Oh, January, you are the month of good intentions. This post represents one of mine – since I was so tardy posting last month’s CCC entry, I thought I’d post early this time around.
Late winter can start to feel like a march through a string of lacklustre meals until spring’s vegetables rescue us, but meals with warm spices and good quality canned or frozen vegetables can cure that ennui. These meals are certainly perking us up this week.
Curried red lentil soup
This soup caused a schism in the household. I gave Kevin a taster bowl of the soup when I’d first puréed it. While he ate it in the living room, I decided it needed a bit more liquid and a creamy element. So, I added a can of light coconut milk and re-adjusted the spices. Meanwhile, he thought it was thick, rich and perfect. Oops! I suppose it’s good to know it works both ways.
This soup is a variation on the Curried Sweet Potato Soup the group tackled in December, 2014. It trades out sweet potatoes for lentils and limes for lemons, while adding some carrot and celery for a little more veggie fortification. Kevin isn’t a sweet potato or yam fan, so this version was a much bigger hit for him than the original.
I was out of garam masala, so I ground another batch. There’s nothing better than cooking with freshly ground spices, is there?
This soup will last us through the week’s lunches and the flavours are so deep, there’s no chance of getting bored. Especially since I’m thinking about baking some biscuits tomorrow, which will be perfect for dipping.
Next time I make this, I’ll leave it thicker, skipping the purée and the coconut milk and serving it over rice. I think that version will mend the rift.
Chickpeas with cumin and spinach
Most of the time, committee meeting nights are for leftovers or meals I’ve cooked and portioned for the freezer. Tonight, though, I was able to put together dinner from scratch in about the same amount of time it would have taken to prepare a pre-cooked meal. Even better, it used staples from my kitchen counter, pantry, and freezer. Paired with some basmati rice, this was practically a fifteen-minute meal. I’m slow though, so it took 20-25 minutes.
Chickpeas and spinach, seasoned with lemon, is the ne plus ultra of quick meals for Kevin, so this dish was right up his alley. Adding tomatoes, cumin, onion, and garlic was like a deluxe upgrade of a simple meal.
I was thrilled to put together a filling and flavourful meal before I had to run out the door. Kevin’s thrilled that there are leftovers for tomorrow. Since I have (yet another) meeting, I’m glad we’re covered.
If I manage to fit in any more of this month’s CCC selections, I’ll post an update. For now, I’m feeling rather happy that I’m writing about food that’s still available to me for meals this week.
At the end of the month, you’ll be able to find the rest of the group’s posts, here. I encourage you to check them out – you’ll meet some wonderful bloggers and get some great inspiration for vegetarian eating.