It’s been over two weeks now since the beginning of the Lenten season, and I talked briefly about what I did for Lent last year, but I wanted to share more throughout the season this year. In recent years I have become more interested in the practice of fasting as part of my Christian walk. I never really had much exposure to fasting growing up but I like how abstaining from something becomes a call to prayer, something of which I would like to do more.
Last year Sean and I decided to follow an Orthodox-like Lenten fast of no meats, dairies, or rich oils during the week and feasting on Sundays. This year I have decided to give up meat, cheese, and Starbucks. I know Starbucks seems kind of odd, but I felt I was becoming dependent on Vanilla Spiced Chai Lattes. I try my best to follow these guidelines during the week, and feast on Sundays, but as I am human I find myself slipping up more than I would like. But, that’s also a beautiful reminder to me, that when I mess up I can always start the next morning afresh.
Here is one of my favorite Lenten meals, Red Lentil Coconut Curry. It’s full of rich flavors and so very comforting on a cool spring evening.
Red Lentil Coconut Curry Stew
1 tablespoon oil of your choice
1 small onion diced
2 carrots sliced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced
1 to 2 tablespoon curry powder (Depending on your taste)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 sweet potato cut in 1/2 cubes
1 cup red lentils
3 cups vegetable stock
1/2 14oz. can coconut milk
yogurt and cilantro to garnish
- In a large heavy bottomed pan (I like to use my dutch oven) heat oil at medium high heat until warm. Add in the onion and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes until soft.
- Stir in the garlic, ginger, and curry powder and let cook for about 1 minute.
- Stir in the tomato paste, sweet potatoes, lentils, coconut milk and veggie stock. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Stir every once and a while to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom.
- If you want your meal to be more soup-like you can serve now, or if you would like a more stew-like consistency uncover and cook for about 5 more minutes.
- Garnish your stew with a dollop of yogurt and some cilantro, or serve over brown rice if you’d like.
I hope you enjoy the stew and I would love to hear about some of the ways you observe the Lenten season.