All I want at the moment is creamy comfort food that brings a little heat. Thai food can be quite cooling because it is hot in Thailand, and you want freshness from your meals. But when you combine the heat of chili and ginger with the freshness of lime and the density of peanuts, you've got a winter Thai inspired dish! You can also use this delicious, creamy sauce on any other meal such as with a grain like quinoa, a marinade for veggies and meat for BBQs, as well as a base for easy blended soups.
As with all recipes here on the blog, you can use leftover lentils or any other grain or bean to make this dish. Don't make things complicated for yourself. Use what you already have in the fridge or pantry.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Makes 2 servings:
1/2 cup red lentils (ideally soaked for an hour or overnight, but totally ok if not!) or 1 cup already cooked red lentils
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 cup yellow, red or green peppers, finely chopped
1 carrot, roughly grated (about 1 cup full)
1 cup spinach
For the peanut sauce:
1 clove garlic
1 thumb sized piece ginger, peeled
1 Medjool date
1 Thai red chili
1/2 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth doesn't matter, whatever you have)
2 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
1.5 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
Start with cooking the lentils unless you already have some leftover in your fridge. Then just proceed to the next step. If you need to cook your lentils, then cook them in plenty of boiling water. Red lentils cook fast - probably all you need is 10 minutes!
While the lentils are simmering, add the onion and coconut oil to a big pan over medium heat, and sauté for 5 minutes.
While the onion is browning, add all peanut sauce ingredients to a food processor, and process until smooth. It may come out like a thick paste if you over-process it. Don't worry, it will all work out! Do a little taste test, and see if you would like to add more chili for more spice.
Next, add the peppers and carrot to the pan, and sauté for 4 minutes until slightly softened.
Add the spinach and let it wilt for 1 minute.
Add the cooked lentils, and create a little crater in the middle of the pan. Add the peanut sauce together with 1/2 cup of water here, then slowly start to whisk it into the other ingredients until everything is creamy and smooth.
That's it, enjoy! You can garnish the yumminess with some sliced spring onions or chopped coriander. Serve it with brown rice, quinoa or just by itself!