Pumpkin and red lentil curry

20140511_063916It's Mother's Day, and for the second year in a row there's snow! Not a lot, but enough worth mentioning. What started this morning as a staccato pelting of sharp little hailstones has become heavy white droplets just clinging to rooftops. Glassy sheen settles over the grill and fence posts;  raised beds that expected to be planted hunker down in the grass, assuring the quiet soil that life is coming back in...just one, two more days. Peeling back the years, it's not like these past two necessarily stand out all that dramatically. I'm not sure how often something has to happen before we can no longer justify or feign surprise. But that's Colorado weather...predictably unpredictable. There's always room for both surprise and for I told you so.

20140511_092203Chill, damp temps are kind of welcome this weekend, calming the mind and lulling my body  from it's push back against accumulated fatigue from last week's race plus this week's continued teething struggle. Poor little Flixy has puffy, pearly bubbles all along his top gums. He is dripping with drool, and I fear his pointer fingers are going to prune up from time in the mouth. Yet he is being SUCH a characteristically good sport! He's increasingly assertive in declaring his wants, needs, intentions and frustrations, but at the same time so easygoing and accepting. He gets that from his Dad, I think (although, let's be honest, since it IS Mother's Day--now that I'm a mom I can appreciate that there's a whole boatload of things involving testing one's pain threshold and enduring adversity wherein I am way tougher than Dave ; )...).

20140502_095420Yesterday afternoon, chilly breezes picked up and gray clouds began knitting their way across the sky. Perfect weather for this simple and versatile pumpkin curry. While it may be more of a typical fall recipe, it's a good friend to temperamental spring and open to a whole host of summer vegetables. Hearty and creamy, with a delicate balance of heat and sweet, this recipe was modified from The Vegan Table cookbook I got for my birthday (thank you, Derek!). I made it on the stovetop...next time I think I'll use the slow cooker, if just for the spicy aroma flooding the house throughout the day.

Today, I'm not cooking. Felix is apparently taking care of that, says Dad. We've already had a brilliant first Mother's Day together, with an early family paddle in the pool. He's the best gift I could ever have imagined in a million zillion years and to the far reaches of the universe. So it doesn't matter if I do end up cooking, after all. We still have leftovers.

pumpkin_curryPumpkin lentil curry

  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils
  • 3 cups plus two tablespoons water for sauteeing, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • dash sea salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • approximately 3 cups or 1 29-ounce can pumkpkin puree
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 zucchini, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  1. Rinse lentils and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons water in a large saucepan. Add onion, ginger, and garlic and cook until onions are about translucent, 4-6 minutes.
  3. Add lentils and remaining ingredients (including 3 cups water) and cook over low-medium heat, mostly covered and stirring occasionally, until lentils are softened but still retain texture (about 40 minutes). Serve over rice or quinoa.