Lentils are underestimated, don’t you think? Especially red lentils out of the lentil family. I mean brown or green lentils, you’re just always taking over the spot light. Let’s give red lentils a chance to shine for a moment. This 40 Minute Red Lentil Curry with Cauliflower Rice is the perfect opportunity – go little red lentils! Have your 15 minutes of fame – or in this case, 40 minutes of fame! Don’t get me wrong I love green/brown lentils very much in all of their sort of meaty like texture, my Lentil Mushroom Tacos with Creamy Chipotle Sauce are proof of that! (<– so yum!) BUT red lentils, you’ve got something special, you kind of create this creamy, starchy, tender texture in everything you do. Just to be clear, green or brown lentils hold their shape while red lentils kind of fall apart and become creamy. They are perfect for soups or creamy sauces. BTW why are they called red lentils?! I’m pretty sure they should be called orange lentils, the person who named them must have been color blind.
Jeez this lady is obsessed about lentils <–BORING! Okay, okay moving on now!
I’ve been into the curries and Asian inspired dishes lately. First I made my Eggplant Green Curry and then I made my Healthy General Tso’s Chicken a week ago which wasn’t a curry but still the Asian theme continues. While green curry is more mild and a good place to start if you’re new to curries red curry is a little more robust (<-hey nice word) and spicy and oh so delicious. This 40 Minute Red Lentil Curry with Cauliflower Rice is packed with veggies: onions, carrots, red bell pepper, garlic, a jalapeno for extra heat (optional), and kale stirred in at the end. PLUS we are serving this red lentil curry with cauliflower rice, extra veggies FTW! Really you could serve this red lentil curry with real rice if you prefer but since lentils are higher in carbs I thought it would be a good idea to serve it with a low carb option, plus more veggies, always! You could also serve it with zucchini noodles, yes please! Anyways the red lentils are simmered away with the curry paste until they get nice and tender and creamy. To top everything off we add a can of light coconut milk for extra creaminess and that kale for a hint of green. There is so much warming comfort and deliciousness to be had in this bowl of 40 Minute Red Lentil Curry with Cauliflower Rice! I meeeean just look at it!
Back to the lentils for a quick minute – I promise, it’ll be fast. If you’re like me and want to fit a few plant based meals into your diet but rarely feel full and satisfied without any meat or other form of animal protein 40 Minute Red Lentil Curry with Cauliflower Rice is for you. Lentils are a great place to start, 1 cup cooked lentils contains 18 grams of protein and 16 grams of dietary fiber – you guys there is no going hungry 1 hour later with lentils! To top it all off lentils are loaded with Iron, vitamin B-6 (<–good for energy), and magnesium (<– good for bone strength and muscle health)! There is something so satisfying about eating a plant based meal that sticks with you for hours!
You will love this 40 Minute Red Lentil Curry with Cauliflower Rice – it’s hearty, flavorful, just the right amount of spice, packed with veggies, creamy, and super satisfying! If you give this recipe a try let me know how it goes in the comments below. Snap a picture and tag it in #robustrecipes on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂
Looking for more satisfying plant based recipes? Try my Mango Black Bean Quinoa Salad, Mexican Millet Power Bowls with Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette, Lentil Mushroom Tacos with Creamy Chipotle Sauce, or Warm Lentil and Sweet Potato Kale Salad! So much plant power goodness happening here!!!
- Red Lentil Curry
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 Serrano pepper, minced (optional)
- 4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces red curry paste (I like Thai Kitchen, found in the Asian section at grocery stores)
- 1½ cups red lentils, rinsed
- 3½ cups low sodium vegetable broth (or more if needed)
- Dried red chilies (optional)
- 1 15 ounce can light coconut milk (or sub full fat for a richer dish)
- 2 cups kale, chopped
- salt to taste
- Cilantro for garnish
- Lime slices for garnish
- Cauliflower Rice
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 head of cauliflower
- Prep vegetables: Prep all the veggies for the red lentil curry as instructed above.
- Cook Veggies: Heat a large skillet with high sides and a tight fitting lid over medium heat. Melt coconut oil and add onions and carrots. Saute for 5 minutes, or until somewhat tender. Add the bell pepper and Serrano pepper, saute another 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute, or until fragrant, stir in the red curry paste.
- Cook Lentils: Add the rinsed lentils and the vegetables stock, and dried red chilies, stir combine. Cover and bring the pan to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer covered for 10 to 15 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the lentils are tender. If the liquid evaporates before the lentils are done cooking then add another ½ cup vegetable stock or filtered water. NOTE: Your lentils may take longer to cook if they are really old, maybe another 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them.
- Make Cauliflower Rice Make the cauliflower rice while the lentils are cooking. Remove the stem, leaves, and core from the cauliflower. Cut it into medium sized florets. You can either place the florets in a food processor and pulse until they reach a rice like texture. OR you can fit your food processor with a shredding blade and shred the florets - this creates a texture more like the cross between rice and hash browns. If you don't have a food processor just use the large holes in a box grater.
- Cook the cauliflower rice: in a separate skillet melt the coconut oil and saute the cauliflower rice for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cauliflower rice is warmed through and a little tender.
- Stir in the coconut milk: Returning to the lentils stir in the coconut milk and the kale. Simmer uncovered for 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in salt to taste (I used about ½ a teaspoon).
- Assemble and serve: Spoon cauliflower rice and the red lentil curry into serving bowls. Garnish with fresh cilantro and lime wedges, if desired. Serve immediately. Store leftovers in separate containers for up to 5 to 7 days.