I don't know what ravenous beast got into me, but before the day was over I had cheated with the following foods: many nibbles of Cotswold cheese, handfuls of wasabi peas, and no fewer than 3 glasses of rose. I had broken my 500 calorie limit before dinner.
If only I had made this dish for lunch rather than dinner I think the day would have gone very differently. A smallish serving - at just 250 calories - was filling and completely satisfying. Even Poppa Trix, who is not doing the 5:2, was happy with a fast-day-appropriate portion.
While I usually prefer to make my own spice blends, this time I used a store-bought berbere spice from Whole Foods. Berbere is an Ethiopian spice blend, typically containing some combination of hot pepper, fenugreek, cloves, coriander, cumin, and cinnamon. I wasn't terribly hopeful that the Whole Foods version would satisfy, as I have found their products to be somewhat hit-or-miss - sometimes things are hopelessly watered down and bland - but this was pretty close to the mark, and best of all, it's actually got a nice hot kick.
Berbere Spiced Red Lentils
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 thumb fresh ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaping tablespoon berbere spice
1 cup red lentils
14 ounces fire roasted tomatoes
2 cups vegetable broth
salt & pepper, to taste
Greek yogurt & cilantro, to garnish
In a medium saucepan, saute the shallot and ginger in the olive oil over medium heat until the shallot is soft. Add the garlic and the berbere spice, stir to combine. Add the lentil and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes and broth, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the lentil are soft, about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally and if the lentils are drying out add more liquid. Salt and pepper to taste and serve with a dollop of yogurt and garnish with cilantro.
This would be super with some injera or naan bread, which I really shouldn't think about, as today is another fast day ... wish me luck.