Jul 182011
 

Some people find it easier to prepare meals during the summer months. Fresh produce is abundant and the days are longer. The snow that used to cover the grill is a distant memory. Many summer recipes are designed to be quick and easy, and some don’t need to be cooked at all.

But while I love cooking with summer ingredients, I am actually finding meal preparation more challenging in the summer. My schedule is erratic and I am spending more time away from home. I always seem to be missing one key ingredient for a recipe. And it’s unbearable to think about turning the oven on when it’s already 95F in my kitchen.
Really, I miss my Sunday kitchen sessions. Of course, I’d rather be hanging at the beach than in my kitchen, but when Monday comes and I am less than prepared, chaos ensues. My skin has had enough sun for this week, so I spent some time putting together a recipe that felt just a little like fall – Smitten Kitchen’s Curried Lentils and Sweet Potatoes. Since it is July and not November, I used small red potatoes instead of sweet potatoes.

I was worried this would be too spicy, but it’s actually fairly mild, even with a whole (deseeded) jalapeno in the mix. Of course I used the Swiss chard stems as well, adding the chopped stems into the pan with the onion. The potatoes, lentils, and chard each have a different texture but work well together. My craving for a substantial Indian dish was satisfied with this meal, and I can now rest easy because I have curry packed for lunches this week.
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