Curried red lentils with bulgar and spinach

Maybe it is our broken heater or maybe it is Thanksgiving leftover burnout, but our meals have taken a spicy turn this week. We've had Thai spicy green beans with tofu and curried red lentils. I received my CSA box this morning and I fully expect to be creating a meal or two that involves chiles and other belly-warming things.

These curried lentils are super healthy and make a hearty one-pot lunch or dinner. Feel free to cut back on the jalapeno if you prefer a little less heat and add as many veggies as you can (carrots and red bell peppers would be great). This dish (inspired by Eating Well Magazine) is loaded with protein, iron, and fiber!

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Curried Red Lentils with Bulgar and Spinach
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala
1 teaspoons amchoor (or amchur or green mango) powder (*optional, see note)
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed and picked over
1/4 cup bulgar wheat
8 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
3-4 cups fresh spinach leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Water as needed to thin
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, jalapeno, garam masala, amchoor powder, and bay leaves and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes longer.
  2. Stir in lentils, broth, and bulgar and bring to a boil. If you are using additional vegetables other than greens (e.g. carrots, bell peppers, etc.), add them now too. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for about 45 minutes. Add water, if necessary, if lentils get too thick- you can serve this thinner as a soup or thicker like chili.
  3. Discard bay leaves. Stir in cilantro, lemon juice, and spinach. Season with salt and pepper.
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*Note: Amchoor (amchur) or green mango powder can be difficult to find and is optional here. I found it at Whole Foods Market. It may also be found at Indian grocers or online.

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