Lentils and rice
When I was a kid, my mum used to make lentils and rice in broth. Oh far out how I dreaded that dish. So it is somewhat ironic that here I am, 25 years later serving it to my kids. While I never liked the lentils and rice in a splashy broth, mum had another rice dish she’d make that I did love. It was her “Jasmine” rice (although, as far as I know we never actually made it with Jasmine rice). This dish was basically a rice cooked in stock by the absorption method but it came out a bit more like a fried rice and it was infinitely more delicious.
So recently I got to thinking… “what if I add the lentils to the “jasmine” rice recipe?” The lentils are a great plant-based source of protein (and they are also a good source of fibre and iron). As far as legumes go they are one of the quicker ones to cook and they don’t require soaking (although you do need to cook them for about 45 minutes). Taste-wise, they go well with a variety of foods. I decided I was onto something and gave it a go. Voila! It worked.
This is a fantastic recipe if you are time-poor and if you need to cook around a variety of food intolerances or eating styles (in our case dairy free and meat free), but it is also suitable if you need to avoid gluten, soy, nuts and egg too. As always, check that any packaged ingredients you use comply with your specific dietary needs, and without further ado – here is the recipe
- 1/2 to 1 can organic lentils rinsed in filtered water (we buy a canned brand that has a can which is also BPA free)
- 1 cup Basmati rice (if you want it to cook in 20 minutes – or brown rice if you’re happy to wait up to 40 minutes)
- 1.5 cup stock (you may use home made with lots of veggies for some inspiration you could try the Souper stock liquid stock or stock powder or use a commercial stock which suits your specific needs,bear in mind many commercial stocks have msg and you may find the homemade stock tasteless in comparison so you may want to bear this in mind as your taste buds adjust)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 clove of garlic (peeled and grated)
- 2 tbsp Italian Parsley chopped (you can add more if you like)
- 1 tsp paprika (it works nice with smoked paprika too)
- Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan and add the grated garlic. Once the garlic is browned, add the rice and stir through the oil.
- Place lid on pan and cook for 5 minutes (don’t burn the rice).
- Add 1.5 cups of stock, the paprika and parsley, stir and then cover and leave for 20 minutes simmering.
- Once all the stock has been absorbed (if the rice hasn’t cooked, eg, with brown rice you can add more stock and leave it until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked).
- Once the rice is cooked add 1/2 can of lentils (or ~1 cup of cooked) and stir through, and replace lid, until the lentils are warmed.
Some extra hints:
- If you’d like to avoid canned lentils, cook up a large batch of lentils and then freeze them in small quantities so you can thaw a small amount, and save time in the evening.
- You can add some extra freshly chopped parsley after you take it off the heat for a bit more vibrant colour.
- I usually serve it with steamed greens, cauliflower, corn, mashed sweet potato and or fried mushrooms, or if it is warm weather, a salad.
- Don’t misread the recipe and put in 1 tbsp of paprika… that is way too much, take my word for it;-)
If you give this a go, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!