Curried Lentils with Kale and Butternut Squash
University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center's executive chef John Selick's recipe for curried lentils with kale and butternut squash is loaded with vitamins, minerals and proteins. It is good on its own, over rice or quinoa, or served with pita or nan. "Serve it with chicken or fish, and you have an incredible dinner," he notes.
- 4 cups brown lentils
- 2 cups butternut squash, diced
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 1 29-ounce can tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 small onions, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 5 tablespoons red curry paste
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
> Rinse the lentils and put them in the slow cooker with the butternut squash, kale and tomato puree.
> In a saute pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and onions, cooking until the onions are soft or about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook until fragrant, about another minute. Add cumin and turmeric, cook for 30 seconds to toast the spices, then add the curry paste. Cook for 2 more minutes, then fill the empty tomato puree can with water and add to the saute pan to deglaze.
> Pour the curry mixture into the slow cooker and add 2 more cans of water. Stir. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours, or on low for 7 to 8 hours.
> When the lentils are finished cooking, stir in the coconut milk and cilantro, then season with salt and pepper.
Mulled Drinking Chocolate
In addition to meals, slow cookers are a great way to liven up a party by keeping wintery drinks warm throughout the night. Bonbon Pastry and Cafe's Courtney Bonning, who prefers a modest serving of rich, spicy hot chocolate to gobs of the powdered substitute, shares a twist on hot chocolate. Just be careful not to let it sit all day, as milk and chocolate can scorch.
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
- 2 cups cold water
- 1 orange peel
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 18 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 5 2/3 cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
> In a slow cooker, whisk together brown sugar, cocoa powder and cold water.
> Tie the orange peel, whole cloves and cinnamon sticks into a bundle with a cheesecloth. Add the sachet of spices to the slow cooker and simmer for 1 hour over low heat. Whisk every few minutes to make sure the cocoa doesn't burn.
> In a microwaveable bowl, heat the unsweetened chocolate and heavy cream in 1-minute intervals, stirring every interval, until the chocolate has completely melted.
> Whisk in 1 cup of the warm spice cocoa liquid to the melted chocolate mixture to dilute it.
> Add all of the diluted melted chocolate mixture to the spiced cocoa in the slow cooker. Whisk to incorporate.
> Remove the sachet and add vanilla
> Serve immediately or keep at the lowest warming setting.