The Greek Orthodox Easter is in about a month’s time, and numerous people tend to fast for 50 days prior to Easter week. When fasting, one abstains from all animal produce- from meat to eggs and dairy products. Which is why I went for Laura Calder‘s red lentil bowl recipe, featured in my ‘A squirrel in my kitchen’ e-cookbook (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AYXN500), and as with all recipes which I share from that book, you’ll see that it comes along with a story. Have a delicious reading! RED LENTIL BOWLS Ingredients 2 tbsp olive oil 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 small pepperoncini, chopped 2 tsp cumin powder 1 tsp curry 1 tsp powdered coriander 1/4 tsp turmeric 1 cup red lentils 1 envelope chicken stock powder 4 cups/1-liter water 1 small tin chopped tomatoes 1 lemon, for squeezing cooked spinach, for serving salt and pepper Preparation Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, hot peppers and spices, and cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden, about a minute. Add the lentils, sprinkle over the stock powder, pour over the water, cover and cook until the lentils soften to purée, about 20 minutes. Stir through the tomatoes to heat through. (This is where you can stir in some cooked rice, too, if you like). Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot in shallow bowls with a generous helping of cooked spinach on top and pass lemon wedges for squeezing. Makes four servings.From the kitchen of Laura Calder (TV Host and Food Writer) in Toronto, Canada About Laura I met Laura in Paris, through our très chère mutual friend, Rebeca! As we strolled down the Seine one day, we philosophized life and talked about her next ventures as she was bidding adieu to Paris, where she mainly worked on cookbooks and, basically lived and breathed French food for a decade! I don’t know whether it was the Parisian air or my intuition, but I felt right at that moment that great success was right around the corner for this very talented lady. In 2005, Laura went back to her homeland, Canada to shoot the Food Network television series French Food at Home, which has been the main focus of her work life for the past three years (she’s done 78 episodes in all.) Laura is also the author of several cook books and has just finished a new book, called French Taste: elegant everyday eating. To read more about this truly inspiring lady, you may visit her website on www.lauracalder.com Tips from Laura: I LOVE this dish (it’s one of my top five recipes). Since it’s vegetarian, anyone can eat it, and it has the convenience of taking only half an hour to cook. To make it a little more substantial, I often stir in a couple of cups of cooked rice to the finished lentils. This is very delicious and very beautiful: a bowl of red-orange with a vibrant splash of green set on top. It’s nice too that you can make it basically anywhere in the world you live. Don’t forget a squeeze of lemon juice at the end – it’s important. This recipe appears in Laura Calder’s book ‘Dinner Chez Moi’. The author has given her permission to use it in this e-cookbook as well.