Red Lentil & Spinach Masala

November 28, 2019

Over the last two months, I’ve been eating a lot less meat and a lot more plant based. I have many reasons for changing it up, but it’s delicious, nutritious, and a lot better for the environment. I’ve been experimenting with different protein sources and have had a great time doing so. I’m not saying I’m going full-blown plant based, because I love salmon and chicken, but I do enjoy eating more legumes and vegetables and relying less on meat. Lentils, specifically, are an amazing source of protein and have become a weekly staple. When I discovered this recipe, I was mostly excited about the coconut milk and heat (SERRANO pepper, yes please!). It’s the perfect dinner for this time of year; warm, hearty, and flavorful. It’s so good that my boyfriend will ask for it weekly (Ladies! A dish that will make your man love a plant based dinner!).

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 cup red onion – diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger – minced
  • 1/2 serrano chili pepper – minced
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • One 15-ounce can CRUSHED tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • One 15-ounce can unsweetened full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup red lentils – soaked in water for at least 4 hours
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach


  1. Heat oil in a large pot.
  2. Add onion, cook on medium heat for a few minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, serrano, cumin, garam masala, salt, and coriander. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  4. Slowly add in crushed tomato. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Pour in coconut milk and bring to a boil.
  6. Add lentils, plus the water they soaked in.
  7. Cook on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly.
  8. Gently fold in spinach. Cook on low until spinach is wilted.
  9. Top with avocado and enjoy!


*Be so careful not to overcook lentils!! I like to stir every few minutes to make sure they don’t overcook. You don’t want the lentils to explode and become too mushy.

**Serrano peppers can be quite spicy. I like 1/2 of a pepper, but I suggest taking it down a tad if you’re not a huge fan of heat.

***I put CRUSHED in bold for a reason – I’ve used diced tomatoes and it’s not the same. Crushed tomatoes gives it a nice and smooth texture.

Be sure to tag me @livfigueroa to show me your final creation on your next meatless Monday! Happy cooking!