Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lentil & Rice Salad


I cooked a new recipe with lentils this week.  It was fine.  The two people in the house who LOVE lentils, loved the recipe.  The others thought it was just O.K.  I used my own chicken broth, out of my frozen homemade broth stash, instead of the four cups of water.  I am trying to use my own stocks and broths as many times a week as I can, to ensure we are getting plenty of good minerals.  Also, I didn't add the pork in the recipe.  And that was all good and fine... 


because of my love of Nourishing Traditions, Weston A. Price Foundation, and Makers Diet, which all inspire me to use quality ingredients, and not waste anything, I came up with my "leftover" plan!

Half of the leftovers I added more chicken stock to, for soup to freeze.  And the other half I used to warm up and fill the bottoms of our salad bowls.   

I put a substantial pile of the warmed up lentils and rice in the bottom of my salad bowl, and then added whatever fresh salad ingredients I had that day.  (I made three different versions of this salad three days in a row.)  Each time, though, I added my favorite simple salad dressing, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Bragg Vinegar.  Since the lentil recipe already calls for olive oil, the flavors of oil and vinegar marry with this recipe in an amazing way!  I'm telling you!  Wow!

The olive oil drizzled over the salad is just beautiful, especially when I am thinking about how thankful my body must be for my increasing my oleic acid intake.  Oleic acid was the only nutrient I was low on in the last micronutrient workup I had done.  We will fix that!

This is so good!  All my little girls (ages 3, 5, and 7) were asking for more!  

(Lest you think I'm a healthy food snob, I want you to know I made chocolate chip, butterscotch chip cookies today and fed my girls yogurt for dinner!)

Here is the recipe I found in the New York Times:

Lentils and Rice With or Without Pork

Time: About 45 minutes

 4 to 6 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
4 ounces bacon or sausage, chopped, optional
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 cup long-grain brown rice
3 or 4 bay leaves
Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish.
1. Put the oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat. When it’s hot, add onion, celery, carrot and meat, if using. Cook until vegetables begin to become tender and meat begins to brown in places, 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and some salt and pepper and cook for another minute or two.
2. Add lentils, rice, bay leaves and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat so liquid bubbles gently, and cover.
3. After 30 minutes, if rice and lentils are tender and liquid is absorbed, the dish is ready. If lentils and rice are not tender, add enough liquid to keep bottom of pot moist, cover and cook for a few more minutes. If rice and lentils are soft and there is much liquid remaining (which is unlikely), raise heat a bit and cook, uncovered, stirring once or twice, until it evaporates. Discard bay leaves. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, fluff with a fork and serve, garnished with parsley and drizzled with more olive oil.
Use any grain instead of brown rice; you can even substitute white rice. (Cooking time for white rice is half or less that for brown, so add later.)
Similarly, use any bean: cook longer as needed and keep an eye on the water to make sure the beans stay submerged in about 1 inch of water during cooking; wait to add the rice until the beans are tender.
Stock will add flavor, but don’t waste money on the canned stuff; use water instead. (The dish will taste like lentils and rice.) For more flavor, add onion, carrot, or other vegetables and an herb like thyme.
For the dish called Moors and Christians, substitute a red bell pepper for the celery and carrot, black beans for the lentils, and 1 cup chopped tomato for some of the liquid; let the beans cook until half done before adding the rice.
For smoky red beans and rice, add 1 tablespoon tomato paste and 2 teaspoons pimentón to the vegetables. Use red beans instead of lentils and cook until they’re half done before adding the rice (which should be short-grain). Simmer for another 15 minutes, then bake uncovered at 450 degrees Fahrenheit until the beans and rice are tender.
For mujaddara, skip the meat; cook two sliced onions in a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until they’re dark brown but not burned, and serve on top of the rice and lentils.
For lentil and rice soup — or any bean and rice soup — use more water, or stock if you have it

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