It's official- I am having a love affair with coconuts. Like, when it comes to coconuts and avocados, it's safe to say I couldn't live without either. It's pretty much avocado, coconut, turmeric, cumin and just add egg, lentils, sweet potatoes or mung beans. It might be weird, but I'm loving it. My body's not mad about it either. Since I did a bit of cleansing in September, I've been trying to keep up with it while I can before I get attacked by mounds of stuffing and candy corn. I really thought not having the temptation of donuts around the office would have more of a positive impact on my waistline, but it seems I've found other ways to my stomach. I may or may not have caved and got some Pumpkin Pie frozen yogurt from Yogurtland last night... Ok, I did.
Anyways, back to coconuts... I love getting the fresh thai young coconuts because you get all of the good stuff without the cans, bottles, or boxes. What I didn't love was not having a way to open the coconut. Whole Foods will open them at the store for you, but then there's some urgency for consumption. Without a set schedule, I find plans can change pretty quickly and often my dinner plans don't take priority. I find I go to the store almost daily for whatever fresh produce I need, but otherwise- I like to have dried legumes, canned goods, and frozen meals on hand so that I can avoid wasting food. So, can you can imagine my excitement when Coco Jack offered to send me a coconut cracker? STOKED. With this piece of equipment, my coconuts have a super long shelf life, so I can make curry lentil soup whenever I damn well please. It's a beautiful thing.
The Coco Jack not only opens the coconut with ease, but it also comes with a little scraper so you can get every ounce of coconut meat out of there. If you combine the meat with some of the water you can make your own milk or cream, which is the perfect addition to soups, curries, mashed potatoes, breakfast bowls, coffee, I could go on... For the purposes of today's experiment I decided to make a curried coconut lentil stew, since this month's Wednesday Wellness posts are all about soup. This recipe makes enough for 4-6 guest or a week's worth of lunches, which is pretty rad if you ask me. It's also incredibly filling, super delicious, and best of all, nutritious. Put on some socks and whip this up, grab a glass of wine, put on a movie, and you have yourself a pretty amazing fall night in.
1 thai young coconut (for coconut cream)
1.5 cups lentils (tri color)
2 carrots (chopped)
1/2 yellow onion (chopped)
5 celery stalks (chopped)
3 garlic cloves (chopped)
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp curry paste
1 lime (squeezed)
16-32 oz. vegetable broth (depending on how you like it)
Soak the lentils overnight. Clean, drain, and set aside.
Chop the vegetables and set aside.
In a pot over medium heat, add in coconut oil, garlic, onion, and red curry paste. Stir until onions are translucent before adding the coconut cream.
*** To make the coconut cream- crack open your coconut, pour the water into a blender, and then scoop out the white meat on the inside and add that to the blender. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes until it's a thick creamy consistency.
Add in the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, and then reduce to low heat and simmer for 30-60 minutes.
*I like to simmer for a shorter time since I use the stew all week, it won’t get too mushy through all the reheating.
Do a little taste test and add in any remaining spices or broth. Serve warm.
You could always prolong this goodness by doubling the recipe and saving some leftovers for the freezer. I like to start making a bunch of soups in October/November when I'm all excited about fall and all things soup... then in January when I fall out of the honeymoon phase, I have some stockpiled to fall back on and remind me why it's worth the effort.
Is it possible to marry soup? Asking for a friend...
ps. This post was sponsored by Coco Jack (get yours here), but the recipe and sentiments are my own. Make sure to check back again next week for another soup recipe!