If you’re wanting to whip up an elegant gourmet meal to show the meat-lover in your life that vegan food is not the lentil goop they imagine—don’t cook this. This is lentil goop. It’s quite nice, very healthy, and undeniably… vegan. If you asked professional Beef Douche Guy Fieri to draw you a picture of a typical vegan dish, this is what he’d draw (although he wouldn’t draw it very well, because he’s probably more used to sketching food shaped like horse poops).
This Golden Red Lentil Dal with Cilantro-Speckled Basmati recipe is from Oh She Glows, whose cookbook I heartily recommend. I made a few changes: I didn’t have basmati, so I used regular white rice, and I added a sweet potato, because we had one loafing about in the back of the cupboard. My finished dish doesn’t look anywhere near as pretty as Angela’s because I failed to notice the word finely in her carrot-dicing instructions, and thus my bowl has giant orange chunks in it (and, as she helpfully notes, the larger your carrot chunks, the longer the dal will take to cook; this took ages). Also, she served her meal on a fancy plate, whereas I like to eat out of old bowls. I freakin’ love bowls. I have to be physically restrained from mashing up all of my food and serving it in a bowl. I once asked my husband if he’d ever get some romantic reminder of me tattooed somewhere on his person—I was picturing, you know, my name etched in a charming script—and he said, “Maybe a picture of a bowl?” My middle name is not Sophistication (it’s Rae).
I’m not sure I’d make this again; I found the dal a little bland (thankfully, as per my earlier note to self re. seasoning, I did remember to douse it in Sriracha sauce, and that made it pretty tasty). In any case, the recipe gets an average of 4.9 out of 5 from other reviewers, so take my opinion with a grain of salt (or, as is apparently my preference, 63,000 grains of salt). It made enough for two dinners and a lunch, so it’s certainly economical. And I really liked the cilantro rice; I’d make that again to serve with something else.
I noticed that I cropped the photo so the book title reads The Science of Goo; then I googled “the science of goo” and found this. Isn’t the world a marvelous and unfathomable place?