Usually the transition into a new year brings a bit of stress. Maybe I set my goals and expectations too high or maybe I just feed off the stress of others. But not this year. I made a couple simple goals and one of them – to be a better hugger – already got in some practice-time through December. And yeah, about that hugging goal, I’m totally serious. Truth is, I’m a wimpy hugger and I really noticed how lacking I was in the hugging department when I visited my friend in Montreal. After we had met up, he sent me off with a big ol’ bear hug and it made me feel pretty great. It’s amazing how a hug can really make someone else feel good. So I told myself that I’m going to quit giving out namby-pamby tentative hugs to my friends and instead deliver good, hearty and heart-felt hugs. We’ll see how it goes.
A hug makes you feel warm and loved and happy and I think this meal does the same. This dal uses red lentils which cook up in a hurry into a soft and tender bite. There’s curry involved along with a bit of sriracha because I like heat. But there’s also some diced apples to nudge in some mellow sweetness. I added in fennel because I had some lying about my vegetable crisper, but you could sub in something as common as celery, broccoli or cauliflower. I even think some greens like spinach, kale or chard would be good here too. There’s no fuss involved and it’s an easy enough meal to make on a busy weeknight. See, it’s like a nice hug for your insides and it’s a good a place to start as any.
elsewhere: Yup, I love year-end recaps and over at Poppytalk, I list my top 12 favorite recipes that have appeared over on Poppytalk through 2011! Take a peek and check out my favorite recipes.
2 T coconut oil
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 c fennel bulb, finely diced
2 apples, finely diced
2 T fresh ginger, minced
pinch of salt
2 T curry paste
2 c red lentils
2 c diced tomatoes
3 c water
Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce, to taste
1/4 c yogurt (optional)
In a large heavy pot, melt coconut oil over medium-high heat and add in onions, fennel, apples and ginger along with a pinch of salt. Stir occasionally until everything starts to get a little soft. Add in the curry paste and lentils and stir around until the lentils start to glisten. Turn down heat and add in the tomato puree and water, stirring so everything is combined. Put the lid on the saucepan and let simmer over low heat for 20 minutes until everything is soft. If it’s too dry for your liking, add in a bit of water. Stir in yogurt (if using) and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice.