Squash and Lentil CurryPosted: January 22, 2012
Fun fact: The only month out of the entire year that I really enjoy is July.
July is fresh and green and warm and bright. My birthday is in July. Growing up, I went to summer camp every year for a week in mid-July. The month is full of excitement for festivals and camping trips and vacation days. Food just seems to taste better. In July gardens are growing, the produce is fresh and barbecue’s beckon to be grilled on.
You know what the opposite of July is?
January. Good ol’ cold, dark, and dull January. There’s a sad lull, a let down from the bustling activity and cheeriness of Christmas and New Years. In Alberta, the temperatures drop so low that all motivation to go out and get groceries is outweighed by the lure of staying in my pyjamas all day and eating nothing but cereal until the milk runs out and I have to switch to dry crackers. And then when I finally venture out to get groceries because my baby has made it clear that plain cereal is not acceptable, the produce is embarrassing at best. I find myself wandering the aisles pining for brighter days.
But you know what makes cooking in January much, much better?
You got it: my slow cooker!
As you know, I love my slow cooker. The only thing that makes up for the lack of fresh produce is the slow caramelization of sweet root vegetables. On a particular cold day I concocted a squash and lentil curry recipe I found in the Company’s Coming Slow Cooker Dinners cook book (Cookbook #1). It was everything I hoped it would be: creamy, spicy and sweet. As I cuddled my baby on the couch, our condo filled up with the flavourful aroma of spicy curry.
This was originally intended to be a vegetarian recipe using vegetable stock but I used chicken stock and added boneless, skinless chicken thighs to make it more heartier. The recipe also called for peas (which I don’t care for) and cashews (which I don’t have on hand).
Squash and Lentil Curry (adapted from Slow Cooker Dinners, Company’s Coming)
- 3 cups Chicken Stock
- a package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp curry paste
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 cups butternut squash
- 1 1/4 cups of green lentils
- 1 cup chopped yam
- 3 cups of fresh spinach
- 1/3 cup of plain yogurt
Combine first seven ingredients in your slow cooker and add the squash, yam and lentils. Stir and cover, cooking on low for 7 to 8 hours.
Before serving, add the spinach and yogurt. We enjoyed it with brown rice and raw vegetables on the side.