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.