Madras Sambal

This dish is creamy, flavorful, and colorful – a great fall comfort food. It’s easy to adapt with different vegetables and vary the spice level to match your taste. Plus it’s cheap!

Phantom Firehouse Sausage Lentil Soup

A spicy lentil stew flavored with Italian sausage and rich with veggies – easy to do as a make-ahead recipe in a crock-pot if you want less fuss.

Ceci Polenta

This garbanzo polenta is an easy, healthy dish you can put together ahead of time and broil quickly to have hot to serve with dinner. Corn, of course, was not a native grain in Italy, so this is technically a more authentic recipe anyway. I find the flavor of using chickpea flour more savory and satisfying than corn polenta, though both are delicious.

Lentil Meadow Pie

The first time my sister made it, we almost started a fight over the last piece. Since then we always make it in large quantities, and it frequently appears at holidays and parties, since it’s a delicious dish that’s easy to make ahead and vegetarian – yet also appealing to picky eaters.

Indian Dinner – Coconut Dhal

Dhal is a staple side dish in both Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines, as simple and ubiquitous as mashed potatoes in the US. I like this Sri Lankan version because the coconut milk adds a lot of creamy richness to it and it includes several versions for people who like it spicy or mild.