I’m Bored!

I am bored with my daily lunches. Lately, there have been very few leftovers that were appealing enough to take to work to reheat and each time I open the refrigerator, I wince, close it, and grab something from the deli down the street. And you know I’m never happy with what I get. Occasionally, it’s the Thai Chicken soup, which is usually pretty good unless someone’s added way too much curry paste, making it so spicy you can’t taste anything else. Or it’s a sandwich that has so much processed meat on white bread that it’s nothing more than sodium riddled white bread.

And so, I’m bored.

This morning, I sat down at my computer and started searching for lunch ideas, for something that would make my mouth water, to make me look forward to my lunch breaks. I found a few ideas, things I’ll be making in the not too distant future. Then I remembered that I have a recipe for Red Lentil Dal, an Indian red lentil soup/stew.

I’ve just finished making a batch of it. I make it occasionally, when I remember just how much we enjoy it. It has a lovely earthiness to it, and just the right amount of spicy flavour. With some flatbread and cut veggies on the side, and perhaps served over a bit of jasmine rice, it makes a tasty, oh-so-heavenly-scented lunch that will have all my co-workers coming by to see just what smells so good! And, for those of you who are so inclined, it’s vegetarian, too. (I’m a die hard omnivore… sorry.)

I’ve been trying to remember where I got the recipe and I’m afraid I can’t find the web site now. I think I found it through Punchfork, but I’m not positive. If I do figure out where I got it, I’ll add the acknowledgement to this post. In any case, here it is, for your taste enjoyment and, for me, a few days of yummy lunches!

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Red Lentil Dal with Cilantro and Yogurt

[printable version]

Serves 8

2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 small dashes cayenne
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup canola oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
One 2 inch piece fresh ginger, finely grated (about 1 heaping tablespoon)
2 cups cored and finely chopped plum tomatoes (about 5)
1 1/2 cups dried red lentils
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
About 1 cup thick Greek-style yogurt

Stir together the spices, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the onions and cook, partially covered, stirring often, until they soften, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the spice mixture and cook for a couple minutes longer. Stir in the ginger and tomatoes and cook, partially covered, until the tomatoes have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lentils and stock and bring to a simmer.

Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the lentils are soft and the mixture is thick, 20-25 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and cilantro.

Ladle into bowls and top with a couple good dollops of yogurt.

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