Curried Butternut Squash and Lentils

I know what you might be thinking – that’s just not a very pretty picture. In fact, my husband agrees with you, so much, that when I asked him to choose between my two top choices for a picture of this meal, he frowned. But – went on to assure me that he knows this stuff is much tastier than it looks. Remember, my husband loves lentils.

Having recently bought lentils, I’ve been on the lookout for some interesting recipes to try. Of course it didn’t surprise me when I found one from Deb at Smitten Kitchen, who’s always dishing up delightful, drool-worthy meals. She had shared a recipe for Curried Lentils and Sweet Potatoes, laced with the flavors of curry, jalapeno, limo and cilantro. Earthy swiss chard provides additional depth, texture, and color.

The big change I made here was using butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes. I had a few reasons here. One, I simply love butternut squash and can’t get enough, especially right now when they are so flavorful. Two, I had one on hand. And three, winter squash have less calories than their potato counterparts of the same bright orange color.

The results were great – both my husband and I loved this dish. It’s full of wonderful sweet and spicy flavor, and has a variety of textures. It’s very healthy and filling, with surprisingly low calories for a large serving.

One final thought I forgot to mention – Deb called for tamari almonds to garnish. I had never heard of these and just figured I wouldn’t be able to find them. I was pleasantly surprised to find not only tamari almonds, but also wasabi tamari almonds in the bulk bins at my regular supermarket. Score! I went for the wasabi, they were great. My point is, always look, you never know what you’ll find!

Curried Butternut Squash and Lentils
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 2 large servings

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oi
1 small onion, chopped (150gm)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2-2 1/2 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth
1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into1/2-inch cubes
3/4 cups dried lentils
1 bay leaf
1/2 pound Swiss chard, center ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Finely grated zest of 1/2 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime
chopped tamari almonds or toasted coconut, for garnish

1. In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, garam masala, curry powder and jalapeno. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

2. Stir 2 cups of broth, butternut squash, lentils and bay leaf. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. (If lentils seem dry, add up to 1/2 cup broth, as needed.) Stir in chard and salt and pepper, and continue cooking until lentils are tender and chard is cooked, about 10-20 minutes additional.

3. Just before serving, stir in cilantro, lime zest and juice. Garnish with chopped tamari almonds or toasted coconut.

Nutritional Info (excluding almonds or coconut)
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 361.6
Total Fat: 7.9 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 706.5 mg
Total Carbs: 73.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 26.2 g
Protein: 21.7 g
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3 Responses to “Curried Butternut Squash and Lentils”

  1. 1

    ttfn300 — November 24, 2008 @ 12:44 am Reply

    i saw this over at smitten kitchen and knew i’d have to make it! now it’s killing me :)

  2. 2

    ttfn300 — April 5, 2011 @ 1:12 am Reply

    i saw this over at smitten kitchen and knew i'd have to make it! now it's killing me :)

  3. 3

    Yocelyn Diaz Suarez — November 5, 2011 @ 2:09 pm Reply

    This looks delicious! I love anything curry, and lentils I am all for!

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