©2017 by Alex Stalberger

with Alex Stalberger

Minneapolis, MN, USA

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Change and a Coconut Red Lentil Curry

March 24, 2017


I like to think I am a change lover - the biggest welcomer of change there ever was. I preach it loud and proud... change is REFRESHING, an opportunity, a sign that things are moving forward. But oh goodness am I having a hard time taking my own advice. 




I am recently married (September 2016 WOOT!) and married life has been wonderful! Before the big day, my husband and I had a long, long, LONG talk about names; Were we were going to change our last name, combined names, hyphenate our names, leave our names. Back and forth and back and forth. It was important that our name signify that we are a single unit, but neither of us were wanting to "give up" the name we had spent years building! Perhaps you can relate? 


Anyway. We decided we would both add my last name as a middle name and be formally The Stalbergers. However.... that change has not legally happened yet. :) oops. 


So, still struggling with the transition. Change is difficult! However change is still so good. It is still an opportunity for a new definition. It can be oh so cleansing. I think there is a lot of overlap in making diet changes. It can be intimidating. You are making a lifestyle commitment, not signing up for coupons with a new name that one time ;) 

We have associations with the foods we eat. They remind us of family occasions, maybe a family member or a particularly wonderful memory. But change is an opportunity to define a new culture that will make memories with a nutritious meal on our plate. Families will begin to associate healthy, and whole foods with the holiday seasons. That is an opportunity we simply cannot pass up. 


It may take a while to feel like we aren't flubbing when we make a certain dish, as we experiment in our new role as a designer of clean food! As they say... fake it until you make it? 


I'm vowing to start practicing saying my new name more often. I invite you to start practicing a new meal! One of my favorite meals on a chilly evening is a curry. It is versatile and forgiving as you can leave out or add in items. Plus! you can eat it atop pretty much any grain - or no grain at all! 

Coconut Red Lentil Curry

Adapted from a wonderful friend, Melanie Grangaard www.bendthehorizon.com 


1 Cup Yellow Split Peas

1 Cup Red Split Lentils

7 Cups water

1 Medium Carrot - diced

2 Tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger

2 Tablespoons Curry Powder

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

8 Green Onions - thinly sliced (of 1/2 yellow onion)

1/2 Cup Golden Raisins - Optional

1/3 Cup Tomato Paste

1 - 14oz can Coconut Milk ( whole fat!)

2 teaspoons Salt

Chopped Cilantro

Optional: Grain for serving. I suggest basmati brown rice or millet. 


1. Rinse lentils and split peas, transfer into a large soup pot. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, adding carrot and pinch of ginger. Cover and simmer until lentils and peas are soft. ~30 Minutes


2. Meanwhile, toast curry powder until fragrant (until you begin to smell it - careful not to burn!), set aside. Gently heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat adding the onions, raisins and the remaining ginger. Saute for 2 minutes then add tomato paste. Saute until the tomato paste deepens in color 1-2 minutes. Add the curry powder.


3. Mix the tomato paste mixture well, then add it to your simmering lentils along with the coconut milk and salt. Simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes or until it reaches your desired consistency. 


4. Serve hot over prepared grains or as a soup, topped with cilantro. Yum! 


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