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February 14, 2008

Weekly Recipe: Curried Lentils with Yams & Swiss Chard


Mmmmmmm… Happy Valentine’s Day. Here’s a nearly plastic-free recipe that Michael first made for Thanksgiving and then I recreated this weekend. Enjoy.

Curried Lentils with Yams & Swiss Chard
Based on this recipe from the NY Times.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons ginger powder (Recipe calls for fresh ginger, but we didn’t have any in the house.)
1-1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1-1/2 teaspoons curry powder
4 cups “Better Than Bouillon” broth mix
2 pounds yams, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1-1/2 cups dried lentils
1 bay leaf
1 pound Swiss chard, center ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime

Notes on ingredients packaging:
1) Lentils purchased from bulk bin at Rainbow Grocery. Zero packaging.
2) Olive oil and “Better Than Bouillon” in glass jars with metal lids.
3) Vegetables & lime – all purchased “naked” with no bag
4) Spices – currently using up bottles of spices and will refill from bulk bins. Used the last of the curry powder in this recipe and included the plastic lid in last week’s tally.

1. In stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, garam masala, curry powder. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

2. Stir in 4 cups broth, yams, lentils and bay leaf. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. (If lentils seem dry, add up to 1 cup stock, as needed.) Stir in chard and salt and pepper, and continue cooking until lentils are tender and chard is cooked, about 30 to 45 minutes total.

3. Just before serving, stir in lime zest and juice. Spoon into a large, shallow serving dish.

Yield: 8 to 10 side-dish servings; 6 main-course servings.

This dish is rich and kind of sweet. Delicious. Who needs cheese?

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Yummers -- I just happened to make a very similar dish tonight, but it was more lentils, carrots, lemon, cumin, olive oil... and at the end, I stirred in some cubes of avocado (which, no, I'm not supposed to be eating right now, but a house guest left one in my kitchen and I couldn't just throw it out). The avocado made it really nice and smooth, almost creamy, and the lemon and cumin were a great match. Also, not a bit of plastic involved in the creation!


Hi Beth -- first reply on this blog, but I'm in your Brita group. I made your borscht recipe this week with 2Tbs tomato paste (from a jar), no vinegar, some homemade borth and maybe a bigger quanity of vegies including beets from our last trip to farmer's market in November, very yummy. Thanks for helping me clean out the fridge. Susan


Yum - thanks. I don't know if you'd like to add something in a can (bisphenol-A, already noted recycling concerns) but I made a similar dish last night and used 1/2 coconut milk. Mmmmmmm....

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