February 1, 2010

Curried Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard

That's it folks, I'm smitten. My food blogger crush is complete. Have you been over to Smitten Kitchen yet? No? Oh, please, do yourself a favor and check it out! Deb's blog is not only hilarious, but also drool worthy. I've bookmarked more than a few recipes from her blog, but this was the first time I actually made one.

After about 2 weeks of eating whatever the hell I wanted, I knew that I needed to get back into healthy recipes and better portion sizes. Bring on the vegetables! This is a great recipe, especially if you like curry (which we do.) It's hearty and filling, just a little sweet, and perfect for a cold winter day. However, please keep in mind that it's just not a very pretty dinner. I couldn't seem to take a good photograph of it, so check out Smitten Kitchen for the nice pictures of this dish.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who got it from The New York Times 11/14/07

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

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 jalapeƱo pepper, seeded if desired, then minced
4 to 5 cups vegetable broth as needed
2 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, 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
I omitted the following, but I'm sure they taste great in the final dish:
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/3 cup finely chopped tamari almonds, for garnish (optional), available in health food stores
1/4 cup chopped scallions, for garnish.

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

Stir in 4 cups broth, sweet potatoes, 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.

Just before serving, stir in cilantro, lime zest and juice. Spoon into a large, shallow serving dish. Garnish with almonds if desired and scallions.

See, I told you it wasn't pretty! But it's delicious.