Lentil & Leek Pot with Curry, Seasonal Apples & lots of Cabbage

There is no doubt about how much I love food. All kinds of food, all cultures, kitchens, flavours, textures and I could go on like this forever. Unfortunately you can’t have it all everyday and sometimes I do get stuck and totally uninspired when it comes to the never ending question: What should we have for dinner. This is sometimes a mystery to me, because how can you spend so much time thinking, planning and looking at food and still end up having these regular ’empty head’ situation.

One of the very cool things about making and having this blog is that I now regularly update my favourite food archive. Because just as I hope to inspire you with all the pictures, love talk and creative recipes (I am just bragging here…) I also end up inspire myself and I have actually experienced fewer food-black-outs since this blog came into my life. That is pretty cool, and I can only hope that you maybe have experienced somewhat the same with this blog and all of the other lovely blogs out there… Check out my list of inspiration – on the right side of the home page – if you wish to explore more food blogs.

So in honor of all the great recipes out there, which have all been tried, enjoyed and some of them still remembered, here comes one recipe that I will never forget no matter what. It is a recipe filled with memories, love and friendship as well as awesome flavours and seasonal ingredients.

This recipe goes about four years back where I tasted it for the very first time. Since then It has been a regular guest in this apartment. Before Jonas moved in I lived here with one of my very best friends Nicoline, and we made this dish so many times that we ended up naming it after the location of our apartment – ‘ ?stbanegryde’. I have so many memories of us eating it, while talking, watching movies, being together with all of the other girls and serving it when we got company.

One of the best things about this dish is that it is super easy to make, you can make a double portion and you’ll have food for several days, or you can stuff your freezer with it… and it is so damn cheap to make! You can make a meat version, as I normally do, but it is just as easy to make a vegetarian version by substituting the meat with extra lentils. It is healthy, gluten and grain free, very low in calories, but still provides you with a great feeling of satiety. Seriously what is not to love about this dish.

Main ingredients are cabbage, leeks, apples and lentils which are all in season right now, hence cheap and available! One important thing in order to get a perfect result is to spend a few minutes on adjusting the taste. The flavours of the ingredients and broth can vary a bit and you might need to add more salt, vinegar, curry etc. It is individually and you need to adjust it until you are satisfied. I have of course made the recipe and amounts according to my measurements, and they should cover the basic and most important flavours, then the rest it up to you.
I really hope you’ll love this as much as I do.. here you go!

Lentil & Leek pot w. Cabbage and Apples
Serves 4
1/2 a big white cabbage or one small
3 leeks
2 apples
1 cup green lentils, uncooked (2,5 dl)
14 oz low fat minced beef (400 g) If vegetarian substitute with 1 additional cup of lentils
2,5 cups broth, beef or vegetable (0,65l)
2 Tbsp curry
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp apples vinegar
Salt (around 1 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp corn starch + 2 Tbsp water
Extra seasoning: coriander, cumin

I have included a lentil and garlic topping, which is optional, see the directions..

1. Boil lentils in generous amounts of water (you can use a light vegetable broth to add taste). Cook for about 20-25 min, until the lentils crack a little bit. Drain and set a side.
2. Rinse leeks, cabbage and apples. Remove the dark green part of the leeks. Slice them into semi thin rings. Cut the cabbage, it is okay to do this semi roughly. And at last cut the apple in square bites.
3. Heat oil in a large pot. Add curry and cook for about a minute until fragrant. If you use meat, add this and cook until browned. If the bottom of the pot gets dry add a little water to moisten things up. Then add the leeks and stir for a few more minutes. The cabbage goes in too, and you should stir around until it starts collapsing a bit. Then add the broth, vinegar and salt, stir, turn down the heat and put on a lit. It should simmer for about 30-40 min, until the cabbage is tender and yellow from the curry.
4. To make the lentil and garlic topping; Use about 1/4 of the cooked lentils (1/8 if you make it vegetarian).  Heat some oil in a skillet, and add lentils and m ´garlic. Stir for a few minutes and set aside. Season to taste.
5. Now that the cabbage and lentil pot is almost done, add the rest of the lentils and the diced apples, stir around and let it simmer for 5 more minutes. It is here where you season to taste. Use extra coriander, cumin, vinegar, concentrated broth, salt etc. to make it just perfect.
6. Dissolve the corn starch in water, and add it to the dish and let it boil quickly – this is done in order to add a little thickness to the sauce. Remove from heat.

Serve the dish straight away, and top it with some garlic roasted lentils…Enjoy!