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Nevada's Winning Recipe: Veggie-Packed Indian Lentils

“My mom inspires me to eat healthy. She encourages me to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Our family recently became vegan. For this recipe we recreated my favorite store-bought boxed Indian lentils, and made it full of veggies. Vegan food can be healthy and full of flavor. I love this recipe served with brown rice and a Mango Lassi. I hope you enjoy.”

Skylar McGough, Age 8, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Nevada


Makes 6 Servings


For the Veggie-Packed Indian Lentils:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ¼ cup yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, plus 2 cups water
  • 2 cups peeled and diced carrots
  • 2 cups chopped cauliflower
  • 2 cup lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ cup lite coconut milk
  • 4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • Cooked brown rice (optional)

For the Mango Lassi (not pictured):

  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup milk (or soy, almond or coconut milk)
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • ¼ cup maple syrup  


  1. In a large stockpot, warm oil over medium heat, add onion and cook about 4 minutes, or until slightly tender. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, then add all of the other ingredients except the spinach and rice, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Add spinach and simmer for 5 minutes more, or until heated through. Serve with brown rice.
  2. To make Mango Lassi: In a blender, thoroughly blend all the ingredients. Serve chilled.

325 calories 5g fat 58g carbohydrates 16g protein