Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Dal
Happy Meatless Monday! I thought it was about time that I partake in the tradition. Let me talk to you about meatless meals. They're cheap, they're flavourful, they're hearty and most of the time, they're wholesome. The thing with meatless dinners is that you really need to get creative and make whatever fruits and veg you're using shine. For dinner these days, I'm all about what veggies I'm having and what kind of protein I'm going to pair with them, as opposed to the other way around.
This Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Dal fits my definition of a magnificent, meatless masterpiece (see what I did there?). Made with hearty red lentils, chunks of butternut squash, loads of garlic and some baby spinach, you really can't go wrong with this dish. Oh and did I mention…the whole process is hands off thanks to a handy dandy slow cooker?
This is a delicious, wonderfully simple recipe that you can cook throughout the day while you're at work so you come home to a fast, tasty meal. Or, you can chop up the ingredients and dump in the slow cooker on Sunday while you lounge around relaxing, watching TV, reading books or exploring outside. Really, it's up to you what you do with the glorious, extra hours you'll have while waiting for this to cook.
What I especially love about this meal is that it reheats well, so you'll have leftovers for the whole week. The veggies you choose to include in this meal are also up for debate. I prefer the squash as it cooks slowly and adds a lovely, nutty and sweet flavour to the curry and turmeric, but I could also see any sort of pepper or potato working well here.
Garnish your meatless masterpiece with some sesame seeds and cilantro, and serve alongside some basmati rice. Pro tip: herbs are not just for garnishing. I absolutely love eating generous amounts of them alongside curries, salads, sandwiches and one pot meals, and herbs like cilantro and parsley have killer health benefits and are nutritionally dense. Consider giving a giant handful a try next time you cook up a big meal!
All of the ingredients in this recipe except for the spinach can be dumped into the slow cooker at the same time. Just be sure to rinse your lentils and finely chop your squash. I mean seriously, how easy is this recipe?
This is the brand of basmati rice that I use.
I also use red lentils like these ones here.
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Dal
- 2 small yellow onions diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 cups dried red lentils well rinsed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1/2 of a 796mL jar of passata (or crushed tomatoes)
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp curry
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 cups Baby spinach
- 4 cups cooked basmati rice or red quinoa
- Cilantro and sesame seeds for garnishing
- Turn 6 quart slow cooker on to high heat.
- Rinse lentils with cold water in a mesh sieve until water runs clear.
- Chop onions, garlic and squash, then dump with lentils, olive oil, coconut milk, passata, turmeric, curry, garam masala, salt and pepper. Stir and cover.
- Cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook basmati rice according to package directions and set aside to plate later.
- After mixture has finished cooking, mix in spinach and then plate with rice, garnishing with sesame seeds and cilantro.