Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
I’ve got an easy weeknight recipe for you this morning, vegan lentil masala. This is the dish that I make when I want something comforting, delicious and pretty easy to put together.
A pretty basic recipe but one that I consider to be a back-pocket recipe. Something to keep when you’re not quite sure what to make for dinner and you don’t have time to go to the store.
Sometimes I serve this with chopped greens stirred in, sometimes I’ll make a salad to go alongside but most of the time I eat it just like this. Creamy lentils with rice, maybe some naan if I have it in the freezer. It’s my kind of comfort food and exactly what I’m craving these days as warm days turn to fall.
A quick note if you are new to cooking lentils, I call for green lentils for this recipe as they tend to hold their shape better than brown lentils. If you can’t find green (or French), then sub in brown. However, do not use red lentils as they will break down and you’re lentils will be more like soup. Delicious, but not the same recipe and you won’t get the same results. (If you want a similar red lentil dish, make this.)
I’m also using cashew cream because I’ve always got cashews in my fridge and it takes less than a few minutes to make a fresh batch of cream. I don’t even bother soaking them anymore, I just pour hot water over raw cashews to soak for ~2 minutes, then drain and blend. It takes a little longer to do so in my Blend Tec, but it’s worth it to me not to have to think about soaking the cashews ahead of time.
If you don’t want to use cashew cream, then any other ‘cream’ will work, like unsweetened non-dairy creamer or regular heavy cream. You could also use plain yogurt. I suppose you don’t really need any cream, but I think something is missing without it and the cream helps balance the spice.
Vegan Lentil Masala! This lentil dish is so delicious and SO healthy! Vegan and gluten-free and perfect for weeknights. Lentils in a creamy masala sauce.
*For cashew cream: puree 1/2 cup raw cashews and 1/2 cup water together in a blender until creamy and thick. Depending on the power of your blender, this may take 2 minutes. Set aside, you might not need all the cashew cream.