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I found pumpkin!! Yes, after weeks of searching, I finally got my hands on some pumpkin. Yahoo! As I wrote last week in my chocolate chip sweet potato bread recipe, I hadn’t been able to find any this entire season. Now that I finally have some pumpkin, it’s time to get busy! We rarely eat sweets, so after last week’s recipe I thought it was time for a savory dish. Papi Chulo is always asking for lentils and Greek yogurt is a staple at our place, so I decided to combine pumpkin, lentils, and Greek yogurt to make a thick curry that’s perfect over rice.
While it’s not the most beautiful dish I’ve ever created, it is certainly among the most delicious! It’s both sweet and spicy, it keeps well (which makes it a good choice for meal prep!), and has plenty of protein and fiber. Although not included in the recipe, chunks of white potato or sweet potato go well in this curry, too.
We are not vegetarian, but we do eat lots of plant-based meals (with some dairy on top). Pulses, whole grains, and plain old “vegetables” form the bulk of most meals around here! Something else that’s generally important to us is keeping things as close to the source as possible – in other words, eating whole foods. We do keep some processed items around because we occasionally need the quick calories, but they’re not healthy go-to choices. For meal or snack, sticking with whole foods will generally leave you feeling more full and satisfied. Here’s a quick example of what I mean – both plates contain 30 calories worth of food:
Which snack is going to leave you more full?
We all know we should be eating whole foods, plenty of vegetables, etc., but it takes more time to wash and slice the cucumber than it does to open a bag of granola. I don’t know many people who habitually feel like they have too much time on their hands, do you? Quite the opposite!
Anyway, I do have a reason for bringing all of this up – there’s a simple way to save both time and money while eating healthy and it’s called meal prep. You spend a couple hours once or twice a week cooking up a storm, then you have healthy meals ready to go when you need them. How much easier is it to choose the cucumber, metaphorically speaking, when it’s sliced and ready to eat? Meal prep not only helps make healthy choices easy, but it also reduces food waste because you never got around to eating those leftovers, cuts down on the time you spend cooking and cleaning up each day, and helps you save money in a couple different ways. I’m still not 100% decided, but I’m considering writing my first (non-coloring) e-book on “meal prep 101” to show just how simple it is to get started with make ahead meals. What do y’all think? Does that sound like a useful topic?
Yikes! That was kind of a lot! I guess it’s time to get to the pumpkin lentil curry recipe. I’m a little bit of a wimp so this curry isn’t too super spicy, so make sure to do a taste test and add more pepper if you like things hot!
Don’t let the number of steps intimidate you – this pumpkin lentil curry is easy to make and takes less than an hour from start to finish. Most of the steps in the recipe are “add and stir,” so they’re not difficult! We ate this curry over rice, but it can be made into a soup quite easily. To make a thick curried pumpkin lentil soup, just add about a cup more water and completely cover while it’s simmering. Without the rice, this curry has about 250 calories per serving and includes 2 grams of fat, 18 grams of protein, and 9 grams of fiber. The exact nutritional value depends on your ingredients, so please do the math with your own ingredients if it’s important to you!