Vegan Red Lentil and Spinach Dal
This year, the United Nations deamed 2016 the International Year of Pulses - good news for Canadian pulse growers and for Canadian citizens!
Pulses (dried beans, peas, and lentils) are wonderfully sustainable crops because they increase soil microbial activity and boost soil nutrients in diverse ways than other crops, so they’re great to have on rotation, no genetic modification necessary. Nutritionally, pulses are rich in folate, zinc, magnesium, and fibre and provide a great, vegetarian source of iron and protein. Economically, pulses are inexpensive and shelf-stable. A win-win for everyone!
Traditionally, Dal contains an abundance of phytochemical-rich herbs and spices, with beneficial antioxidant capacity preventing the breakdown of cells. What makes this recipe so quick, is the use of split lentils - no over-night soaking required. Super foods making up a super good meal.
1 cup split red lentils, dried
2 cups water
1 tbsp pure coconut oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large tomato, diced
1 cup spinach, chopped finely
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more for spicier palates)
Black pepper and salt to taste
1) Boil the dried lentils in 2 cups water until all the water has absorbed and the lentils are soft.
2) In the meantime, heat coconut oil in a wok or saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and spices (cinnamon, turmeric, curry powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper) and sauté until the onions are translucent.
3) Add the tomato and spinach and sauté a minute more before adding the cooked lentils.
4) Once the lentils are mixed thoroughly, add the coconut milk, salt and pepper, mixing well.
5) Turn the heat to low and allow to simmer until thick.
Start the meal with a small salad and serve the dal on it’s own or with a modest portion of steamed brown rice.
Serves 4 (~12 grams protein, 6 grams fibre per serving)
Submitted by Brooke Bulloch, RD (owner)