, use about 1tsp! If you want it more garlicy, feel free to add as per your taste. Also, if you hate onion (I don’t even understand this, but I know many of you aren’t fans), you can definitely omit it as I do often!
-Once your lentil timer has buzzed, add the cooked garlic and onions to the lentils along with 1tsp red chili pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Also add one drained 796ml/28oz can of diced tomatoes
*drain the tomatoes so that your dish isn’t super soupy. Sometimes I like to keep a little bit of the liquid in. Be sure to get salt-free tomatoes if possible. If you want it super thick, you can use one 15oz can of diced tomatoes, but keep the liquid in.
-Turn stove up to medium and bring to a slight boil again, stirring regularly for a couple of minutes. Once it’s heated through, add 2 tbsp lemon juice along with one or two heaping handfuls of washed spinach (I usually tear mine up a bit as well).
-Stir your greens in and turn your stove on a low simmer. Your spinach will wilt quickly, so stir every now and then for about 5-10 minutes, allowing your flavours to incorporate. It should be smooth in texture, but if you want to thicken it up you can simmer off some of the excess water if need be.
Serve hot on it’s own almost as a soup, but I like serving it over brown rice (we had it over brown basmati rice tonight.) It’s also really awesome as leftovers (it gets quite thick) and you can eat it as a dip with homemade pita chips or corn chips. The longer you can let this dish sit, the better, so feel free to make it a few hours in advance and just heat up to serve, or if you’re having it with rice, cook your spinach lentil awesometown first and then pick out some nice rice that may take a while to cook (use minute rice if you’re starving and want it quick!).
p.s Homemade Pita Chips
If you have some pitas or tortillas that are on their way to going stale (like croutons, a bit stale works best for these), you can make your own pita chips!
Super simple- much like the Kale Chippies recipe. take your pitas and rip them into smaller chunks- not too small, but something that can handle the weight of this hearty dip. Lightly brush the tops and bottoms of the pitas with a drop of oil, and lay flat on a baking sheet so that they do not overlap. Bake for 10 minutes in the oven at 350, take out, season (I like salt and pepper, or cayenne pepper. Garlic is nice too, or keep them plain!), and bake for another 10 minutes or so, depending on your oven. Take out and they should be crispy, crunchy and perfect for dippin!