The following recipe is from the forthcoming book, “The 150 Healthiest Slow Cooker Recipes on Earth“, by myself and Chef Jeannette Bessinger.
Featured Recipe: High-Fiber Curried Spinach and Lentils
Those who read my book “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth” may remember my rhapsodic waxing about a superspice called turmeric.
In case you missed it- or need a reminder- here’s a short list of the wonderful things it does.
One, it’s among the most anti-inflammatory foods on the planet, (which matters because inflammation is a major part of every degenerative disease we know of).
Two, it’s extremely good for the liver, that poor overworked organ that has to rid your body of all the toxins it’s exposed to on a daily basis.
And three, it’s got significant anti-cancer activity.
The thing of it is, turmeric goes beautifully with all sorts of dishes (besides, of course, the Indian food it’s best known for). This dish is a perfect example. Rich in fiber from the lentils, and with a ton of nutrients like iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium from the spinach, the dish goes together beautifully. A rich, fragrant vegetarian curry with a warming bite. You’ll love it.
- 2 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 ½ teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium onions, sweet yellow, diced
- 5 medium carrots, thinly sliced
- 5 medium parsnips, thinly sliced
- 5 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons ginger, finely diced
- 2 ½ teaspoons turmeric
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ teaspoon cracked black or mixed peppercorns
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- Sprinkles salt, to taste
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 ¼ cup brown lentils, rinsed thoroughly
- 1 red chili, minced
- 1 pound fresh spinach, stemmed and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup reduced fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, optional
- In a dry cast iron skillet over medium heat, toast the cumin and coriander seeds for a couple of minutes, stirring often, until they just begin to brown.
- Grind toasted seeds to a powder in a spice grinder or designated coffee grinder and set aside.
- In the same skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onions, carrots and parsnips.
- Cook until tender, about 6 minutes.
- Add garlic, ginger root, turmeric, cinnamon stick, peppercorns and ground cumin and coriander seeds.
- Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
- Add salt to taste and transfer pan contents to slow cooker.
- Add sweet potatoes and lentils and stir well.
- Cover and cook on high for 3 hours, or low for 4-5 hours.
- Add chili pepper and stir well to incorporate.
- Add fresh spinach in handfuls, stirring each handful into the curry.
- Add coconut milk and stir until incorporated.
- Cook on high for 20 more minutes.
- Remove cinnamon stick and discard before serving.
- Garnish with cilantro, if using.
Yield: 6-8 servings
From Chef Jeannette
The concept for this recipe comes from my friend, Mary Weaver, owner of the gourmet cooking school Newport Cooks in Newport, Rhode Island. She is an ethical vegetarian and always on the lookout for hearty meatless meals that taste great and provide a great balance of macronutrients.
Serving Suggestion: This curry is delicious served over brown basmati rice or Thai-style rice noodles. To cool the heat a bit and add additional protein, spoon a dollop of plain, low fat Greek yogurt into each bowl.