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Quick Lunch: Make Ahead Golden Milk Daal

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March is officially #NutritionMonth which means there is no better time than now to be your most nutritious self. We’re challenging YOU to #eatclean ALL. MONTH. LONG! Celebrate with us throughout March as we share tips, recipes, and nutrition inspiration.


Raise your hand if you're on the Golden Milk bandwagon? Did you feel that swoosh of air from my hand shooting into the sky?

Let's just say that I'm a big fan of the combination of spices - turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper - that make up this ancient Indian influenced super blend.

I love a Golden Milk latte first thing in the morning as a substitute for coffee or as a post-dinner drink in lieu of other sugary treats. (Check out this Hot Chai recipe for a twist on the trend that incorporates hemp seeds and lucuma powder for one protein-packed creamy drink!)

The main ingredient in Golden Milk, and the one that gives it that gorgeous vibrant hue, is the anti-inflammatory powerhouse, turmeric. In fact the list of health benefits attributed to consuming turmeric regularly is so long, I've resorted to finding any way possible to incorporate it into my diet. Enter this Golden Milk inspired take on a classic Indian daal.

After sautéing fresh garlic and onions in coconut oil, red split lentils are added to a pot with turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, coconut milk, and veggie broth.

Besides being an excellent source of protein and both soluble and insoluble fiber, a one-cup serving of red lentils supplies ninety percent of your daily value of folate, a B vitamin essential to proper nervous and cardiovascular system function. Red split lentils also cook up incredibly fast, making them perfect for weeknight meals or big batch meal prep.

A 15-minute simmer is all it takes to yield a creamy, perfectly spiced curry. I like to add a scoop of frozen green peas to the pot during the last few minutes of cook time for a shot of green color and even more plant-based protein and fiber.

Serve the daal over prepared brown or your favorite whole grain of choice for a complete meal. A drizzle of coconut milk and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro are the final touches before digging in to this satisfying dish while curled up on your couch or sitting at your desk.

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GOLDEN MILK DAAL RECIPE

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes 

Makes 3, 1 cup servings

INGREDIENTS
1 cup red split lentils, rinsed & drained
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1 cup light coconut milk (from a can)
1 1/4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil
1/4 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
For serving: prepared brown rice or grain of choice, handful freshly chopped cilantro

DIRECTIONS
Heat coconut oil in a pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onion to pot and sauté until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add spices to pot and cook 1 minute more. Add lentils, broth, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook, covered for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, remove lid and add peas. Cook 5 minutes more or until the peas are heated through. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Serve warm with a scoop of your favorite grain. Sprinkle with cilantro and drizzle with additional coconut milk from can if desired.

Allow leftovers to cool completely then store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When reheating leftovers, add about 2 tablespoons of water to lentils and warm on the stovetop over medium heat or in the microwave in 1-minute increments.