Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Indian Lentils with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Eggplant

Saturday night, Joe and I stayed in and watched a movie. Unfortunately, I have a knack for wanting to watch depressing and scary documentaries. So we watched The Cove.


I have a pretty thick skin, but I almost didn’t make it through the movie. I had to turn away. There were definitely scenes that will haunt me forever. And it confirmed something that I’ve been thinking and praying about for a while now. The other night, when we went out to eat, I ordered a green chicken curry dish and felt like the chicken added nothing to the dish. In fact, I would’ve preferred either more vegetables or tofu. And after eating it, my body felt heavy and gross. But when I think about not consuming meat, part of me says, “But wait! What about barbecue (brisket and pork), prosciutto, roast chicken, pho, the sausage your mother-in-law brings down from Wisconsin, etc, etc?”

However, knowing what I know about the food industry writ large, animal intelligence, my theological commitments regarding nonviolence and the immanence of God in creation, and paying attention to my body and the way I feel when I eat certain foods, it’s essentially only a matter of time until I begin to abstain from meat. Following the advice of No Meat Athlete, I’m coming up with a plan to do this.

First, I will eat the remaining meat products that we have in our freezer but won’t buy any more for Joe’s and my joint consumption. Second, I will abstain from poultry, which I’m not that crazy about eating anyway and rarely get when we eat out. Third, I will phase out beef. And fourth, I will stop eating pork and pork products. I’m doing this more or less in the order that I like to eat things. For me, prosciutto > chicken breasts. For the time being, I will continue to eat seafood with an aim towards eating sustainable seafood. I don’t eat seafood nearly as often as I eat other meats since it is more expensive, but I feel like I need that to be flexible enough to eat in restaurants and at other people’s houses. Perhaps, eventually, that will fall by the wayside as well.

All this to say that you’ll be seeing a lot more recipes like this Indian Lentils with Spinach, Mushroom, and Eggplant.

Confession: I haven’t really found a way of eating eggplant that I particularly enjoy. I don’t hate it; I just don’t really like it, but we keep getting it in our CSA. Having it blend in with a bunch of other things is the easiest way for me to stomach it, and with all of the other tasty vegetables in here, I don’t mind it nearly as much.

Crockpot Before:


Crockpot After:


Tasty Indian vegetarian magic!


Indian Lentils with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Eggplant
source: Front Burner Blog


  • 1 medium onion, medium diced
  • 1 eggplant, cubed
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1.5 cups whole mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 cups lentils
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp curry
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (less if you don’t want it too spicy!)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups fresh spinach


Mix all ingredients except spinach together in a 6 qt slow-cooker. Heat on low for 6 hours or until lentils are al dente. Mix in spinach and close lid of slow-cooker until spinach is wilted. Serve plain as a stew or over brown rice.