I usually have some half- or quarter-bunches of greens hanging out in my refrigerator. Lettuce, leftover from a hurried workday salad, a half-packet of frozen spinach, some cabbage...
When I want to use these up without coming up with separate ideas for each, I take an easy but delicious way out: I put them into a pot with some lentils and a few spices to come up with something like this fabulously nutritious and tasty dish that's ready in no time at all. Split Green Lentils with Leafy Greens.
This time, I had some baby bok choy left over, and a few leaves of romaine lettuce. Wonderful. I sliced up some onions, chopped up the greens, grated some ginger, minced up some garlic, and, while I was doing all that, cooked up some green lentils to mushy tenderness in a pressure cooker (You could definitely do it in a microwave or on the stove-top).
Once you have all your ingredients prepared it takes just a little while to put together this dal. Hope you try it one night when you have some leafy greens you don't know what to do with. Enjoy, all!
Green Split Peas Dal with Leafy Greens
1 cup green split peas (can substitute with pink lentils or yellow split peas)
About 3-4 cups of leafy greens, chopped into thin ribbons. I used about 4-5 baby bok choy and some romaine lettuce. You can use any other quick-cooking greens like lettuce, cabbage, spinach, watercress...feel free to experiment. Don't, however, use greens like kale or collards or methi which require more time to tenderize.
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 tbsp grated ginger
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 green chilies, minced
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp canola oil
Heat the oil in a saucepan.
Add the mustard seeds, and when they sputter, add the onions.
Stir-fry until the onions are translucent.
Now add the green chillies, ginger and garlic. Stir-fry for another minute.
Add the turmeric and pepper and then the leafy greens and stir until the greens loose their stiffness and become soft, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the cooked dal and some salt to taste.
Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes.
Garnish, if desired, with coriander. Serve hot with rice or chapatis.