Old Mother Hubbard / Went to the cupboard / To get her poor dog a bone;
But when she came there / The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none. ~Mother Goose
Even when you like to cook, there are times when it is undoubtedly a chore.
Sometimes it’s all you can do to chop an onion.
Well, good news.
The most time consuming thing about this dish is chopping the onion. The rest comes together in a couple of minutes and simmers away while you do something else.
It’s not pretty, and it’s not a ‘peak experience’ kind of meal, but it’s healthy and frugal and makes do. It’s also easily and infinitely variable to suit the tastes of your people.
Where I live (on the east coast of Canada), this One-dish Lentils and Rice costs well under a dollar per serving (it’s closer to 50 cents per). If you live in a more populous area and can get groceries more cheaply, it will cost even less.
The brown rice and lentils provide an excellent source of protein, fiber, folate, iron and a range of other nutrients.
You can vary this by using salsa instead of canned tomatoes, and serving with sour cream and cheese. Or add your favorite vegetables and change up the herbs. It still remains a fast and easy dish.
I did try this in the slow cooker, and really didn’t like the texture of the rice. I recommend preparing on the stove top or in the oven.
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion chopped (about 1 cup / 250 ml)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup / 250 ml brown rice
- 1 cup / 250 ml brown or green lentils
- 1 large can 28 oz / 796 ml diced tomatoes, with their juice
- 2 cups / 500 ml vegetable stock or water
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml salt
- 1/4 teaspoon / 1.25 ml pepper
- 2 teaspoons / 10 ml dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon / 2.5 ml dried chili flakes
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add oil to pan. Add onions and cook for 2-3 minutes until the onions have begun to soften. If they start to brown, turn down the heat.
Add garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
Add rice and stir to coat.
Add lentils, tomatoes, stock, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and dried chili flakes.
Bring mixture to a simmer, then cover and turn down heat to maintain simmer. To cook in the oven, bring to simmer then cover and place in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 1 hour.
Let simmer for 1 hour, or until all the water has been absorbed.
Take off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
Stir and server.
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