Lentil Yoghurt-Based Sweet Curry Secondary to Instapot Yoghurt: $0.50 to Feed a Family of Four
March 21, 2021
I am still flaberghasted that this is all happening. About three years ago I had done weight watchers for a hot second, and I realized that something about my body with that food system was broken. Losing the weight was easy, but the joy out of eating and cooking was gone. I’m not even sure why I was doing weight watchers, since I was a normal BMI. I had gained a few normal middle aged pounds over the years, and I think Mr. Plastic Picker had been diagnosed as prediabetic or borderline. I saw others in my life trying it or doing keto, and I jumped along. This led to a weird period where I suddenly let an app that I paid $19.99 a month tell me what to eat. It was horrible. I had never dieted in my life before, and my brain was going through that keto-brain thing – and I knew this was not the answer. I stopped.
And then other things happened and I was unhappy at work for various reasons. Actually I was completely burned out due to colliding circumstances, and the world seemed broken and I was broken. And then I went to the beach and felt better picking up litter, and gosh darn it a lot of that litter was food waste. It seemed to all make sense. I decided to help save the earth from climate change, and so much of climate change has to do with the food we eat. I became an environmentalist and many environmentalist are vegans or vegetarians or plant-based, and they are so nice. And mostly non-judgmental. This allowed me space to try to combine living a less-plastic life with eating more plant-based, and then it happened. I’m eating really really good food, mostly whole and home-made, plant-based, exploring cooking, saving money, and it’s really good for our bodies. Our entire family is healthier. And with each meal we are saving the planet. Mind-blowing, I know. Who knew, saving the earth could be so delicious??!!!
The recent less plastic food and plant-based eating breakthrough was making our own Soy-milk based Instapot Yogurt. https://drplasticpicker.com/slow-down-time-make-soy-yoghurt-and-save-the-earth/ It’s so easy that it doesn’t even need a recipe really. Although I did include it in my A to Z Dr. Plastic Picker Cookbook https://drplasticpicker.com/a-to-z-dr-plastic-pickers-cookbook-for-kids/, which is close to being complete. I think I’ll self-publish it this summer.
Now for the cost of $1 of the soy-milk that is shelf-stable that we buy at Costco, I can make $10 worth of fancy soy-milk based yogurt. I’m making my second batch right now. The yogurt is really good, and our tween daughter and I are eating it on bananas and using it to top things. I also realized that I now have plant-based yoghurt to make things. It’s funny how making positive changes can cascade to the next. I haven’t really found a lentil recipe that I particularly liked. But yesterday, I made a vegan curry based on lentils and yoghurts (I just Ecosia searched the two ingredients) and it let to this wonderful thing that happened yesterday.
Curried Lentils With Yogurt Modified from Food.Com https://www.food.com/recipe/curried-lentils-with-yogurt-69035
- 4cups water
- 1cup lentils
- 1/2 large onion coarsely chopped
- 3⁄4teaspoon salt
- 2teaspoon olive oil
- 1 1⁄2teaspoons curry powder
- 1cup plain plant-based yogurt (HOME-MADE!)
- 1⁄2teaspoon honey or sugar
- 2 small carrots chopped or you can grate
- 2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (FROM OUR GARDEN!!!)
- 1 apple cored and sliced pretty (I DID PEEL AND PUT THOSE IN THE COMPOSTER)
- Added shredded coconuts a handful since I had them in a the fridge
- In a 2-quart saucepan, heat water, lentils, onion, and 1/2 tsp. salt to boiling over medium heat.
- Reduce heat to low and cook, partially covered, until lentils are tender but not mushy-about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in medium-size skillet, heat oil over medium heat; add curry and cook 30 seconds.
- Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes; stir in yogurt, honey, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt.
- Drain lentil mixture in strainer; transfer to large serving bowl.
- Fold in yogurt mixture, carrot, and parsley.
- Just before serving, core apple and thinly slice; gently stir slices into lentil mixture and serve.
It was a super easy meal to make. The lentils cook easily and no soaking required. We paired it with home-made tortillas our tween daughter made, and the kids did sneak it some brie on the side. Mr. Plastic Picker actually came downstairs later and had the last remaining bits. It was a slightly sweet curry with the applies, honey and shredded coconut – but delicious for an afternoon meal together.
The whole process of the lentil yoghurt curry yesterday was so fun. I realized that we have parsley in the front, and I went to cut some. It smelled so fresh and I held it up to our daughter’s nose to let her inhale the fragrance. She agreed it smelled so good. We always have onions so it always feels good to eat down our onion stores. The two carrots, apple and shredded coconut were actually used in an attempt to avert food waste as well. There is only a little bit of oil in the recipe. Since I cooked it, I know what went into this dish. 1 apple sliced, 1/2 large onion, carrots, lentils, parsley from the garden, honey, and most importantly the last cup of the plant-based yoghurt we made in the Instapot. So much goodness in one simple dish. What does a cup of lentils really cost? 1 cup of dry lentils is about 7oz. You can buy lentils in bulk at $0.07 an ounce. That is $0.50 for the main ingredient to feed a family of four. Because really the onions, carrots, oil, yogurt (since it’s home-made), parlsey from the garden doesn’t cost much of anything. Wow.
And this morning it’s 6am, and I have my second pot of Instapot Yogurt almost done. It looks so congealed and good. Our daughter wants the yoghurt a bit more firm, and now one of my real friend’s comments makes a lot of sense. I’m going to strain out the liquid part of the yoghurt. Then put the rest to set in the fridge. I thought the liquid part was whey, but whey only comes from milk? I think it still must be good for me! I’m going to use it in this weekend’s pizza dough recipe and see how it turns out. More plant-based yoghurt fun! What the whey?!!! Maybe the title for my next post. What is whey? What’s the name of the liquid part of plant-based yogurt? Has no one named it? Maybe I’ll name it. Whoy!!! LOL. OMG check out my post on the HMO MD facebook group. Signing off as I am having too much fun! Dr. Plastic Picker – and it’s only 625AM. A whole Sunday to shake up the world.