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Lentil and Kale Dal + a Video!

Posted Nov 02 2011 1:27pm

Lentils are what we make for dinner if I have not planned ahead of time to soak beans or buy ingredients for a meal. Lentils are inexpensive and cook quickly without the need for soaking. However, if you are gluten-senitive or celiac, there is one thing you need to know about lentils. They are often cross-contaminated with gluten grains. We made a short video in our kitchen to show you. Hope you enjoy!

Gluten Cross-Contamination in Lentils from Whole Life Nutrition on Vimeo .

We have found that the contamination is not happening in the bulk bins, it happens before the lentils arrive to the co-op. The best thing to do is to sort through them and pick out the gluten grains then rinse them thoroughly and proceed with the recipe. One of those grains in a pot of soup can adversely affect someone with gluten issues for weeks or more. You can either remove the grains or remove lentils from your diet to avoid possible cross-contamination.

Lentil and Kale Dal

I add kale to everything because we love it, and we grow it in our backyard green garden. Of course, you could add spinach, chard, broccoli leaves, or any other green you have on hand. You can also add diced zucchini, diced carrots, and whatever vegetables you like to this. I like to keep it simple, this way I can prepare it in 10 minutes or less then walk away from it while it is simmering on the stove. Serve this with a dollop of Spicy Peach Chutney and cooked Sticky Brown Rice .

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 1/2 cups French lentils, rinsed
6 cups water
4 cups chopped kale
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
handful cilantro, chopped

Heat a 6-quart pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Then add the onions and saute for 6 to 7 minutes. Then add the ginger and spices; saute a minute more. Then add the lentils and water; cover and simmer for 40 minutes.

Add the kale and the salt, stir, and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes to cook the kale and reduce the liquid. Continue cooking if you like your dal thicker. Turn off heat and add the cilantro. Serve over rice or quinoa.

Yield: 6 servings

Note: I like to add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne for my taste but two of our children find this too spicy. They prefer it when I add 1/8 teaspoon or less.  Source:

More Main Dish Recipes:
Summer Vegetable Kitcheree
Collard Wraps
Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Squash

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