Serves: 2(1 Vote)
1 red onion finely chopped
2 handfuls spinach
200g brown rice
200g lentils (any colour)
1 garlic clove crushed
4 carrots finely chopped
2 potatoes finely chopped
2 tomatoes roughly chopped
2 leeks diced
2 tbsp olive oil
250ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 handful parsley
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground pepper
- Heat a pot with some good olive oil and add the chopped onions and leeks. At this stage we’re starting with high heat.
- After two minutes, add the potatoes, carrots and garlic. Cook until slightly tender.
- Add the lentils, spinach, tomatoes, tomato paste, pinch of sugar, black pepper, cumin and vegetable stock, respectively.
- Add additional water and allow the stew to simmer in low heat for 30-40 minutes.
- For the brown rice, add olive oil in a pot and throw in the brown rice.
- Coat the rice with the olive oil and then add a little water.
- Allow the rice to cook in low heat for 20-30 mins.
- Toss in the parsley to the lentil stew a few minutes before serving.
- You can also add a gulp of yoghurt when serving as I do!
Today’s recipe is an old favourite that I do every once in a while, except I usually use white rice (love white rice!) However due to the circumstances, I believe brown rice is the healthier and more effective option. The brown rice itself is the unrefined version which means that it is easier to digest. It is also filled with fibre, potassium, calcium and magnesium. It is also rich in anti-oxidents and rich in natural oil, but most importantly it is bursting with fibre and that’s why it is also considered an important nutritional food for toddlers too. Lentils is one of my favourite legumes if not staple of food in general. It is nutty in flavour and full of health benefits. It is high in fibre and high in protein! The lentil stew itself can be combined with any vegetables that you fancy. However, the veggies below are what I find most complimentary to this dish.
The rice needs to be soaked in warm water. No more than an inch or two above it. You will need to check on it to see if it will need a little more water along the way. The secret in cooking rice is the low heat which allows the water vapour to due the trick. I don’t tend to season the rice, as the olive oil gives it a nice touch and prevents it from sticking to the pot! Honestly, practice makes perfect when it comes to gorgeous fluffy rice.
When you’re cooking the lentil stew, you will also need to check on it to see if you need to add some more water. Leave the seasoning to the very end, as it is pointless to add the seasoning when you’re topping it up with water as it’s cooking.
Make sure the lentils are cooked or does not need to be soaked in water beforehand. For some odd reason in London I always bought canned lentils. Otherwise, you will need to soak the uncooked lentils for hours to get them soft and cookable. In Athens, I found the opposite to be true. The uncooked lentils are easy to cook sans the soaking!
The spices vary as you like. Chilli is always a nice touch, or a squeeze of lemon or a pinch of salt in addition to the salt in the vegetable stock. It all depends on your palate, so feel free to jazz it up as you like!