Gluten Free / Under $5/Serving / Vegetarian

Red Lentil Dal & Red Cabbage, Carrot and Cilantro Slaw

So today’s recipe is not Paleo (unless you plan on just eating the slaw) as it includes lentils, a legume… gasp! If you know anything about Paleo, you probably know that legumes are forbidden for a few reasons….

1. They are not part of the “ancestral diet”…

My response to that is a big fat “who cares?”  Let’s not get crazy people, if a food is nourishing, does it really matter whether or not a caveman ate it?  Do not tell me not to eat the fiber and B vitamin powerhouses that are lentils while you are baking up some Paleo brownies (unless you are going to share).

2. Legumes contain lectins…

Paleo purists get their panties in a bundle over these things called lectins (queue the doomsday music), an “anti-nutrient” that has been known to run-a-muck on our guts. Evidence shows however that most of these lectins are removed during the cooking process and that you would have to eat A LOT of legumes for this to be a real issue. Chris Kresser wrote a great article on legumes that provides a full run down on the science – read it here.

Bottom line is that legumes are probably okay to eat in moderation so long as your body tolerates them well (not everyone does). I seem to do okay with them. They aren’t the nutrition heavy weights that some other foods are, but given how cheap they are, and how delicious they can be, this girl on a budget is going to eat them at least once a week or so.

Enjoy today’s legume fest, full of all sorts of spices and flavor. Cool your palate with the slaw, which is full of color and freshness! Both the lentils and the slaw are great as leftovers. You might be able to stretch this to 4 servings if you aren’t super hungry, but I almost always am, so it is a solid 3 for me.



1 cup split red lentils  $0.56
1 tbs grated ginger – o  $0.23
3 cloves garlic – o  $0.27
1/4 large yellow onion – o  $0.35
2 jalapenos  $0.50
1/2 tsp cumin – o  $0.16
1/2 tsp curry powder – o  $0.06
1/4 tsp cinnamon  $0.02
1/8 tsp cardamom  $0.04
1/8 tsp coriander  $0.04
1/8 tsp ground cloves  $0.06
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg – o  $0.03
salt and pepper  neg
2.5 cups veggie or chicken stock* – o  $2.55
4 cups spinach – o  $1.99
4 cups shredded red cabbage  $1.89
2 cups shredded carrots (4 medium) – o  $0.90
1 large shallot  $0.30
2 tbsp chopped cilantro – o  $0.90
Juice and zest of 1 lime – o  $0.40
1 tbsp olive oil – o  $0.27
1/2 tbsp raw honey  $0.65
salt and pepper  neg
Total Cost  $12.16
Per Serving (3 servings)  $4.05

o = organic Directions

  1. Start by preparing the slaw so that your cabbage and carrots have time to soak up the dressing and wilt a bit before eating (nobody likes a slaw that is too crunchy). Chop/shred all of the ingredients for the slaw and put in a medium bowl
  2. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients or use a dressing shaker, which I think is WAY easier.
  3. Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss gently, set aside while you prepare the lentils.
  4. Grate the ginger and chop the garlic, onions and jalapeno for the lentils.
  5. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic, onions, jalapeno and spices and sauté for 3-5 minutes until the onions are translucent.
  6. Add the lentils and sauté for 1 minute
  7. Add the stock and bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 12 minutes**
  8. Turn off the heat and add the spinach. Allow to wilt for about 1 minute.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

*Bring down the cost of this meal to just $3.20 per serving by making your own stock from leftover vegetable and/or chicken scraps.

**If you have an open bottle of wine or you are opening one with diner (either red or white), add ¼ cup along with the stock for some extra flavor), if not, don’t bother opening a bottle just for this!

2 thoughts on “Red Lentil Dal & Red Cabbage, Carrot and Cilantro Slaw

  1. Pingback: Week 1 Roundup | A Skinny Rich Girl

  2. Pingback: Slow Cooked Paleo Chicken Gumbo | A Skinny Rich Girl ~ Real Food on a Budget

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