Last night, I was really in the mood to COOK. Normally, I’m more of a 30 minute meal kind of girl (not to be channeling Rachael Ray) – but I really like to be efficient in the kitchen and have a one pot meal ready to eat soon after I’ve started cooking. But with the weather changing, and the days becoming a bit shorter, I just felt like taking some time to make a warming, spicy meal for our Sunday night dinner. I came across two recipes – one from VegetarianTimes.com and one from Cookingchannel.com, and thought they would go great together. Here are the links: Cauliflower & Sweet Potato “Sabji” and Lentil Pilaf Stew. Both of them turned out super flavorful and ended up being a really balanced meal (sweet potatoes have tons of antioxidants and fiber, and the lentils/rice combination made a complete protein!) My modifications to the recipes are below, enjoy!
Cauliflower & Sweet Potato “Sabji”
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (Note: I just used 1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil – honestly you don’t need 2 Tbsp for this recipe! Omitting 1 Tbsp saves 120 calories 🙂 )
- 1 onion, chopped (I used a red onion)
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds (Note: This adds great flavor, but this is a LOT of coriander seeds – I think it was a bit much for me and my husband. Next time I’ll probably use half the amount)
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 small head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
- Place the oil in a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion and ginger and cook for 4 minutes.
- Stir in the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, and salt and toast for 15 seconds and then add the tomatoes and sweet potatoes, and cook until they are tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower and stir well to combine. Place a tight fitting lid on the pan and cook until the cauliflower is crisp- tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Lentil Pilaf Stew
- 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and sorted (Note: I used the already cooked/steamed brown lentils from Trader Joe’s – cut down on the cooking time and still tasted great!)
- 2 Tbs. canola oil (Again, I only used 1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/3 cups) (I used red onion)
- 2 large carrots, diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup basmati rice (I actually used 1/4 cup of brown rice. The reason was – I wanted to make this more like a stew or “dal” so I wanted some of the liquid to remain in the pot instead of getting absorbed by the rice)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbs.)
- 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp. garam masala
- 1 14.5-oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- cilantro for garnish, optional
- [If you are using dry lentils, follow this step. Otherwise start at step 2]. Bring lentils and 4 cups water to a boil in large pot or Dutch oven. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes, or until lentils are firm-tender. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup cooking water (only reserve the water if you are planning on making a pilaf instead of the stew), and transfer lentils to bowl.
- Wipe out pot; heat oil over medium high. Sauté onion in oil 4 minutes, or until just golden.
- Add carrots and rice, and cook 3 minutes, or until rice is toasted and fragrant, stirring constantly.
- Add garlic, ginger and garam masala, and cook 1 minute more.
- Stir in tomatoes, broth, reserved lentil cooking water (omit this ingredient if you are making the stew) and lentils, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 20 minutes, or until liquid is mostly absorbed and rice is tender.
- Season with salt and pepper (mine didn’t need any additional salt or pepper). Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes.
- [This step only applies if you’re making a pilaf] Fluff with fork , then spoon pilaf into shallow bowls, and garnish with cilantro, if desired. Serve hot.