Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Move over meat, vegetables are the new star!

I grew up on meat and potatoes so to speak, so the term "vegetarian" was like describing a member of a foreign country. Vegetables were normally just side dishes, not main dishes, in our family.

Well, fast forward just a couple of years (okay, maybe a few more than that), to present day. I wouldn't call myself a vegetarian (I still love meat too much) but I do love vegetables even though they're usually relegated to the side of a meal as an afterthought. After all, I have a husband who when he's hungry, wants to be filled up. Vegetables usually don't fill that void. Claire, on the other hand, is the one member of our family who consumes more than her fair share of them right now.

However, I found a dish that's pleasing to my hungry husband and to me, and that is (gasp!) vegetarian! This "Bombay Vegetable Stew" is quite delicious, nutritious, and plenty filling. The recipe is from a book titled "Feeding Baby Green" by Alan Greene, M.D., which, being a new mom and all, I've been reading since it has a lot of good meal ideas for kids. This is a meal I will eventually make for Claire when she gets a little more used to chunky textures but for now, I'm definitely going to be making this a lot for the adults in this household.

Bombay Vegetable Stew
Courtesy of Alan Greene, M.D., "Feeding Baby Green"

1/2 cup lentils, dried (or 1 cup canned lentils)
1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. fresh ginger, minced
3 large carrots, diced
1 cup cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 (14.5 oz.) can of diced tomatoes
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
1 cup green peas
1 1/2 cups water (if using canned lentils, include the liquid from the can with the water to equal 2 cups total)
Kosher salt, to taste

In large saucepan, cook the dried lentils according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the onions and garlic until the onions are tender. Add the ginger and stir.

Add the carrots and cauliflower to the onion mixture and continue to cook until the carrots are warm all the way through, but still crisp. Add the tomatoes and curry powder and cook a few minutes more.

Add the lentils, chickpeas, green peas, and water. Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Turn off heat if you are not serving immediately to prevent the vegetables from becoming mushy. The flavors will intensify and blend beautifully. Reheat briefly before serving.

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