Never in my life did I think I would become a stay-at-home mom, but when I had my second child it just didn't seem worthwhile to work any longer. I thought staying at home would be a piece of cake. Thought I'd have all day long to do what I wanted. Boy was I wrong.
Mornings around here are a train wreck. I wake myself up at 6:15 so I have a few minutes to do the bare essentials. At 6:30 I wake up my 5 year old, and I must admit that he's really pretty good about getting ready for school...as long as I follow closely behind to keep him on task. I take him to school at 7 o'clock and come back to help my 11 year old daughter get ready for middle school. The next hour, leading up to 8 o'clock, is my most challenging and dramatic part of the day. I repeat everything I say eight to ten times until she finally hears me. Because middle school is a fashion show we bicker over what she's going to wear, which usually results in lots of whining until I give in. Finally I pretend to hear the bus and usher her outside. When the bus pulls away I take a deep cleansing breath.
As soon as my daughter gets on the bus I meet my neighbor for our morning walk. Most mornings we walk a total of an hour and a half, making it 9:30 when I get home (only 1 more hour before I have to pick up my son from Kindergarten). Immediately after walking, I grab my keys and dash to the grocery store where I literally have to run into the store and down the aisles grabbing stuff off the shelves like a mad woman so that I can make it to the carpool line in time. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I run through the aisles. I'm out of breath when I get in the car.
When I get home with my son at 11 o'clock I've been up for about 5 hours and I've been going nonstop. I haven't had time to eat yet and I'm feeling ravenous. I get my son situated and unload the groceries. I'm so hungry I can't stand it. I've learned to have healthy options ready and waiting for me when I get home, otherwise I will make very bad choices.
This green lentil and vegetable curry is a comforting, satisfying, and healthy option. It's chock full of protein-packed lentils, green beans, kale, and carrots which are simmered away in a spicy sauce. I really enjoyed this curry best over brown rice, with a dollop of yogurt and a piece of naan bread on the side. I do have to say that my family didn't care for this meal at all, but they are all picky eaters, and I didn't really want to share anyway. I really enjoyed knowing that this meal was waiting for me in the fridge after a long hectic morning. It's worth mentioning that this dish improves over time once the flavors have a chance to meld.
I wanna take this time to say that I love and appreciate being able to stay home with my kids. I realize that not everyone has the option to do so and I am grateful. I just want people to know that we all lead busy lives and we all feel short on time. It helps to have healthy dishes like this up your sleeve and at the ready.
Green Lentil Curry
contributed by Madhur Jaffrey
Serves 4-6 easily
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
1 garlic clove, mashed to a paste
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small shallot, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
1 1/4 cups dried green lentils
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric (omitted)
4 ounces green beans, cut into 3/4-inch lengths
4 ounces kale, stemmed and leaves finely chopped
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more if you like it spicy
In a small bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, coriander and ground cumin.
Stir in 1/4 cup of water to make a paste. In a small skillet, heat the
oil until shimmering. Add the cumin seeds and cook over moderately high
heat for 5 seconds, just until sizzling. Add the shallot and cook,
stirring, until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the spice paste and
let cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir
in the tomato paste and cook until thick, about 1 minute longer.
In a saucepan, combine the lentils with the turmeric and 5 cups of
water; bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over low heat for 20
minutes, until the lentils are barely tender. Add the green beans, kale,
carrot, three-fourths of the cilantro and the cayenne and season with
salt. Cook until the lentils and vegetables are tender, 15 minutes.
Scrape in the spice paste and the remaining cilantro. Simmer for 5
minutes, then serve.
Serve with steamed basmati rice, or in my case, brown rice, warm naan, and plain yogurt.
|Theme: Lentil Love!|