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Curried Carrot Bowl with Cashew and Cilantro Crema

The inspiration for this vegan bowl came from a Pinch of Yum!  I love the flavors of curry and with my plant-based lifestyle, a hearty lunch bowl that just so happens to be vegan and delicious is exactly what I was in the mood for this week.  It may skew toward the hearty side, which makes it a perfect weeknight dinner or Meatless Monday meal.  The cilantro and cashew crema will make a little more than you need for the bowls – which is great, because you will want to put it on everything!

Curried Carrot Bowl with Cashew and Cilantro Crema 

Serves 4

Cilantro Cashew Crema:

½ cup fresh cilantro

½ cup raw cashews, soaked for 2-3 hours and drained

⅓ cup water

¼ teaspoon salt

zest and juice of 1 lime

1 clove garlic

1 tsp. Coconut Secret Coconut Nectar

For the Roasted Carrots:

5 carrots peeled and chopped into 2 inch chunks

1 T. olive oil

½ tsp. garam masala

½ tsp. yellow curry powder

pinch paprika

sea salt to taste

For the Rice and Lentils:

½ cup basmati rice

1 T.

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic

1 tsp. yellow curry or red curry paste

½ tsp. garam masala

½ tsp. ground cumin)

½ cup green or brown lentils,

¾ cup diced tomatoes with their juices

1 cup organic chicken or vegetable broth

pinch of salt

avocado and cilantro for garnish

Directions:

For the sauce, puree all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Taste and adjust.

For the carrots, toss all ingredients together. Roast at 450 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and fork tender.

Cook the rice according to package directions.

For the curry, heat the avocado oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 3-5 minutes. Add the curry paste and spices, saute for 2-3 minutes.

Add the lentils, tomatoes, and broth. Simmer until lots of the liquid has evaporated – continue adding ¼ cup of broth as needed, until the lentils are cooked. Repeat this process for about 30-45 minutes until the lentils are soft. Add the rice to the lentil mixture, mix well, and season with sea salt.

Arrange in bowls topped with the curried carrots, avocado slices, cilantro, and cilantro cashew crema.

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