Spicy Curry Lentil Dip with Whole Wheat Pita Chips
Spicy Curry Lentil Dip
8 servings: 4 tablespoon per serving
1 cup green lentils, picked through and rinsed
1 can lite coconut milk
2 oz water
3 medium carrots, peeled and halved crosswise
½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
½ teaspoon hot madras curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 400°. Toss carrots in olive oil and roast 30 minutes. Meanwhile, put lentils, coconut milk and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 25-30 minutes (or until tender) partially covered so most of the liquid has evaporated. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse, scraping the bowl, until creamy. Serve warm or at room temperature with whole wheat pita chips (see recipe below).
Whole Wheat Pita Chips
20 servings: 4 chips equals 1 serving
35 calories per serving
1 package of whole wheat pita bread (5 pitas)
Split the pita into two rounds and slice into 16 wedges for each pita bread. Preheat oven to 400° and cook pita chips for 5-8 minutes.
*This can be done while the carrots are roasting.
I have been thinking of ways to add more vegetables and fiber to my diet lately. I get tired of plain fruit and vegetables as snacks and I wanted something that would have some substance to it. I also wanted to create a snack that I could take to parties where there may be many foods that are not so healthy. I love Indian food and all things curry. Also, as you know from my previous blogs, I am all about getting more fiber, so I decided to combine the two. I used green lentils because I had them on hand but you could just as easily use red lentils in this dish, just don’t cook them as long. Lite coconut milk adds some extra creaminess once the dip is pureed. One can with a bit of water will cook 1 cup of lentils until tender with most of the liquid evaporated. The dip is slightly sweet from the carrots and has a nice spicy finish from the crushed red pepper flakes.
When I ran the nutritional panel on a serving, I realized I had a winner. One serving counts as a ½ cup of vegetables, ¼ cup of beans and provides 29% of your daily fiber needs, 13% protein, 22% vitamin A, 12% zinc and iron. It is also a good source (5%) of choline. According to the USDA, many Americans do not meet their daily needs in fiber, zinc, iron and choline. In just a serving you are one step closer to getting your recommended nutritional needs in this healthy snack. I serve it with whole wheat pita chips that are really easy to make (recipe included). Four chips equals 1/4 pita which adds a half of a serving of whole grains to your day. It would also be delicious with celery, cucumber, carrot or red pepper sticks.