Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Meatless Monday...a day or two late

I used to be a vegetarian. Actually, that's a lie. I was a Mainer. I ate fish, and seafood. Though, not copious amounts of lobster as non-Mainers seem to think we do, but enough to qualify me as a non-vegetarian. They call -those- types of vegetarians, pescetarians. (Actually,I'm lying again, because if we want to get REALLY technical, I was an ovo-lacto pescetarian, which is apparently an important distinction to some vegetarians/vegans when saying you're of that dietary preference to them...but that's another story entirely)

When I moved to Wisconsin all that ovo-lacto pescetarianism went right out the window. I blame bacon. Tasty, tasty bacon. What the hell Wisconsin? I can walk into a bar and order a basket of bacon?!? Why...I mean..who...I...what happened to just ordering french fries, people?!?!?

Yeah, I wasn't kidding- It's a real thing

Ugh, my poor arteries clog just LOOKING at that photo. So in an effort to help my poor, poor clogged arteries, I instituted meatless Monday's in my household.

The nice thing about Meatless Monday, is that when cooking for two people, you often have several days worth of leftovers, so it becomes Meatless Tuesday and Wednesday as well, therefore continuing the healthy food streak for days.

Today's recipe is delicious Red Lentil Coconut Soup adapted from Scaling Back

  • 2 cups red split lentils
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 fresh jalapeno or serrano chili, finely chopped, including seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 can unsweetened light coconut milk
  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • lime wedges for serving
1) Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a dutch oven or large soup pan and add the onions, bell pepper and jalapeno and cook for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables have softened and start to take on some color.  
2) Add the garlic, ginger, spices and tomato paste and continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes until the mixture is toasty and fragrant.  
3) Add the water, coconut milk, lentils and chickpeas and cook uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes adding the lime juice at the end of cooking.  
4) Taste and adjust with more salt or more lime juice if desired.  
5) Serve with some extra limes on the side.

Changes/Adaptations- The original recipe called for cilantro. I completely omitted this ingredient because cilantro is the devil. Feel free to add it back in if you would like to (it's a garnish with the lime at the end).  I doubled both the onion and the red pepper as this my second time making it and I was disappointed the first time at how little the pepper was showcased in the soup. Two bell peppers was perfect. I also added a second jalepeno for an extra kick of spice. The end result was amazing!


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