Fast and easy vegan red lentil curry is the perfect power meal for any day that needs a delicious protein boost. It is gluten-free, grain-free, and a good source of plant protein.
I’m unsure of the proper nutrition protocol prior to running, scrambling and scurrying through a muddy cow pasture. Heavy on the carbs? A focus on protein? Antioxidants to ward off the scent of dung?
Keeping in line with the rest of my
lack of preparedness for my first official mud run (WHOOT!), I chose to wing it the night before by whipping up a quick and easy lentil curry with what I had on hand.
I think I may be on to something with my unplanned pre-race nutrition because I had a great run and tons of fun.
Lentils are one of my favorite power foods in general, and you don’t need to wait for a mud run to add this recipe, or any lentil recipe to your diet. They provide an all-in-one combination of carbohydrates and protein, which is ideal for exercise endurance in general, and scaling hay bales and dodging cow patties in particular.
I may need to have another bowlful asap. I need the strength before tackling my post-run, malodorous laundry.
- Vegan (egg-free, dairy-free)
- Very high in protein (16 grams per serving)
- Very high in fiber (18 grams per serving)
- Fast and easy to prepare
The exact amounts of each ingredient are indicated in the recipe card at the end of the post.
To make this humble curry, you will need the following:
- Red lentils (uncooked)
- Garam masala (an Indian spice blend)
- Curry powder (mild, medium or hot, it’s up to you)
- Canned diced tomatoes and their juices
- Coconut oil (or other neutral vegetable oil)
- Fresh limes and cilantro (for final garnishes)
Step By Step Directions
Note that the complete directions are also in the recipe card below.
Step One: Sauté the Vegetables
Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring, for six to seven minutes, or until the vegetables are softened.
Step Two: Add the Aromatics
Add the garlic, garam masala, curry powder, and salt to the saucepan. Cook and stir for two minutes longer.
Step Three: Add the Liquids & Lentils
Add the water, tomatoes with their juices, and lentils to the pan. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once the liquids come to a boil, reduce the heat to low. Cover, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until lentils are softened.
Step Four: Add the Lime Juice and Cilantro
Stir in the lime zest, lime juice, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with additional cilantro and lime wedges, if desired.
Storage for the Easy Vegan Red Lentil Curry
You may want to make a double batch of this curry because leftovers only get better. Store the cooled curry in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
Make the Recipe Oil-Free
This recipe has a small amount of oil (2 teaspoons) for sautéing the vegetables. If you prefer an oil-free dish, sauté the vegetables in a small amount of water instead of oil.