Comforting Red Lentil Daal


I love hearty meals. Dishes that are savory and filling.  Comfort food.  How about you?

Let me set the stage for you.  Yesterday we had quite the spring snow.  Spring snow in Montana is heavy, wet, and cold.  So much colder than I can really take at this time of the year.  I swear I was just posting about the trees budding, and the kids running amuck in the neighborhood, only to discover the trees covered in snow, and my kids wearing all their winter gear.

Needless to say, spring can be tough. Not just on my mind, but on my body, because comfort food generally makes me pack on the pounds, and when it is cold out I like comfort food and red wine. So, drawing my winter habits out into spring, hasn’t always been beneficial for my curviness, if you know what I mean?!

Well, yesterday I needed something easy, and comforting because I was cold, and just not feeling it. I took a detour from my pre planned menu and decided to go for this daal which is so unbelievably easy.  I love red lentils because you don’t have to soak them ahead of time.  Just cook and cook some more.  It was easy, and that and my Bota box (not the whole thing, don’t worry!) totally hit the spot.

It gets even better.  My kids loved it!  Years ago I gave up on the idea that my kids would be cultured eaters.  The whining and pickiness made me resort to feeding them junk that was easy and that they liked.  I’m so thankful I was forced to give all that up (see my about story), and commit to eating a different way, because over the last year their taste buds have changed, and they will eat so much more variety.  It’s not that they love everything, but last night they loved, loved, loved the Daal.  I’m still taken by surprise when they love a meal that’s off the grid as much as they did last night.  I allow myself a moment or two to revel in the success of what has been created, because well, I can! So here goes:


2 cups of red lentils

6 cups of water or broth

2 tablespoons of coconut oil

2 cloves of garlic

1 stalk of celery-diced small

2 cups of packed greens (spinach, chard, kale, whatever you have)

1 tsp of salt

½ tsp of fresh ginger

½ tsp of mustard seeds

½ tsp of cumin

½ tsp of turmeric

½ tsp of coriander

¼ tsp of cayenne pepper

Bring water or broth to a boil. Slowly stir in lentils. Lower heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until lentils are tender and the liquid is fairly absorbed.  Heat pan with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.  Add garlic, ginger, and celery and the spices, stirring constantly until mustard seeds begin to pop.  Remove pan from heat and slowly pour lentils into pan with spices and such.  Careful it can splatter.  Return to heat and cook until daal begins to thicken.  Mine took about 15 minutes until it was as thick as I desired.  Near the end I added the greens until soft.  Let cool and serve with dollop of yogurt if you like.

I also made these Rosemary Paleo Sandwich Rounds (click on bold print and it will take you to the link), but used 2 cups of greens instead of the carrots and I omitted the Rosemary Oil.  They were a delicious sub for naan.


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