When I was kid, my parents didn’t sneak vegetables into my meals, per se. (Though, my step mom did occasionally “hide” Brussels sprouts under a blanket of Velveeta cheese.) Rather, it seemed like they picked the vegetables they knew the kids would eat. BROCCOLI. POTATOES. POTATOES. POTATOES. This worked out well for me, because as a kid I hated most cooked vegetables, including green peppers, tomatoes, and CARROTS. Oh, how I loathed the mushy cooked carrot.
This dal recipe has three cups of minced carrots and ten ounces (two regular-sized bags) of spinach (or more, if you like). While the spinach is discernible, the carrots blend right in with the lentils and you forget they’re even there. Hallelujah. This lentil dal is a very healthy dish, yet hearty and satisfying. I’ve made if many times over the last several months, and finally made the effort to write down the ingredients on the last batch. This recipe is forgiving — add as little or as much of the seasonings as you like. Extra veggies always welcome.
Lentil Dal with Spinach and Carrots
Adapted from Oh She Glows Golden Red Lentil Dal with Cilantro-Speckled Basmati
(Serves 8 and freezes wonderfully)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
3 cups minced carrots*
1 tbsp curry powder (hot or regular)
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground turmeric
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1.5 cups red lentils
1 can light coconut milk
4 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
10 ounces baby spinach
In a large pot, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onion. Reduce heat to medium, sauté until soft. Add garlic and ginger, sauté one minute more. Add carrots, cook until they begin to soften.
Add all seasonings (curry through black pepper). Stir to combine. Add lentils, coconut milk, and broth. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until lentils are soft (about 20 minutes).
Remove from heat. Stir in spinach. Adjust seasonings to taste (as desired).
*TIP: rather than chopping the carrots by hand, use a food processor to mince them up into little bits.