Good morning, my friends! Enough about running (for now)… let’s get back to the food, shall we? 🙂 Starting with a fun new recipe! This Brown Rice & Lentil Herbed Salad is easy to make, delicious, and packed with fiber, protein, and nutrients.
Matt and I enjoyed this dish earlier this week for dinner and we both loved how it came out. It makes a great solo dish, or you can serve it atop a salad (great for a packed lunch!) or as a side. Matt did comment that he would have loved this even more with a side of meat… boys. 🙂
The stars of this recipe are the garlic, onions, and shallots, which add a ton of flavor to the dish. Fun fact: until a few years ago I didn’t think I liked garlic and onions! We never had them in recipes growing up and raw onions were too intense for me so I assumed I wouldn’t like them cooked, either. Well, once Matt and I started dating back in the day he set out to change my mind, slowly but surely. Garlic was easy – I decided I loved it pretty quickly, and now use it in a lot of recipes. I remember really falling in love with garlic while I was living in Prague, because one of my roommates at the time would make a ton of great garlicky veggie and bean stir fry/stews.
But it wasn’t until recently that I started to embrace onions. This Apple & Sage Pork Chop recipe was actually what changed my mind about cooked onions – I discovered caramelized onions are actually awesome! And now that that mental block is gone, I discovered I love cooked shallots, too, and can even handle a little sweet raw onion on salad from time to time. 10 year ago Anne would be appalled. 😉
So, in honor of my new love for allium vegetables, I started this recipe with them. I threw some minced garlic and chopped red onion and shallots into a pan with a little olive oil and some sliced almonds, just for fun. I sautéed it all together for about 10 minutes over medium/high heat.
Then I added in some cooked brown rice (see recipe below for specific measurements). To keep this recipe fast and easy, I used my standard favorite 90 second microwave brown rice (make sure you buy the plain/unseasoned brown rice).
And then I added in some cooked lentils. Again, to make this quick and easy, I used pre-cooked lentils (the ones from Trader Joe’s – SO good), but you can cook them yourself if you’re so inclined. 🙂
To add in some color and extra veggie power, I threw in some cooked chopped string beans. I always use the steam-in-the-bag microwaveable string beans to save time – they are usually in the store right next to the regular string beans, or with the bagged salads. They are just fresh plain string beans with nothing added to them, and they are SO good. I snack on them like french fries!
I also threw in some chopped parsley (yes, our apartment garden box parsley is still kicking!), some lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and a little feta, because it makes it betta.
And now, the recipe! I hope you give it a try yourself. 🙂
- 1 to 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 C red onion, diced or thinly sliced
- 1/4 C shallots, diced
- 1/2 C sliced almonds (optional)
- 2 C cooked brown rice
- 3 C cooked lentils
- 1 C cooked string beans, chopped
- 1/2 C fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 C red wine vinegar
- 1/4 C lemon juice
- 1/2 C feta cheese (optional)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- In a large pan or wok, add the olive oil, garlic, onions, shallots, and almonds. Heat to medium/high and stir for about 10 minutes, or until onions have softened and almonds are toasted.
- Reduce heat the low, and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve warm or chilled. Enjoy!
Let me know how you like the recipe if you try it! It would also be a fun and festive holiday dinner/potluck side dish.
Have a great day, everyone!
What’s your favorite one pan whole grain/veggie recipe as of late?
Thank you to the Grain Foods Foundation for sponsoring this post! Check out their Grains for Your Brain site for some great recipes and nutrition information about a variety of whole grains. They also have an “ask an expert” section where doctors and dietitians answer common questions about whole grains, which I love, especially since there is so much misinformation out there nowadays about nutrition. Great resource!