Welcome to Day 3 of Pantry, Project, Purpose. Thank you for all the nice notes and comments. Yesterday, instead of heading to my favorite coffee shop like I usually do, I made myself a pour-over, then spent the morning working on a freelance assignment. Later, I made a batch of tomato-bean soup; donated $$ to my local food bank; walked Abby to a soccer field with the intention of running, but just kept walking instead; made “Cheater’s Lasagna” for dinner (see instagram stories); and watched two episodes of the British murder mystery Broadchurch on Netflix with my cozy little Bean, above. (I really like the show, but be warned, it’s not exactly uplifting.) Here are three things for you and your families to think about doing today…
Pantry: Curried Red Lentils with Spinach and Yogurt
This is so easy, so delicious (so vegan if you omit the yogurt!) and a nice healthy note to hit in between all the pancakes and cookies and cakes your family may be baking? You can serve with pita/naan or rice or both. Also: If you don’t have coconut oil, olive oil is a fine swap. (Recipe updated, Spring 2022)
2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil if you don’t have)
½ small onion, chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon madras curry powder
16 ounces red lentils (about 2 1/4 cups)
32 ounces (4 cups) vegetable broth
1 tablespoon red or white miso, mixed with ¼ cup warm water
5 ounces baby spinach
3-4 scallions, light green and white parts only, minced
4 heaping tablespoons plain yogurt
Handful cilantro, chopped
Melt coconut oil in a medium soup pot set over medium-low heat. Add onions, ginger, garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook until vegetables softened, about 2 minutes. Add curry powder and cook until aromatic and toasty. Stir in lentils until shiny with oil. Add vegetable broth and miso mix and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until lentils are just softened and not mushy, about 15 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, another 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove to a shallow bowl and top with scallions, yogurt, and cilantro. (Photo does not reflect spinach, and I didn’t have cilantro here so I topped with some kind of sprouts.)
Project: Jenn’s Dutch Baby
There’s a special place in my heart right now for recipes that require only flour, butter, milk, and eggs — like this favorite from my college roommate Jenn. Keep in mind that a Dutch Baby can just as easily be dinner if you swap out the berries and powdered sugar for some vegetables. I mean, why the heck not?
For 2-3 quart casserole/cast iron pan: 3 Tablespoons butter/3 eggs/3/4 cups milk/ 3/4 cups flour
For 3-4 quart casserole/cast iron pan: 1/3 cup butter/4 eggs/1 cup milk/1 cup flour
For 4-4 1/2 quart casserole/cast iron pan : 1/2 cup butter/5 eggs/1 1/4 cup milk/ 1 1/4 cup flour
For 4 1/2 – 5 quarts casserole/cast iron pan: 1/2 cup butter/6 eggs/ 1 1/2 cups milk/ 1 1/2 cups flour
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Add the butter to your pan (this is a large Le Creuset baking dish, but you can also use a cast iron skillet) and place in the oven while it preheats so the butter gets brown. Whisk eggs first, then whisk in milk and flour and pour into the hot buttery pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve with powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice.
Purpose: Make a Podcast
Pineapple Media, producer of many of your favorite podcasts, has an open call for kids stuck at home: Make a podcast! Head over to their site for the details.
The goal of the Project, Pantry, Purpose series to keep us sane, connected, and distracted. Please continue to comment below with suggestions for recipes, projects (for kids and adults), good deeds, stories, movies, games, puzzles, ideas. Or just tell us how you’re doing, what you’re up to, and how we can help.