Creamy Thai Lentils with Sweet Potatoes

With the holidays behind us and only two weeks left of my maternity leave, I feel like I’m spinning uncontrollably towards a Big Unknown. Which I am. What will it be like to take my baby to work? Will I feel invigorated by getting out every day, or exhausted? Full of purpose or drained of emotional resources? And more importantly, what will it be like to have to put away the gauchos I’ve lived in for the past 3 months and actually wear *shiver* real pants? Like, pants pants? (Know what I mean?)

It’s hard to say . . . so why keep thinking about it? What will happen will happen, so in the meantime I’ll keep gazing at my baby . . .

. . . (and putting lotion on her poor dry skin!), reading on the couch, doing my morning coffee/devotional/Pilates routine, and I’ll even write a couple blog posts. But before posting recipes for 2 fabulous soups that I’ve discovered, I bring you these lentils. I don’t even remember when I made this dish–in fact, I had this post ready to go and saved to my drafts from some time last spring or summer. It’s appalling how long it sat there, and I’m happy to finally resurrect it, because it was really awesome.

I really loved this dish, modified from Lindsay’s already-fabulous recipe. Because I misread the recipe though, I used 1 lb of lentils instead of 1 cup, so it was much more of a lentil-heavy dish than she intended. But I didn’t realize my mistake until I referenced the original recipe before writing this post, because it was fantastic even with my flub!

I also was wary of the cabbage she included, mainly because I intended this dish to last as leftovers through the week, and cold leftover cooked cabbage really tends to . . . well, it stinks, folks. So I went with spinach instead.

It’s truly delicious, a meal that can be made fairly cheaply, and pretty darn healthy to boot. And it’s almost vegan–fully vegan if you skip the butter.

Enough said–let’s cook!


(Serves 6-8)

1 lb lentils, rinsed
5 cups vegetable broth
2 large sweet potatoes
1 tsp turmeric
3 TBS oil
1 TBS butter
5 cloves garlic
1 onion thinly sliced
1-9 oz bag spinach
2 jalapeños
1 TBS fresh minced ginger
1-14.5 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 1/4 cups coconut milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cilantro, to garnish

Peel and dice the sweet potatoes, and add them to the pot along with the broth and rinsed lentils.

Bring it to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 30-40 minutes, or until the lentils and potatoes are just done cooking (soft but still holding their shape). Stir the pot a few times during this cookination to make sure the lentils don’t burn to the bottom of the pot, and add extra water as needed.

Add the turmeric, tomatoes, and ginger, mix it all about, and cook for another 10 minutes, adding a little more liquid if it looks dry (or another can o’ tomatoes if you want to walk on the wild side!).

Slice the onion, mince the garlic, and de-seed and mince the chilies.

Like zees!

Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet. Cook the onion, garlic and chilies until softened.

Add the spinach, and stir until just wilted (sorry, a little short on step by step pics today). Add the spinach/onion combo to the pot of lentils along with the coconut milk. Stir until evenly incorporated and heated through.

Excellent! Looks like a pot full of gross mush. Exactly what I was hoping for.

But your taste buds will tell you otherwise! Yost clois yor ais and troist me.

And don’t ask what accent I was trying to speak in–it’s entirely of my own making.

Taste and season, and serve garnished with cilantro (by itself or over rice).

You will love these flavors!

At least I did.

Now dig in!

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8 thoughts on “Creamy Thai Lentils with Sweet Potatoes

  1. Twinky Satterthwaite

    I have checked multiple times today to see if perhaps you would post something…. And, VOILÁ! Yay! …although i didn’t expect it so late in the day =).

    Looks very tasty. Just one more of the bazillions of your recipes I want to make!!

    Some day…

  2. Circe

    Fantastic! I was just thinking this morning that I needed to find something tasty to make for dinner on Sunday, so this is it. I assume with the coconut milk that it should be original, and not flavoured?

    anyhow, enjoy the rest of your time off with Alice.

    1. Jenna Post author

      Funny–I didn’t know there even was flavored coconut milk. Anyway, just use a regular can of coconut milk (not cream of coconut, that’s for sure!!).

  3. Veronica

    Oh how I’ve missed your food blogs and humor, but I have to tell you that after that first pic of Alice, I ignored the rest of the post and scrolled down in hopes of spying more Alice pics. Totally crushed with disappointment! 😉 I love looking at her, she reminds me so much of you and has so much personality in that little face! BTW, a lot of parents recommend Vaseline for dry skin on their children but I personally would recommend organic extra virgin coconut oil–it absorbs well and only a little is needed and it doesn’t clog pores. Plus it’s all natural. Plus it tastes delicious and you can lick her afterward for a treat. 😉

    Probably going back to work will have an adjustment period and that might be hard, but I hope you get into a new routine smoothly and it’s not too rough for you.

    And oh yes, I might have to try this dish with red lentils.


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