Tag Archives: fall recipes

Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Curry


The dish I am making today is a combination of two recipes I found this morning.  The first one is from The CopyCat Cook.  The combination of creamy sweet potatoes and red lentils sounds like a good pair.

This curry seems to be (and I’m definitely not a curry expert) an Indian-inspired curry (cumin, turmeric, and lentils) and I’m in the mood for Thai, so I found this recipe, which calls for Thai curry paste, cilantro, and fish sauce:  Sweet Potato Thai Curry.

The final dish will use green curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce, spinach, lentils, ginger, garlic, onion, cilantro, and of course,  sweet potato.

(Vegetarians should omit the fish sauce!)

Finals Notes:

I decided to partially cook the sweet potatoes and lentils in their own pots prior to adding all the ingredients together in the curry.  I wanted to make sure that all the ingredients were cooked through at the same time, spent the right amount of time in the curry sauce, and cooking those ingredients separately seemed the best way to do it.  It was a bit more work, but I felt I had more control over the final dish this way.  No crunchy lentils or potatoes for me!

As I added the potatoes and lentils to the curry sauce, I also added some veggie stock to thin out the coconut milk.  Green curry also tends to taste soapy to me (am I the only one?) and the veggie stock mellows out the curry paste.

I ended up leaving out the fish sauce and the spinach and adding a healthy dose of lime juice at the very end of cooking.

This is, by far, the best curry recipe I’ve ever made.  I highly recommend it!


Sunday Menu Planning Session




Why do we bother with the rest of the day,
the swale of the afternoon,
the sudden dip into evening,
then night with his notorious perfumes,
his many-pointed stars?
This is the best—
throwing off the light covers,
feet on the cold floor,
and buzzing around the house on espresso—
maybe a splash of water on the face,
a palmful of vitamins—
but mostly buzzing around the house on espresso,
dictionary and atlas open on the rug,
the typewriter waiting for the key of the head,
a cello on the radio,
and, if necessary, the windows—
trees fifty, a hundred years old
out there,
heavy clouds on the way
and the lawn steaming like a horse
in the early morning.


My husband and I are ending this Saturday in the same way we usually start them: in our bed, with coffee, in our underwear, with our laptops, books, and cat.  He’s (the husband, not the cat) reading From Max Weber:  Essays in Sociology. It’s homework, and he’s not enjoying it.  I’m reading Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain.  I’ve decided in the past few days that I want to be a food writer when I grow up.  I’m 24 now, and I’m not quite sure when “growing up” happens.  I have a full time, professional job.

Did I miss the boat?

Anyway, the husband and I are ending the day as we usually start it, which makes me quite disoriented.  Our normal routines have been thrown off as we’ve had a guest for a couple days.  But we love our Saturday morning rituals, so here we are, starting our weekend.

I asked the husband what he wanted to cook this weekend and he said he wants to make a Thai curry.  I’m tired and I have a stomachache right now, so I didn’t enthusiastically receive that request.  But I didn’t dismiss it outright.  I found an interesting recipe, Thai-style coconut butternut squash, which looks really good.  I’m not necessarily keen on making this tomorrow, but squash does sound good.

I roasted two acorn squash a couple nights ago with brown sugar and chili powder.  I really didn’t have a plan or a menu to incorporate them into–I just wanted to eat a bowl of squash.  So, I did.

Here’s another recipe, from that same website (Closet Cooking):  Roasted Butternut Squash with Carmelized Onions, Gorgonzola, and Crispy Fried Sage. That recipe is just asking to be made into lasagna.  Hmm.  Or soup.

(Tentative) Menu Plan:

1.  Thai Curry of Some Sort

2.  Squash Dish of Some Sort

Sorry for the lack of enthusiasm in this post.  I tried to keep my stomachache-mood from coming through. I don’t think this coffee I am drinking is helping much.

Mexican Red Lentil Soup (Vegan)


Mexican Red Lentil Soup


Sunday Menu


I love my Saturday morning ritual: sitting in bed, drinking hot coffee (with almond milk), and searching the Internet for recipes.

The husband is sitting next to me, reading Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha.  This book, written by evolutionary psychologists, argues that the presumption that ancient human families and sexualities were monogamous and possessive is wrong. He’s reading it as part of his research on family structure evolution.

Recipes up for consideration for this weekend’s cooking marathon:

I really wanted to make either mushroom soup or sweet potato soup, but guess what–

Thanks to the Summer of Hummus, I don’t have a blender.  And I want a pureed soup.  So, I plan on pouting for a bit this morning, and trying to decide whether or not I want to buy a blender today.

Without counting or measuring.


Steps 1-5:  Washing, chopping, drizzling, sprinkling, roasting.

400 degrees


Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

butternut squash, zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion, roasted garlic, red potatoes, bell pepper, flour, milk, vegetable stock, salt and pepper, oregano, basil, olive oil.

Peel and chop as you feel like it.

Roast butternut squash and garlic.

Sauté zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, bell pepper. Season. Stir. Check your email. Compliment your spouse (he vacuumed).  Ask him to change the music from Pink Floyd to Simon and Garfunkel.  He complains, but concedes.

Stir some.

When the mushrooms are deeply colored and the onions sweet, add oil or butter to pan.  Sprinkle flour, incorporating it into the fat with your wooden spoon.  Cook away the raw flour taste.

Slowly add milk and stock, bit by bit, until the flour absorbs and holds the liquid.

Continue to stir.

Eventually, you’ll have a gravy. Taste it. Season it.

Layer vegetables into a casserole dish.  Drown the vegetables in the gravy.

Boil red potatoes.

Mash them. (add milk, butter, salt and pepper if you like.  Or goat cheese. Or sour cream. or whatever you want.)

Spread potatoes over vegetables and gravy.

Cover with tin foil (aluminum foil?).

Bake at 300-something degrees until you feel inclined to take it out of the oven.  You may begin to smell it.  You may just be impatient.  Or you may have casserole intuition.  Whatever way you measure casserole-in-the-oven time, embrace it.