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Cooking lentils has become a weekly tradition for my coworkers and me.  Lentils are nutrient packed and easy on the college student wallet.  Over the course of the summer, we’ve gone through multiple recipes such as our Late Night Lentil recipe and Eat, Live, Run’s Spicy Lentils.  This week, we decided to put a summer’s worth of lentil knowledge to the test and invent our own recipe.  We also needed to clear out the fridge.

I present to you: Curried Red Lentils with Butternut Squash and Kale.  I posted the recipe below.

When we decided to make dinner tonight, we figured lentils are so delicious that screwing them up would be difficult, especially if we combined enough of our favorite vegetables and spices in a saucepan.  Since this was our first time embarking on a culinary journey without a recipe to guide us, we did not expect our lentils to turn out so perfectly.  But, oh my, these lentils were delectable!  Is it pathetic that I can’t wait to eat my leftovers for lunch today?

I did not take a picture; I need to improve my food photography skills first. The lentils looked similar to this. Click for source.

Curried Red Lentils with Butternut Squash and Kale

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 ½ pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces

1 large onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 celery rib, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon curry powder (or more to taste)

¼ teaspoon cumin (or more to taste)

1 cup red lentils

1 bunch kale

4 cups vegetable broth

Heat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat.  Add squash, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown.  Approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir in curry powder and cumin.  Add lentils, broth, and kale and simmer until lentils are tender.  Approximately 25 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Enjoy!