Wednesday, March 18, 2009

recession lentils!

Wow. Food photography is hard. This looks kind of gross here but tastes delicious, I promise.

I've actually been making this recipe (adapted for my laziness and hatred of onions) since long before the recession and will continue to make it long after, because it is completely awesome. But Steven and I are looking to move in May, and rents and security deposits in San Francisco, while coming down, remain completely insane, so I'm trying to save money. The ingredients for this cost $7.38 and the leftovers will feed me for five more meals at least. Here is my version of the recipe: 2 tbsp vegetable oil Coarse sea salt or kosher salt 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into vaguely 1-inch chunks, but no need to get all OCD about it 1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger (or more, if you are in the mood!) peeled and chopped 2 or more large garlic cloves, put through a press thingy or chopped 1 tbsp curry powder 1 or 2 bay leaves As much cumin, chili powder, tumeric, etc. as makes you happy 1 1/2 cups of lentils (They don't seem to sell red lentils at my local store, but the regular ones work just fine. I bet yellow split peas would be good, too!) 8 oz. can of tomato sauce Head of cauliflower 1. In a large saucepan over high heat, warm the oil. Add ginger, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, until it starts to smell good.
2. Add the sweet potato, ginger, garlic, other spices, and bay leaf and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in the broth and wait for it to boil. (In retrospect, it would probably be better to boil the broth separately, and then pour in, as in the original recipe. But I didn't want to have to wash an extra pot.)
3. Stir in the lentils and tomato sauce. Reduce the heat to medium-low, set the timer for 20 minutes, and go catch up on "United States of Tara," "Flight of the Conchords," "Daily Show," or similar. Check for ideal softness of both sweet potatoes and lentils. This time, I got kind of distracted, and the potatoes became almost mashed. I initially panicked, but it was fabulous like this.
5. While the potatoes and lentils are cooking, steam some cauliflower. Serve the lentil concoction over the cauliflower. The cauliflower absorbs all the other flavors, and is a good way to get your vegetables in. (You're supposed to get five servings a day, you know. The government says so.)

Also, I know I've missed a ridiculous number of posts lately. I've taken pictures most days, but have had some personal stuff going on, some good and some bad, and haven't gotten around to posting. I'll get them up soon, which I am sure will be an enormous relief to, well, nobody. But still, I figured I should explain.


Rich said...

1. YAY! you're back.
2. YUM!

Sujomi (SuzyHomemaker) said...

Food photgraphy is difficult - I've taken several that just don't look too appetizing, but your lentils look good! I'll have to try it.