Spicy Red Lentil Stew with Coconut Milk & Spinach

This Indian stew was fast to prepare, loaded with spices and flavor, and was absolutely fabulous. What a combination! If that wasn’t enough, it was also a hearty vegetarian dish with a little bit of heat. All my favorites.

This recipe is from Milk Street: The New Home Cooking by Christopher Kimball. It is a simplified version of a classic Goan dish. I increased the amount of onion and served the stew with warm naan and chopped grape tomatoes on the side as an optional garnish.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 T coconut or peanut oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • kosher salt
  • 3 tsp finely grated fresh ginger, divided
  • 2 tsp yellow or brown mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp freshly ground fennel seeds
  • 3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 13.5 to 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 cup split red lentils, rinsed
  • 6 oz (about 6 cups) baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • juice of 1/2 to 1 lime
  • unsweetened coconut flakes, for garnish, optional
  • chopped tomatoes, for garnish, optional
  1. In a large saucepan over medium to medium-high, combine the onion, oil, garlic, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and are just beginning to color, 7 to 9 minutes.
  3. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the grated ginger, the mustard seed, turmeric, coriander, fennel, and red pepper flakes.
  4. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add the water, coconut milk, and lentils, then bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the lentils have broken down, about 30 to 40 minutes.
  7. Uncover and stir in the spinach; return to a simmer.
  8. Off the heat, add the remaining 1 teaspoon of grated ginger and the lime juice.
  9. Season with salt to taste.
  10. Serve, garnished with coconut flakes and chopped tomatoes, as desired.

Thai Corn Chowder

Okay! Enough about birthday celebrations. I have to get back to my soup posts. 😉

I love the flavor of coconut milk and Thai cuisine in general. This dish is a wonderful adaptation of Thai flavors in the form of a soup. The coconut milk base gave it subtle richness which balanced nicely with the lime juice, fresh herbs, and hot sauce.

This recipe was adapted from The Moosewood Restaurant Table: 250 Brand-New Recipes from the Natural Foods Restaurant that Revolutionized Eating in America from the Moosewood Collective. Fabulous!

Yield: about 8 cups

  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions (I used 1 large yellow onion)
  • 1 fresh hot pepper, minced and seeded for a milder “hot” or 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt, plus more as needed
  • 2 T peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1 pound potatoes, diced (I used teeny tiny white potatoes from Trader Joe’s)
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 3 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (16 oz (1 pound) bag frozen organic yellow corn)
  • 1 14-oz can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 T fresh lime juice, from 1/2 of one lime
  • 3 T fresh basil, chiffonade (Thai basil is bets, but Italian basil is fine too.)
  • hot pepper sauce or Chinese chili paste, optional
  • chopped fresh basil, cilantro, and/or mint, for garnish, optional
  1. Warm the oil in a soup pot on medium heat. (I used an enameled cast iron Dutch oven.)
  2. Add the onions and hot pepper/cayenne and cook for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the bell peppers and salt and cook, stirring often, until the vegetable soften, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add the ginger, potatoes, and stock. Cover and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are almost tender, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the corn, coconut milk, lime juice, and basil and remove from the heat.
  7. Using a slotted spoon, remove 2-3 cups of the strained vegetables from the pot.
  8. Using a blender or an immersion blender, puree the remaining ingredients, about half of the soup.
  9. Stir the whole vegetables back into the pot.
  10. Season with salt to taste, and, if you want it spicier, add some hot pepper sauce or Chinese chili paste.
  11. Garnish with lime, fresh basil, cilantro, and/or mint, if desired.

One Year Ago:

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Five Years Ago:

Roasted Radishes with Sauteed Greens

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I am proud to say that I use every edible morsel in my CSA share… or so I thought. I have never eaten my radish greens! This was a shocking realization for me- and upsetting now to know that I have been missing out on these delightful greens. Because I am the only radish fan in the house, I prepared this dish just for me! I ate it for dinner with a glass of wine- and enjoyed every bite. This dish was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Gerard Craft. I used coconut oil instead of olive oil. Nice.

  • 8 radishes with greens attached
  • 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 500° (on convection roast). Trim the radishes and wash the greens; pat dry.
  2. In an ovenproof skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the radishes, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the radishes for 15 minutes, until crisp-tender.
  3. Return the skillet to the burner and stir in the butter to coat the radishes. Add the radish greens and cook over moderate heat until they are wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and season with salt. Serve immediately.

One  Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Thai Green Curry with Chicken

IMG_0162

I love Thai curries. My go-to Thai takeout dish is ALWAYS red curry- so this was a nice change of pace. 🙂 This dish is a super-quick cook made with store-bought curry paste.

I adapted this Everyday Food recipe by using a combination of chicken meat, adding shallots, green peppers, and coconut oil, and by serving it over brown rice. It was a wonderful end-of-summer dish as it made use of my grill, garden basil, and CSA green beans and bell pepper, while also being the warm and filling meal perfect for a cool evening. Healthy, flavorful, and delicious!

Yield: Serves 4

  • 1 cup brown Basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 12 ounces (about 3 1/2 cups) green beans, stem ends removed, halved crosswise
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced large
  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 medium to large shallot, halved and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
  • 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast and 5 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) coconut milk (I used light coconut milk)
  • 1 cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Season the chicken meat with salt and pepper. Grill or broil the meat to cook. Cut into 1-inch pieces, set aside.
  2. Cook rice according to package instructions. (I cook 1 cup of rice in 2 cups of chicken stock for 30-40 minutes.)
  3. Meanwhile, place cornstarch in a small bowl; whisk in 2 to 3 tablespoons chicken stock until smooth (reserve remaining stock). Set aside.
  4. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium. Add onion and shallot; cook, tossing frequently, until they begin to soften, then add the green beans and bell pepper. Continue to cook until vegetables begin to soften as well, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Add curry paste to green beans and onion in skillet. Cook, stirring and scraping bottom of skillet, until paste is slightly darkened, 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Add chicken, coconut milk, cornstarch mixture, and reserved chicken broth. Simmer until vegetables are tender and sauce is slightly thickened, 5 to 8 minutes.
  7. Add basil and lime juice. Season with salt, and stir to combine; serve over rice.

One Year Ago:

Napa Cabbage Curry

This is the best cabbage dish I have ever made or eaten. It was quick, flavorful, and delicious. Everyone loved it! We ate it over brown basmati rice. This recipe was adapted from the New York Times article “Slawless,” contributed by Mark Bittman. I am looking forward to my next CSA cabbage to try some of the other ideas in the article. (Although it will be difficult not to just repeat this one….)

  • 1 small head of green cabbage or Napa cabbage, sliced crosswise into 1 to 2-inch thick ribbons
  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 T minced garlic (I used 5 cloves)
  • 1 T minced ginger
  • 1 T minced (seeded) jalapeño
  • 1-2 T coconut oil
  • 1 T sweet curry powder
  • 15-oz can light coconut milk
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • cilantro & lime, for garnish
  • brown basmati rice, for serving

  1. Saute the chicken thighs, onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeño in the coconut oil until browned.
  2. Add the cabbage leaves, curry powder, salt and pepper. Cover and cook until the cabbage wilts.
  3. After the cabbage has wilted, add the coconut milk. Simmer until the cabbage is tender and the sauce thickens.
  4. Adjust seasoning. Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro and lime, if desired.

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