This recipe’s a real keeper. I’m a big lentil advocate, so I know you won’t mind yet another recipe that uses them in a new way. In this recipe the lentils and rice are cooked together ahead of time and then allowed to cool. Afterward they are combined with the remaining ingredients to form the salad. The lentils and rice can be cooked the day before they are needed, or earlier in the day if you prefer. For instance, if you wanted this salad for lunch you could cook the lentils and rice in the morning after breakfast, or even the night before. If you want the salad to be ready for packing in the lunch box tomorrow, then prepare it this afternoon or evening and it’ll be ready to go in the morning. This dish is especially tasty for a hot weather lunch.
This recipe uses WIC-friendly lentils and brown rice. It’s high in fiber and protein and is a good source of iron and folacin, which is especially good for expecting mothers. It’s low in fat and sodium; is cholesterol free and can be made completely from dollar store dry goods.
- 1/2 cup dry lentils
- 1/4 cup brown rice
- 2 cups water
For the Dressing
- 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon dry parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard or yellow mustard, the kind you spread on sandwiches
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped onion (or 1-tablespoon dry onion)
First cook the lentils and brown rice. In a small saucepan combine the lentils, rice and water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover the saucepan and allow the lentils and rice to simmer for 45 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid and allow the lentils and rice to cool, at least 20 minutes, or as long as overnight.
In a medium-sized bowl combine all the ingredients for the dressing except the chopped onion. Mix it well. Add the cooked lentils and rice and the fresh chopped onion. Toss it gently but thoroughly.
You may chill the mixture before serving or eat it while it’s still a little warm. This can be served on a lettuce (or cabbage leaf) lined plate or bowl, or it can be scooped on top of a bowl of salad greens or shredded cabbage. I like it with fresh spinach leaves. It’s a great stuffing for hollowed out vegetables like bell peppers or tomatoes. Or you can stuff it into a pita or roll it in a tortilla like a wrap. The easiest way to serve this salad is simply to scoop it into a bowl and eat it with a spoon. In this case I like to add fresh chopped tomatoes or well drained, canned, low-sodium tomatoes but that’s not essential. Just plain is cheap and good too.
Serve with salad greens or shredded cabbage, a cup of soymilk or skim milk and a muffin for an affordable, nutritious lunch.
Makes 3 servings, about 2/3-cup each.
If you need 6 servings, then double all the ingredients. The cooking time will remain the same.
Per Serving: 220 Calories; 5g Fat; 11g Protein; 34g Carbohydrate; 11g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 196mg Sodium. Fat 21%; Carbohydrate 60%; Protein 19%.
Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1 Fat.