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A Few Good Things and Gingery Lentil Stew with Swiss Chard

cold wind is howling around my little house, evidence that winter is alive and well in Queensland. I love it because I’m warm and cozy indoors and don’t have to be out in the bluster and blow, dodging flying tree branches and other detritus from the farmyard.

I’ve been sick as can be this week, and still am, but in spite of that, it’s been a good week.

The weather has been scrumptious with sunshine and brilliant blue skies.

I’ve spotted all sorts of signs that Spring is on its way: tiny flowers peeping up in cheery yellow and purple, lime green blades of new grass pushing up through brown earth and rocks, orange blossoms on one of my seedlings, and animals strolling and napping in the sunshine.

 

My friend Ann surprised me with a drive in the country, heading out to the rolling hills of Killarney. It was so good to get out of the house and be cozy and warm in her truck as we motored past tidy little farms and cute towns with names like Tannymorel, Yangan and Emu Vale.

We stopped at her friends house and while they had their meeting, I got to sit on a sun-drenched porch in a comfy yellow chair, so deliciously warm as I rested and looked out at the hills and gardens and trees.

 

 

I had a small stack of library books with me, and happily passed the time reading and thinking. I perused an art book and decided that while Art Deco is interesting, it is Art Nouveau that really sets my heart aflutter. I do love reading in the sunshine.

 

 

Today I am hunkering down in my big, green chair, weathering this storm with copious amounts of hot tea, warm bran muffins slathered with butter and steamy dollops of this admittedly ugly but oh so delicious Ginger Lentil stew with Swiss Chard (silver beet). Simmered with fresh ginger, turmeric, coriander, and cumin, it is savory, hearty, spicy, and oh-so-comforting.

 

 

What is the best book you’ve read recently? I’d love your recommendations. 🙂

 

Gingery Lentils with Swiss Chard

Ingredients:

1 package red lentils (sorted and rinsed)
enough water to cover by 2-3 inches
1/4 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced thinly
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 bunch Swiss chard (remove and discard cores) washed, and chopped (silver beet, kale or spinach work well too)
(NOTE: if you want this dish less spicy, halve the amount of fresh ginger you use)

Directions:

  1. Pour rinsed red lentils into heavy-bottomed saucepan and cover with water 2-3 inches. Bring to boil and remove any scum.
  2. Stir in turmeric and first amount of fresh ginger, cumin and coriander.
  3. Return to boil then lower heat and simmer with lid slightly askew for 30-45 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent sticking.
  4. At the 25 minute mark, pour vegetable oil (or ghee) into heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. After oil heats (about one minute), add second amount of cumin, coriander and fresh ginger. Stir until fragrant, then add chopped silver beet, stirring to coat leaves.
  5. Cover and heat until leaves have wilted, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove sliced ginger from cooked lentils then pour over silver beet, stirring well to incorporate. Cook over medium-high heat for 20-30 minutes.
  7. I served this with hot roasted chicken for a simple, hearty dinner.
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Krista - Oooo, that sounds very interesting, Shari! I’ll have to see if I can track it down. 🙂

Krista - Oh that sounds like a very interesting book, Jenny! I just watched a bio of Lord Byron a bit ago, so I think I’d really enjoy this. 🙂

Krista - Thank you, Val. 🙂 I’m so glad you can see the goodness behind the, um, yellow green mass. 🙂

Krista - Isn’t the sky bliss, Katy? 🙂 I wish you were here to see it in person. 🙂 I know you’d love it!!

Krista - Oh, you make me smile, Darlene. 🙂 I’m SO much like that when it comes to reading. 🙂 I have to do it when I’m by myself or, as you say, I get a wee bit cranky. 🙂

Krista - Oh good, Mary! I hope you love it too. 🙂

Krista - Baha! Once again you make me burst out laughing, Deanna. 🙂 You are the queen of comedic timing. 🙂

Krista - I love those days too, Joanne! 🙂 They are so hopeful. 🙂

Krista - Oh that’s hilarious, Andrea. 🙂 So crazy when summer and winter weather are the SAME! 🙂

Joanne - The days when spring is just breaking are so beautiful! And I love that stew. The flavors are totally my kind of thing.

Andrea and John - What a gorgeous place to relax! It’s funny – I found myself thinking, goodness, she’s having the same winter that we are, haha, then I remembered that it’s summer over here in Norway – you wouldn’t know it!! Feel better

Deanna - Feel better! I bet eating this stew you’ll feel better by tomorrow. My favorite book that I’ve read recently was Apron Anxiety. Much less embarrassing than saying 50 Shades of Grey.

Mary R - Yum… I just bought kale today, so I’m going to try out this recipe! I love reading in the sun too…

Darlene - I’ll definitely be trying this lentil recipe, Krista. My mouth waters just thinking about it 🙂 I hardly ever read anymore (I can’t put a good book down, and if my kids need me I can be a wee bit — no, much more than a wee bit — cranky at being disturbed!! Anyway, I picked up a looooooong book by Christmas Carol Kauffman entitled Light from Heaven, and was hooked from page 1. Hope you’re feeling much better soon.

katyabroad - That sky is heavenly! And those lentils look so good, I think I will have to make that this weekend! It is apparently Summer here, but it feels more like Winter – something warming and hearty is in order 🙂

bellini - This comfort food at its best Krista. Never judge a book by its cover.

jenny_atasteoftravel - I have just finished Me,Myself and Lord Byron by Juliet Jamieson, an Australian author and travel writer who I heard speak at the Perth Writer’s Festival. I’ve also book marked your lentil recipe..sounds perfect for a cold winter’s night!

Shari - I just read Escape by Carolyn Jessop. Wow. Just, wow.
Gingery Lentils with Swiss Chard sounds like a delightful comfort dish.

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