Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Savory Rhubarb Lentil Curry with Spinach

As amazing as rhubarb crisp is, I'm not always in the mood for something sweet. So what to do with all that rhubarb when you are in the mood for something savory? Below is a healthful, excellent curry recipe that can be served alone or with a grain. Enjoy!

Savory Rhubarb Lentil Curry with Spinach

1 large sweet potato
1 cup French lentils
3 cups of water
1 bay leaf
2 stalks of rhubarb (diced into small pieces)
1/2 of 1 red bell pepper (diced into small pieces)
2 cups frozen spinach or 2 cups cooked spinach, chopped finely
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon of mustard seeds
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
salt to taste

Pour 3 cups of water in a saucepan. Add lentils and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes or until lentils are soft, but not falling apart. Drain excess water. Cook sweet potato, boil, bake, or steam. While the lentils are simmering, cut your vegetables. In a large saute pan, heat oil and then stir in mustard seeds. Once they start popping, add red pepper flakes and fennel. Add ginger and cumin. Add red peppers and rhubarb to the pan. Saute for a few minutes. Add spinach and saute until fully cooked. Add cooked lentils, cooked sweet potato, and brown sugar, and stir. Add salt to taste.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Leek, Potato, and Asparagus Soup

  • Asparagus is not only delicious, to me it also means the coming nicer days and the potential of getting out the grill. It is a herbaceous perennial in the lily family and has some medicinal qualities. According to Whole Foods Companion: A Guide for Adventurous Cooks, Curious Shoppers and Lovers of Natural Foods, "asparagus contains substances that act as a diuretic, neutralize ammonia that makes us tired, and protect small blood vessels from rupturing." I find so many of our spring vegetables have excellent detoxing characteristics, to help us get healthy for the summer sun!
Below is a recipe for leek, potato, and asparagus soup from www.foodnetwork.com.

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
  • 1/4 stick (1 ounce) butter
  • 2 large leeks, washed and chopped (you can use the green tops, but wash them well since they are quite sandy)
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, with tips intact
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 whole green onions, chopped, for garnish
Put the oil, butter, leeks, celery and onion in a large pot. Cover and cook about 8 minutes, stirring every minute or so, until the onion is translucent and the leeks have softened. Add the potatoes and water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium, and cook until the potatoes are soft, about 12 to 15 minutes. Add the asparagus, milk and cream. Stir and cook, covered, at least 5 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle the chopped green onions on top of the soup just before serving. Wonderful soup!