The best part about this vegetarian bowl recipe is how easy it is to make. This makes it an ideal candidate for one of those hectic mid-week dinners when all you want is a delicious meal on the table without having to think too hard. It's made with hearty red lentils, fresh ginger, plenty of spices, a couple handfuls of baby spinach, and coconut milk — a perfect balance of heat and creaminess.
Don't be intimidated by the long list of ingredients here — it's mostly spices, which you can swap out if you're short or don't feel like running to the store. Also, allow about 45 minutes to cook the wild rice. If that's too long to fit into your weekend, make the rice a day or two ahead and keep it refrigerated until you need it. Alternatively, substitute any quick-cooking grain that you like!
Wild Rice Bowl with Red Lentil-Coconut Curry and Spinach
1 cup wild rice
2 tablespoons ghee (or butter, or coconut oil)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 cup red lentils
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder (optional)
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups baby spinach leaves, tightly packed
1 (15.5-ounce) can coconut milk
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup cilantro leaves (lightly packed), to garnish
Prepare the wild rice according to the package instructions, or follow these simple steps. Most wild rice takes about 45 minutes to become tender; you can also make it a few days ahead so it's ready when you need it.
While the rice is cooking, heat the ghee in a large saucepan with tall sides over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and cook until lightly golden and soft. Add in the minced garlic and ginger, and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the red lentils, red curry paste, tomato paste, and spices, and cook until fragrant. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil.
Once the lentils and broth reach a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. Before serving, fold in the fresh spinach leaves, and pour in the coconut milk. At this point, taste the curry and adjust the seasoning according to your liking; add more salt or cayenne, if needed.
To serve, divide the wild rice equally into 4 bowls. Top each bowl with the curry, a dollop of yogurt, and fresh cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.
Recipe originally published August 2015.