I found it under the Christmas tree, all wrapped by Santa Claus. How awesome is that?
But let’s start from the beginning.
About a month ago my old crock-pot died an unnatural death (I won’t tell you how though).
Since that day I felt lost and alone.
You see, I use my crock-pot many many times a week. I make a bunch of things with it: chicken tikka masala, pulled pork, roasted red pepper sauce, bolognese sauce, just to name a few.
I consider it one of the best inventions ever. I can't fathom going through a winter without a crock-pot.
So imagine how I was feeling. Mike without slow cooker -> disaster.
Sisters to the rescue.
They got me a brand new crock-pot. Just like my old one, but bigger.
Best. Gift. Ever.
I was so excited and I couldn’t wait to try it out.
As I was fairly torn on what to prepare first, I let my pantry guide me. I had a ton of Spanish lentils at home; they’d been on sale at my local health food store, and I’m a big fan of their texture and size.
So, that was my recipe base.
Because lentils go so nicely with Thai red curry flavors, I decided to do a spicy, savory Thai lentil dish: something halfway between soup and stew, completely vegan, a bit spicy and very flavorful.
Things I love about this (Vegan) Crock-Pot Thai Red Curry Lentils: it’s creamy, hearty, and filling, while also being incredibly healthy.
The tomato sauce and coconut milk create a rich base — much more memorable than using broth or water alone.
I love that the dish features red curry paste with its beautiful pungent fragrance and garam masala, and with it the characteristically autumnal aromas of cinnamon and cardamom.
I love that this could be served on its own, as a vegan stew of sorts, or over rice (which is how I’ve been eating it).
And I love that the recipe makes a lot of food; a perfect choice for batch cooking and freezing.
Minimal effort, maximum results.
If you toss all of the ingredients into your slow cooker and make rice ahead of time, you will have dinner the minute you get in the door after work or whatever you do.
Recipes like this are the ultimate time saver and who can’t use more time?
(Vegan) Crock-Pot Thai Red Curry Lentils Print this recipe!
Adapted from PinchOfYum
4 cups small brown lentils (I used organic Spanish brown lentils), rinsed and picked over
2 onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or olive oil)
3 to 4 tablespoons red curry paste (adjust according to taste)
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons brown sugar (I used coconut sugar)
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 can (29 oz) tomato puree
2 teaspoons fine grain salt
½ cup coconut milk (I used BPA-free Natural Value)
Fresh chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish
Lightly grease the crock-pot insert with olive oil (or cooking spray). Add lentils, onions, garlic, ginger, coconut oil, red curry paste, garam masala, turmeric, sugar, and cayenne. Give a good stir to combine.
Pour 1 can of tomato puree over the lentils. Fill the can with water twice and add to the crock-pot.
Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.
Check every now and add more water if the lentils are soaking up all the liquid (it also depends on how soupy you like your lentils.)
Take a taste and season with salt.
Stir in the coconut milk, sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro, and serve.
One serving yields 340 calories, 6 grams of fat, 54 grams of carbs, and 19 grams of protein.