The Naked Cookbook (10 Speed Press, 2016) by Tess Ward is a transformative approach to healthy eating that strips back one's diet to simple, clean, and pure foods that cleanse, restore, and nourish the body. This is not a deprivation diet, but an achievable lifestyle where food is enjoyed and celebrated in its purest form. This excerpt comes from chapter 1, "Pure."
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This is the sort of restorative dish that your body yearns for after exercise. It is packed full of natural plant-based protein, including beta-carotene-rich sweet potato and nutty brown rice. This is pure comfort in a bowl.
• 1-1/4 cups red lentils
• 2 tablespoons coconut oil
• 1 onion, minced
• 4 garlic cloves, crushed
• 1-inch piece of fresh ginger
• 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
• 1 tablespoon mild curry powder
• Pinch of sea salt
• 5 cups vegetable stock
• Scant 1 cup canned coconut milk
• 9 ounces sweet potato, peeled and cubed
• Freshly ground black pepper
• Cooked brown rice, for serving
• Coconut Salsa, for serving
For Coconut Salsa:
• 1-2/ 3 cups unsweetened shredded dried coconut
• 1-3/4 cups plain Greek yogurt
• 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
• 1 long green chile, seeded and minced
• 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1. Wash the lentils until the water runs clear, then drain and put in a large pan.
2. Heat the oil in a skillet over low heat, add the onion, and sauté until soft. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, and curry powder and cook, stirring occasionally, for a couple of minutes to bring out their fragrance.
3. Add the onion and spices to the lentils with a pinch of salt. Stir in the stock and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and skim off any scum that rises to the surface.
4. Turn down the heat and simmer very gently, with the lid ajar, for 25 to 30 minutes, until creamy, stirring occasionally. Add the sweet potato and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, uncovered, until the sweet potato is soft but not falling apart. Add a little water if necessary to achieve the preferred consistency, and season with pepper and more salt to taste.
5. Serve with a scoop of brown rice and a dollop of coconut salsa.
For Coconut Salsa:
1. Place the coconut in a bowl with 3 to 4 tablespoons hot water and let soften for 5 minutes. When water has absorbed, mix in the rest of the ingredients. Store salsa in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Makes about 2 cups.
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Reprinted with permission from The Naked Cookbook, by Tess Ward, copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2015 by Columbus Leth. Buy this book from our store: The Naked Cookbook.