Sunday, May 2, 2010

Meatless Monday: Week One

Welcome to our Week One Meatless Monday post. For a bit of background on why we started this:

I thought I'd offer a new recipe each week for you to try (or consider)! All will be kid-tested and meat-free. Can it get any better?

For dinner this Monday, how about:

Spinach with Red Lentils 
(serves 2-4 depending on age and appetite)

700-800 g spinach
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
2 TBSP canola oil
200 g lentils
500 g vegetable stock
130 g corn (frozen is easiest)
salt, chili powder-depending on age of kids
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 bunch salad onions
150 g yogurt

1. Rinse and soak the lentils while you are getting the spinach, onion and garlic ready. Wash spinach thoroughly in cold water until water is no longer dirty, making sure you break off thick stalks. Drain and chop roughly. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.

2. Heat the oil in a wok or skillet (make sure you have a lid for the skillet, or something to cover it). Soften the onion and garlic. Add the (drained) lentils and stir well. Add the stock, cover, and reduce heat. Cook lentils for about 15 minutes, until they are soft.

3. Add the corn and spinach to the lentils. Season with salt and chili if you are using and cook covered for a few minutes until the spinach leaves almost fall apart. 

4. Wash cilantro and shake dry. Chop the leaves finely. Wash the salad onions and finely slice the onions and crisp green parts into rings. Then add both and yogurt to the spinach and lentil mixture. Stir in, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve immediately!

We serve this over rice and it's quite lovely. It's great as lentils are a plant food, so they do not contain cholesterol; and the protein derived from them is much easier to digest than the animal equivalent, or even soybeans. Next to soy beans, lentils have the highest protein content at 25%.

What do you think? Are you excited about Meatless Monday? Or maybe you're a vegetarian full-time (as one member of my family is) - share your experiences with us! Want to contribute a recipe, please contact me at! :) 

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