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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Singapore Spice Lentils and Vegetables

I return, with no good excuses, but a good recipe! I have to say, I just haven't been making anything all that interesting or trying out many new recipes since the beginning of the summer. Sure there has been the fabulous wedding recipe/Katie's birthday chia spice cupcakes with cinnamon buttercream icing, and some really amazing almost accidental spiced molasses cookies at Christmas (you HAVE to try this recipe!), but the camera didn't make it out for those. Really, many other things have been keeping me occupied and eating new and interesting and photogenic food has fallen a bit by the wayside (along with nutrition, to a degree, causing an, um, slight ill-fitting of a lot of my clothing...). But one of my resolutions this year is to blog on here at least once a week, and I'm actually pretty good at keeping my resolutions. So I start this new year (albeit a few weeks late) with an actual real live recipe!

My parents have the good fortune of living less than a quarter mile from one of the few Penzeys Spices stores. This place is amazing...you can smell it from down the street and it is like entering a cook's heaven just walking in the door. Many many spices and blends, including a lot of things I've never seen anywhere else. I mean, they have five kinds of cinnamon! So, we go there a lot when we visit but when Katie and I headed down to Boston for New Years to spend a late Christmas, we were gifted with a whole lot of Penzeys things, most of them stuff we hadn't tried before. One was a packet of Singapore seasoning, which Penzeys describes as "the best of both East and West to produce a flavorful all-purpose Southeast Asian mix." It is basically a mild, sweet lemon pepper curry and one sniff just begged for lentils and coconut. So here you go, Singapore Spice :Lentils and Vegetables. If you aren't lucky enough to have access to a Penzeys and don't want to mail-order some, I'd try mixing 1/3 lemon pepper with the good sweet curry like garam masala or something similar, but Penzeys also has the ingredients, sans proportions, for all their spice blends on their site.

Singapore Spice Lentils and Vegetables

1 1/4 c dry red lentils
2 tbsp Penzeys Singapore Spice seasoning
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp or to taste red pepper flakes
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch or so peeled grated fresh ginger
2 carrots, sliced thinly
3-4 cups other vegetables of choice (I used spinach, peas and a frozen tri-color pepper blend)
1 cup lite coconut milk, or, if one is following an Eat to Live-style low fat diet or just trying to cut down the calories, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk and 1/8 tsp coconut flavoring works almost as well
salt or Bragg's Liquid Aminos to taste

In a large, deep, lidded skillet, saute the onions in a bit of cooking spray and water over medium heat until they begin to soften. Add garlic and carrots and saute for a few more minutes. Add ginger, lentils and dry spices. Toss to coat. Add enough water to cover plus about 1/4 inch and let come a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Let simmer 10 to 15 minutes, adding additional water if necessary (I never time lentils, just check them occasionally), until the lentils are almost cooked. Add coconut milk (or flavored almond milk) and remaining veggies, plus an addition 1/2 of water if necessary. Bring back up to a boil, reduve heat again and cover, allowing to cook until the veggies are soft and the lentils are cooked through. Remove from heat, taste and add salt or Bragg's as necessary. Let sit 10-15 minutes for the flavors to mellow a bit (we ate it right away and the first helping seemed a bit too lemony but the second was perfect). Serve dressed with some chopped cilantro and/or fresh scallions (neither of which we had).

Makes 5-6 servings.

I just realized that next week, I may not be able to blog, as the computer has to go back to Dell for a few days to a week to fix the DVD drive. But I will get back on again as soon as I can, I swear

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At 6:39 PM, Anonymous Wheeler's Crew said...

This looks delish! Keep up the good work

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Delicious recipe, my family loved it and especially my daughter who loves the variety of species in the food!

At 12:46 AM, Anonymous John said...


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