Tonight, Will picked some recipes that were a little more complicated than usual, so he called me in for the assist! He had consulted our dear friend Beth at Budget Bytes (we don’t actually know her but we love her) and we were preparing ourselves for an Indian feast of naan bread, coconut lentils, and Indian style creamed spinach. We teamed up for the naan bread (per usual) and then Will put me in charge of the lentils, the easier of the two dishes (thank goodness). So I took a cup of red lentils, a half a clove of chopped garlic, some tumeric, salt, a half can of coconut milk, and water, put it all in a pot, and boiled it. Twenty minutes and a few stirs later, my portion of dinner was ready.
Will, however, needed more assistance than me helping with naan AND making the lentils. Top chef himself needed an extra set of eyes for his creamed spinach recipe. The spinach was boiling in one pot and the onions/tomatoes/etc is what needed to be watched while Will pulsed (not pureed) the spinach. Once it was all mixed in together though, he was back in charge putting on the last few touches before serving the food!
We took Beth’s advice to eat the lentils and spinach with naan bread which could not have worked out better! Both dishes were amazing and we have plenty of leftovers for the next couple days, which we definitely need since we spent the majority of our food budget on the Irish dinner last weekend!! Look here to find our naan bread.
Coconut Lentils (adapted from Budget Bytes; serves 4)
1 lb. red lentils
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 15 oz. can light coconut milk
1 1/2 cups water
Place the lentils in a medium pot and gently rinse 2-3 times or until water runs clear. Drain as much water out after the last rinse, as possible.
Mince the garlic and add it to the pot along with the salt, turmeric, coconut milk, and 1 1/2 cups of water. Give it a gentle stir to make sure everything is mixed. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat, covering with a lid. Once it’s boiling, remove the lid and let it boil gently for about 20 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. When most of the liquid is absorbed, turn off the heat and let it sit for about 5 minutes to continue absorbing. Taste and season with more salt if desired, then serve.
Recipe: Budget Bytes: Coconut Lentils
Indian Style Creamed Spinach (adapted from Budget Bytes; serves 4)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion
2 inches fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz. fresh baby spinach
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 large tomato
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup evaporated milk
Add the olive oil and two cloves of minced garlic to a large skillet. Peel and grate both the onion and ginger straight into the skillet. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until softened. While the onion, ginger and garlic are cooking, place the spinach in a large pot along with one cup of water and 1/2 tsp of sugar. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and cook until the spinach is tender (about 5 minutes). Turn the heat off and allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor or blender and pulse a few times to break up the spinach, but do not puree it.
After the onion, garlic, and ginger have softened, add the cumin, garam masala, and cayenne. Stir and cook for about 3 minutes more. Dice the tomato and add it to the skillet. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes more or until the tomato has broken down. Stir the evaporated milk into the skillet. Add the turmeric and salt. Stir and heat through. Add the cooked and blended spinach along with all of the liquid. Stir, taste, and add more salt if desired. Serve hot with bread for dipping.
Recipe: Budget Bytes: Indian Style Creamed Spinach