Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Lentil and Brown Rice Stew

A couple of days ago I was going through the cupboards trying to decide what to make for dinner. I stumbled across some green lentils and a bag of brown rice I had bought one afternoon for no particular reason. I was inspired. I spent the next hour adding a little of this and a little of that until a fairly nice stew was bubbling on the stove. It came out so good (in my opinion) that I thought I would share it. So, here is the recipe I came up with which I am calling Lentil & Brown Rice Stew:
2 cups dry lentils 1 cup dry brown rice (I used long grain) 10 cups water (9 for the soup & 1 for cooking the rice) 2 tsp dry basil 2 tsp dry oregano 1 bay leaf 8 cloves garlic, minced 1 large yellow onion, diced 2 tbsp canola oil 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, with their liquid 3 celery stalks, chopped 3 carrots, peeled & sliced 6 red potatoes, washed & diced (skin on) 1 cup shredded or diced green cabbage 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley 1 very large pot and a rice pot
Combine the 1 cup brown rice with 1 cup water in a small pot over med-high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to very low and let simmer for about 45 minutes, covered, or until the rice absorbs the water. Set aside. You can use more rice if you want a very hearty stew...just keep the measurements 1/2 rice and 1/2 water.
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over med-high heat. Add the garlic and onions and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the celery and carrots, give it a good stir, cover and cook for about 5 more minutes. Stir once or twice to prevent sticking. Add the potatoes and the dry herbs and stir. Cover and cook another 3 to 5 minutes. Add the lentils and water, cover and bring to a boil...then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Add both cans of tomatoes with all their liquid, the cooked rice, the cabbage and the parsley. Stir it all together well and let simmer, covered, another 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot.
This stew is super hearty, very healthy, low in fat, high in fiber and high in protien. What a great combination! It is a wonderfully warming comfort type food that would be perfect served on a cold or wet evening. It is certainly a meal in itself. I served it with warm whole wheat rolls. Brown rice, green lentils and whole wheat rolls! I must be a vegetarian hippy! :)
This recipe does make a HUGE pot of stew. I always cook my stews and soups in huge pots. I like to keep it in the fridge for days as a quick lunch or dinner waiting to just be warmed up. If you wanted to make less you could simply cut all the ingredients in half and proceed with the recipe.

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