Good Dinners with Good Friends

The other night I had dinner with my awesome neighbor across the hall.  We went with a curry theme.  I made lentil curry; she made potato curry and rice.  It was all delicious!

Potato Curry on left; Lentil Curry on Right

In all honesty, my lentil curry was a mish-mash of whatever I had in my kitchen.  My much-anticipated first paycheck of the semester still doesn’t come for a few more days, but that doesn’t mean I can’t eat well!

I started by heating:

  • 1 tablespoon of oil

and then sauteeing:

  • 1 tablespoon of red curry paste
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, minced
  • about a dozen grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 carrot, cubed
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup red lentils

Then I added:

  • 1 can coconut milk (14 ounces?)
  • 1/2 cup water

I brought that to a simmer, lowered the heat, covered it, and cooked it for about 20 minutes.  Then I stirred in:

  • about 2 cups baby kale (spinach or other greens would be good here)

 

  • 1 tablespoon of oil: $0.05
  • 1 tablespoon of red curry paste: $0.17
  • 1 onion, chopped: $0.25
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped: $0.10
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, minced: $0.25
  • about a dozen grape tomatoes, halved: $o.99
  • 1 carrot, cubed: $0.08
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped: $1.26
  • 1 cup red lentils: $0.35
  • 1 can coconut milk (14 ounces?): $1.29

=$4.79/about 6 servings

=$0.80/serving!

We were also lucky enough to enjoy a big bottle of Boulevard Brewing and Christopher Elbow’s limited-edition Chocolate Ale!  This stuff is like gold in Kansas City right now.  The demand has been making national headlines:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2012/02/chocolate-beer-kansas-city-.html

Some people don’t think it’s worth the hype.  I do.  It’s rich and fragrant and complex.  It held up beautifully to our curry and paired nicely with fresh blackberries for dessert.  I’m lucky to have a Dad with connections in the Kansas City food/beverage scene.  Thanks, Dad!

Over the weekend I had also had dinner with a dear friend from graduate school.  We went to Marrakech Cafe, a new-ish local Moroccan place that I’ve meaning to try.  It lived up to its good reputation.  The decor was exotic and ornate:

The staff kept the sweet mint tea flowing, which was comforting on a drizzly winter night.  They didn’t have a whole lot of vegetarian options.  In fact, the menu as a whole is short and focused.  But the Vegetarian Couscous was quite nice.  It was fluffy, well seasoned and topped with plenty of chickpeas, squash, cabbage, and carrots:

Check it out if you’re in Kansas City:

http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/34/1560139/restaurant/Westport/Marrakech-Cafe-Kansas-City

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