There is no doubt about it. Home-cooked, bean-focused vegetarian meals are a healthy and nourishing way to feed your family. But coming up with tasty and filling meat-free meals can seem daunting and time consuming. When you have the help of a handy slow cooker that allows you to prep your meals well ahead of crunch time, serving up a healthy, balanced meal seems that much more feasible.
If you are trying to cut back on your meat consumption or just eat a little healthier without breaking the bank, the world of lentils may just be a realm worth diving into. Just one cup of lentils packs 18 grams of protein and enough fiber to provide that slow-burning energy that helps keep blood sugar levels even and cravings at bay.
When seeking out affordable vegetarian meal ideas, look for inspiration from ethnic cuisines, like Indian, that don’t rely on meat to make meals delicious. Dahl, a traditional Indian lentil dish, utilizes flavorful spices and aromatics to transform basic commodity ingredients into complex and delectable dishes. Enjoy this version of dahl with brown rice, couscous or naan bread for a balanced and satisfying vegetarian meal.
Slow cooker yellow lentil dahl
- 2 cups dried yellow lentils, rinsed and sorted
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- Rinse the lentils in cold running water. Sift through and remove any small stones or debris. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and fresh ginger and saute until the onion is softened, about five minutes.
- Add the sauteed onion mixture, lentils, all of the spices, vegetable stock and tomatoes into the slow cooker. Cook on high for about four hours.
- During the last five minutes of cooking, stir in the baby spinach.