It can be so hard to find healthy side dishes that taste wonderful. When I find a good one, it gets entered into my Favorite Recipes book, and we eat it over and over. Brown Rice and Lentils sounds a little boring, but is surprisingly flavorful and pretty.
And it’s CHEAP to make, especially if you make your own broth or stock from scratch. I haven’t done a breakdown of the cost per ingredient yet, but take a look at the list, and see for yourself! It’s a winner: simple, tasty, easy, frugal, and good for you.
Brown Rice and Lentils (from good ol’ Betty Crocker – thanks, Betty!)
2 TBS butter or margarine (I use butter)
1 small or medium onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (I use 2)
1/2 C. dried lentils, sorted + rinsed (sorry, Betty – I usually just dump them in)
1/2 C. uncooked brown rice
1 can (14 oz) vegetable or chicken broth (homemade or store-bought, your pick)
1/4 C. water
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (there’s the kick)
1 medium red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
optional: 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese (2 oz)
Do your prep work. Your cutting board will look so beautiful…
Melt the butter or margarine over medium heat in a 2-quart saucepan with a lid. Cook the onion and garlic in the butter until the onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Stir in lentils, rice, broth, water, and pepper.
Heat to boiling and reduce to a simmer. Cover the pan and simmer for about 50 minutes, until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Check every so often to make sure the liquid has not all absorbed early. If it has, add a little water, stir, re-cover, and check again soon. You may need to lower the heat.
Just before serving, add the bell pepper.
Sprinkle with cheese if you like that sort of thing. And I do. It’s not in this picture, but’s it’s always in my heart. Ah, cheese…
A few nutrition facts to make your eating pleasure complete:
Per 1-Cup serving, there are 260 calories, 9 grams of fat (I imagine that will vary depending on the fat used for the initial saute), 8 grams of fiber, and a whopping 14 grams of protein. How can you argue with 24% of your daily Vitamin C, 14% calcium, and 18% iron?
Takes only 15 minutes to prepare, and it does the rest of the work itself. The result is a delicious, filling, sweet dish that goes with all kinds of main courses. Have fun!
For a picture-free, easy-to-print version of this recipe, please click on the following link: