Winter Comfort Food

This is about the time of year I feel a little flat. I’m trying to settle in to what’s usually the snowy part of winter, but really getting distracted with spring fever. Each milder than usual day gets me a little stir-crazy. I’m still recovering from the holidays, and feeling quite uninspired with my food choices.

It’s just about this time that I crave kicharee. Unlike what we usually think of as comfort food, this Indian dish is warm, tasty, easy, and off-the-charts healthy. It gives me a break from choosing meals and cooking, fills me with all the protein and nutrients I need to cleanse, reset, shed a little extra stored fat, and give me back some flagging energy. It’s just the thing for mid-winter bleh syndrome.

I make a pot and eat it exclusively for a day or two – breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can easily double this recipe. It tastes and feels great, and gives me a lovely break from deciding, shopping and making meals for a bit.

Kicharee

In a large soup pot, heat a Tbs or so of coconut oil.

Sautee 1 tsp each ground: coriander, cumin, ginger, turmeric – for a minute until fragrant.

Rinse well and add: 1/2 cup long grain brown rice (white is fine, too, if you’re feeling sick or your digestion is weakened), 1/2 cup split mung dahl (also called yellow lentils or just dahl – not split peas – if your grocery store does’t have it with dried beans, get into your health food store’s bulk section for this, or sub with red lentils if you have to),  six cups of water and a little salt.

Boil, cover, and simmer for 1/2 hour.

Add up to four cups or so of chopped veggies of your choice (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, kale, spinach, onion) in bite sized pieces – really, the amount depends on if you feel like a chunky stew, or a more porridge-like soup. You can add just one, or a combo, or none. For me, I’m all about getting green leaves in, so that’s what I usually pick.

Stir and simmer for another 1/2 hour, checking water level and adding more if needed.

Serve with a squeeze of lime juice and salt, to taste. A little cilantro on top is good, too.