“I prayed for ten normal appetites and thought with amused nostalgia of my usual lunch…” M.F.K. Fisher, Love in a Dish and Other Culinary Delights
It’s so easy to hate on Gwyneth Paltrow that I do it all the time. The stick-straight hair, the stick-thin figure, the “conscious uncoupling,” the lifestyle hawking. But, here’s the thing, her GOOP recipes are actually excellent, even the detox ones. I’ve been making her Indian Spiced Black Lentil Dhal-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes for months now for lunch. Sometimes if I have time, I’ll roast cubed sweet potatoes tossed with olive oil, cumin, and salt and serve the lentils over that instead of the plain roasted sweet potatoes. It’s delicious and really filling. I find that when I eat this for lunch, I’m usually good for a few hours, unlike when I was eating sandwiches or meals with lots of bread in them.
Part of me thinks that the coconut milk–full of those rich fats–is the reason. Having run out of fancy and pricey black lentils (there you go again, Gwynnie, making us dislike you!), I decided to adapt this a bit to a red lentil dhal. Red lentils can be found at every supermarket anywhere, are super cheap and full of fiber and lean protein.
Warming Red Lentil Dhal
- 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
- 1 cup of chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 1/2 c of coconut milk
- whole spices of your choosing, though I really like a cinnamon stick, 1 t (or more) whole coriander, 1 t (or more) whole cumin
- ground spices of your choosing like garlic powder, sumac, turmeric, cayenne, chipotle powder
Warm a couple tablespoons of oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add whole spices and toast them until they smell fragrant, just a minute or so. Add the lentils and mix thoroughly over heat for another minute. Add ground spices. You want the dhal to be tasty, but don’t go overboard, since you can add more ground spices later. Pour in the stock and coconut milk. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes. The dhal should look creamy, but not soupy. Serve over rice or roasted vegetables.
“Central heating, French rubber goods and cookbooks are three amazing proofs of man’s ingenuity in transforming necessity into art, and, of these, cookbooks are perhaps most lastingly delightful.” — MFK Fisher There’s no need for central heating in the NYC region lately. Walking outside feels like stepping into a sauna. The heat index–is this a… Continue reading Vegan Whiskey Chocolate Ice Cream
“We grew beautiful salads, a dozen different kinds, and several herbs. There were shallots and onion and garlic, and I braided them into long silky ropes and hung them over rafters in the attic.” — MFK Fisher, The Art of Eating The first time I ate hummus was in a college dining hall around 1996.… Continue reading The Secret to Homemade Hummus – Chickpea Flour
“Many a person who could not even think of eating Boeuf Tartare without gagging (unfortunately because it can be made of inexpensive and often highly nutritive cuts of beef) would willingly assault a thick, bloody lukewarm ‘cut off the joint’ and feel himself secure in the tradition of Simpson’s and The Plaza and Dave Chasen’s…and… Continue reading The Cinnamon Snail at The Pennsy
“As the steak disappeared, I watched her long old ear-lobes pinken. I remembered what an endocrinologist had told me once, that after rare beef and wine, when the lobes turned red, was the time to ask favours or tell bad news. I led the conversation back to the table, and then plunged brusquely. ‘Why do… Continue reading Vegetarian Cabbage, Fennel, Onion & Sausage Casserole
“Now you can drive from Los Angeles to my Great-Aunt Maggie’s ranch on the other side of the mountains in a couple of hours or so, but the first time I went there it took most of a day.” ~ MFK Fisher, The Gastronomical Me A few years ago, my partner and I were in… Continue reading California Red Curry Salmon Salad
“One of the stupidest things in an earnest but stupid school of culinary thought is that each of the three daily meals should be ‘balanced.’ [This still goes on in big-magazine advertising, but there seems less and less insistence on it in real life: baby-doctors and even gynecologists admit that most human bodies choose their… Continue reading The Confused Diet Egg Sandwich