Creamy Coconut and Tomato French Lentils

The last few days have been stormy. The clouds boiled over the city and let go with a vigour that has been so anticipated amidst this crazy heat wave we've experienced most of August. It was glorious. Nothing beats the after storm magic of fresh greenness and the quick drying of a watery, yet hot sun over the drenched city. 

I lay in the park the other night with a dear friend and we talked about love, friendship, life, our adventuring dreams, and the excitement of change. I love summertime nights. Sitting on the grass, nearby but just out of earshot of so many other groups and couples of people, it feels communal in the sort of way that we all share this city and the easy green places we are drawn to together. 

I had this thought, sitting there and watching everyone around us, that it is just really amazing to have so many completely different lives in the same place at the same time. Everyone's conversation holds something unique, and yet so often we are concerned about the same core things. To not know is sometimes a beautiful thing. To hear glimmers of thought drift over from the humans at the picnic table to the far left, or to catch the trail end of a passionate speech from just down the grassy hill is to be let in, for a second, to someone else's world. 

Summer is drawing to a close, but I am ready to hold on to every moment of those magical nights before it turns fall. I am sure fall will bring its own magic, and I am excited for each new adventure to come!

I've been craving coziness during these stormy days. This recipe wasn't actually intended to be a recipe for the blog. I made it for dinner the other night because I wanted something warm and hearty, but I loved it so much that I knew I had to share it here.

The combination of the coconut milk and tomatoes really steals the show here. It is creamy and rich, with an amazing depth of flavour brought on by those heirloom tomatoes and the smoked paprika. I love this bowl because of its simplicity. You can make it in one pot, and then eat it from one bowl with just a piece of bread and a spoon. I am sure that this will be a perfect fall and winter recipe to have in my back pocket, but sometimes summer needs a good dose of those cozy feelings too. 

Make this on a rainy day, and share it with a friend alongside some rainy day tunes (I just watched this and it is so beautiful) <3 

creamy coconut and tomato french lentils

Serves 4

I think that this recipe is perfect when served with a whole wheat sourdough (pictured above), but your favourite bread type thing would work, or even just a bowl and a spoon! 

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried french lentils, rinsed
  • 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 large vidalia onion, julienned 
  • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 16 heirloom cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise 
  • 6 stalks kale, leaves washed and ripped 
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (depending on desired spice)
  • 1 tsp salt 

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Notes

In a medium sized pot, combine 1 cup of lentils with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 20 minutes, or until just tender. Drain any remaining liquid once cooked. 

While the lentils are cooking, prepare all of your other ingredients - mince the ginger and garlic, julienne the onions, slice the red peppers and tomatoes, and wash and rip the kale. 

Place a large pot on the stove over medium-low heat and add a generous glug of olive oil (a couple of tablespoons maybe). Once the oil is hot (you can tell by adding one slice of onion, if it sizzles the oil is hot enough) add in all of the onions and red pepper. Cook these, stirring often, until the onions turn translucent and the peppers look soft. Add the garlic, ginger, smoked paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt. Stir until combined and a slight pasty texture forms. Add in the lentils, cherry tomatoes, and coconut milk. Bring the mixture to a rapid simmer (almost boil) and then reduce heat and cook covered for 10 minutes. Add the kale and stir for another couple of minutes until it is deep green and soft. 

Serve hot with plenty of bread and a good dose of coziness. I would guess that this would last in the fridge for about five days, but I couldn't tell you because we ate it all in two days! It re-heats well, but might need some added liquid as the lentils absorb some in the fridge.