Ugly lockdown cooking: Vegan lentil slop


In emptying the cupboards all the remains are lentils, dried legumes and tinned tomato. For a while a few containers of coconut milk lingered.

In the last few days I’ve made ugly variations on this recipe (if you could really call it that) using different sorts of lentils I had on hand.

Variations on lentil slop

1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1/2 bunch of cilantro (I have not had any of this, but used coriander powder)
1 tablespoon curry
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 (or 1.5c) cup lentils
1 can coconut milk (15 ounce/standard size) or 1 can crushed tomatoes
2 cups vegetable broth or water
pinch of salt

Saute onion for about 3 minutes, add garlic, ginger, cilantro and saute another minute. Stir in the other spices – be creative and choose what to add and in what your proportion to your own taste.

Rinse your lentils and add to the pan along with the coconut milk. If you’re using tomato instead of coconut milk (or in addition), you might want to add the tomatoes to the spice mixture to simmer for a bit before adding the lentils. Stir everything together once it’s in the pan. Bring mixture to boil over high heat, reduce to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring every so often until the lentils are soft.


The worst one of all – beluga lentils (made with coconut milk) topped with Oatly oat-based sour cream.


Red lentils (made with coconut milk) with brown basmati rice


Yellow lentils (made with tomato and water – not vegetable broth).



Northeast Corridor
Cat Richardson

I’m on the horizon of a seven hour trip and it’s quiet.
A man walks across the early highway, the sun is almost up.
You’re far away and swimming. How many bodies of water
will I cross before I solve myself.

I’m going to a wedding. Being single is expensive,
especially at weddings. I try not to think about
the cost of my solitude. Mostly I like it here.

On the train, the terrain is still familiar, but soon
we’ll slide past the capital and then anything could happen.
I’m in a set of seats reserved for parties of two.
A man pacing the aisle is having the same dilemma
and the conductor is imminent. I can’t decide if I’ll be my gentle self
and move to sit next to a stranger. I can’t decide
how much of this matters. I can’t decide anything anymore.

I’m tired. The conductor has given me a pass. Maybe she saw into me,
that I’m headed to a hotel room alone, to a wedding alone,
that I stop myself from speaking more often than not. It’s hard to say
that I used to love someone, that now I might love someone else,
because I’m a coward. Squat buildings mile-mark the train’s progress.

Will it feel good to pass my childhood home and keep going?
Have I ever actually left? I catch myself asking permission, often
feel like I’m getting away with something.

Absence makes the heart grow absent. Do I love you
or the way you move through the world. Does it matter.
The landscape unlocks tree after tree. It makes itself just ahead of me.
The train slows so as not to outrun the physical world.