Jun 172014
 
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Lentils in a bowl

 

Years ago I read on page 453 of the Complete Tightwad Gazette  by Amy Dacyczyn, about a casserole dish made of lentils and rice that was baked in the oven. Later I saw a similar dish on page 238 of Better Homes & Gardens “The Dieter’s Cookbook” edited by Gerald M. Knox. It’s a great recipe and really opened my eyes to the tasty combination of lentils and brown rice. I don’t usually cook my lentils and rice in the oven. I cook them on the stove-top, rather like rice pilaf. They cook faster this way, which is vital when you’re feeding a hungry teenager with low blood sugar who is chomping at the bit for his supper. Over the years I’ve developed several variations of this dish, but this one is the most popular.

This recipe uses WIC foods and can be made exclusively from items found in dollar stores. It’s also extremely economical.

Garlic & Herb Lentils & Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon powdered chicken bouillon or 3 bouillon cubes
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder (to taste)
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons dried onions
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Directions

If necessary rinse the brown rice and lentils to remove any debris. Cheaper brands, especially the ones I can afford, often have dust and even small dirt clods in them. I have a large wire-mesh strainer that I use to give them a thorough washing before use. I haven’t always done this and have eaten my fair share of dirt before I fully understood the necessity.

In a 2-quart saucepan combine the brown rice, lentils and water. Set the pot to heating on high. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil. Stir it all up with a fork or spoon. Reduce the heat to very low. Place the lid on the pot. Allow the lentils and rice to simmer over low heat for 45 minutes to an hour. You may stir the mixture now and then while it cooks, but you don’t have to.

When it’s done cooking serve it in bowls. You may top it with fresh chopped onions or a little raw shredded carrot if desired. It’s surprisingly tasty.

Makes 6 servings, about 1-cup each.

Per Serving: 250 Calories; 4g Fat ;12g Protein; 43g Carbohydrate; 10g Dietary Fiber; trace Cholesterol; 229mg Sodium. Fat 13%; Carbohydrates 69%; Protein 19% .

Exchanges: 3 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1/2 Fat.

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NOTE: If you need a faster cooking version then replace the regular lentils with orange lentils and the brown rice with long grain white rice. Cook for 20 minutes.

Orange lentils are sometimes called red lentils. They are available at most Health Food Stores and some well stocked supermarkets. They cook in about 15 to 20 minutes, as opposed to the 30 to 40 minute cooking time for regular lentils.


Healthy Convenience Mix

This recipe is easy to turn into a homemade convenience mix. GFCF convenience foods are very hard to come by at the market and usually they are prohibitively expensive. This homemade convenience mix tastes good and is very good for you too. As above, if you need a quicker cooking version free feel to use orange (red) lentils and long grain white rice in place of regular lentils and brown rice.

1. Get out a quart-size zipper bag. Combine in it the following:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder or 3 bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder (to taste)
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons dried onions

Zipper the bag closed. Label and date it. Store on the pantry shelf until needed.

2.  When you’re ready to prepare it follow these directions:

Into a 2-quart saucepan measure the following:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Add the contents of your zipper bag. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover & cook for 45 to 60 minutes.

  4 Responses to “Garlic & Herb Lentils & Rice”

  1. Just a heads-up on soy sauce – most varieties are made with wheat. You can get gluten-free soy sauce, but of course, it costs the Earth.

    • Hey Kelly. Gluten Free soy sauce is getting easier and easier to find. We use Kroger Brand Low-Sodium Soy Sauce, which is wheat free. It’s similar in quality to La Choy soy sauce, which is also wheat free and very easy to find. It costs less than Kikkoman usually. Kikkoman has their own version of wheat and gluten free soy sauce, which is pricier than their conventional brand, but more affordable than some others. San-J is the best tasting Gluten Free soy sauce I’ve ever tasted, and it’s price has come down by almost half in the past 3 years. The low-sodium version of San-Jay is very good tasting, but costs more than the regular sodium version. They have a new 50% less sodium version that is marvelously low in sodium, but alas, as you point out, the price is outside of our budget. For now I make do with Kroger Low Sodium. It’s wheat-free, tastes good, is lower in sodium than most low-sodium soy sauce and since it’s a store brand, it is quite affordable. Plus I like the empty bottles to refill with homemade salad dressings.

      Thanks for the reminder that some versions of soy sauce contain wheat. Like with some of my vegetarian recipes, where I assume the reader has enough knowledge to use anchovy-free Worcestershire sauce to remain vegetarian, I tend to assume that my readers have enough knowledge to avoid soy sauce with wheat in it. This may be an oversight on my part.

      Thanks for your comment. 🙂

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