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Red Curry Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach & more

    Feels like spring is here, the blossoms are blooming. However, the spring vegetables have not yet arrived. So today we used mostly winter greens (spinach and chard) in our Indian and Thai inspired recipes we made this past Saturday. I made some Roasted Vegetable Stock before class as I needed stock for the recipes. I prefer this to store bought vegetable stocks, as I find themto be quite bitter. That said, if don’t have time to make stock and are keeping the meal vegetarian, feel free to use them.

    Roasted Vegetable Stock

    This list of ingredients can vary widely so use what you have in your fridge. If you enjoy Parmesan cheese, save the rind and pop it into the stock.

    4 carrots, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
    2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4 inch slices
    2 onions, cut
    6 cloves garlic
    1 large leek, sliced
    1 sliced celery root
    1/2 pound Cremini mushrooms (or any… except the white button mushrooms)
    1 bunch parsley, coarsely chopped parsley
    4 sprigs fresh thyme
    1/2 tsp fennel seeds
    1/2 tsp peppercorns
    2 t salt

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees
    Place the carrots, celery, onions. garlic, leek, celery root, mushrooms on a baking sheet or roasting pan.
    Add olive oil, toss, and roast in the oven, stirring a couple of times, for about 40 minutes.
    Strain into pot, pressing out as much liquid as possible.

    * We fished out the mushrooms which we sliced and put into the Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric. They were delicious!

    Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric

    4 garlic cloves, chopped
    1 large yellow onion, chopped
    1, 2-inch piece of ginger, chopped
    2 tsp turmeric
    1 tsp red pepper flakes
    2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    1 can full fat coconut milk
    2 cups stock (we used vegetable stock, but you can use chicken stock if you like)
    1 bunch red chard, chopped, including stems

    Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add garlic, onion, ginger. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes.

    Add turmeric, 1 tsp red pepper lakes and chickpeas, salt and pepper. Stir so that the chickpeas sizzle and fry a bit in the spiced and oil for about 10 minutes.

    Using a wooden spoon, further crush some of the chickpeas to release their starchy insides. Add coconut milk and stock and cook until thickened, about 30 minutes.

    Add greens and stir, making sure they are submerged. Season with salt and pepper. Add more red pepper flakes, if desired!

    Red Curry Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach

    This is inspired by Indian dal, as the lentils are cooked with an aromatic blend of Thai spices – fresh ginger, turmeric, and red curry paste, a newly introduced ingredient for the class. And you seemed to love it! I sautéed and browned the sweet potatoes before cooking them with the lentils. This brings out their sweetness.

    1 cup lentils
    2 Tbsp olive oil
    2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
    1 medium onion, chopped
    2 tsp red curry pasted
    2 garlic cloves, chopped
    1, 1-inch piece of fresh ginger
    1 tsp turmeric
    4 cups stock
    1 can full-fat coconut milk
    1 to 2 tsp salt

    In a heavy pot heat olive oil. Add sweet potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, around 7 minutes.

    Add onion and cook until translucent. add curry paste, garlic, ginger and turmeric. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
    Add lentils, stock and salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the lentils are soft, about 20 minutes.
    Add coconut milk and cook another 15 minutes.
    Add the spinach and stir until just wilted, about 3 minutes.

    YUM! This was our favorite of the day.

    Thank you all for continuing to come to our class. It’s a great time for socializing and for learning a little something. Send me your questions about the recipes and let me know if you try any them. Our next next class is Saturday March 28th. Hope to see you there!

    Chef Poppy