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Spicy Red Lentil and Spinach Dahl – a 5:2 Diet Recipe:
One of the joys for me of eating out in London is that over the last twenty years or so our capital city has become thriving international culinary hub. Recently I’ve been lucky enough to sample some excellent Indian restaurants and I’ve developed quite a taste for Indian food. And while it hasn’t been exactly helpful as I’ve tried to lose weight with the 5:2 diet, it has as least given me some inspiration for new 5:2 diet recipes.
At home on a 5:2 fast day last night I got a real craving for something warm and spicy. I’ve been checking out recipes for Dahl – and since I had no fresh meat in the house, a vegetarian dahl seemed a great option for supper yesterday. This is an adaptation of a number of recipes I found for dahl, all of which were quite similar. Mine uses spinach because I happened to have a bag in the house. And red lentils because I had some open. I’ve used a tiny amount of coconut oil to sweat the onion and open the spices because I know it is a healthier option than many cooking fats. You could substitute olive oil sunflower or corn oil if you prefer. And, because I have a thyroid problem I’ve cooked the spinach a little. Many vegetables that should be ‘good’ for you are goitrogenic – potentially bad for people with hypothyroidism unless they are cooked through. You could leave out the spinach altogether or use a different vegetable if you prefer.
Real comfort food, I enjoyed this soupy stew with just a dollop of yoghurt last night. If you are not on a 5:2 fast day, you might want to have some naan bread or rice. Is it authentic? Probably not – but it was very good – and that’s what counts!
- 100 g Dry Red Lentils
- 100 ml Vegetable Stock
- 1 tablespoon Tomato Puree
- 2 Medium Tomatoes skinned and chopped into chunks
- 2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Ground Tumeric
- 1/2 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
- 1-2 clove Garlic Finely chopped or grated
- 1 teaspoon Chili Powder Or one fresh chili. Adjust according to taste - I like heat!
- 2 teaspoons Ginger Finely chopped or grated
- 1 Medium Onion Finely Sliced
- 150 g Spinach Torn or roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon Coconut oil
- 1 handful Coriander To Garnish
- 1 tablespoon Low Fat Yoghurt To Garnish
- Simmer the lentils in water for 5 minutes, then drain and put to one side
- Melt the coconut oil in a heavy based pan. Add the dry spices and cook over a medium heat till the mustard seeds start to pop.
- Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook gently for 3-5 minutes till the onion starts to soften.
- Add the tomato puree, stock, fresh tomato and drained lentils and simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally and adding more water if necessary
- When the lentils are soft and slightly mushy, stir through the spinach and cook for a further 2-3 minutes
- Serve garnished with chopped coriander and a dollop of low fat yoghurt.
My recipe makes enough for two main course size portions or for 4 people as a side dish. Perfect for a 5:2 fast day main meal, it has just under 300 calories per serving without the yoghurt.
I have a feeling I’ll be eating a lot more of this healthy food over the next seven days. I’m off to a bootcamp in Spain for a week of torture;) I’m really hoping that will help me reach my 5:2 diet target – I just have a couple more kilos to loose before I’m there, but like so many diets, the last bit seems to be the hardest. Wish me luck!