a little lentil love

I’ve been thinking about side dishes lately, more specifically about how little love they get. Think about it— whether it’s a holiday dinner or your average weeknight meal the star of the show, the plate everyone descends on first, the component that gets showered with the most compliments is NEVER the side dish. It’s really too bad since there are plenty of fabulous side dishes out there significantly tastier than the dried out turkey, nearly incinerated steak or bland fish fillet they’re served alongside.

As you know by now I love a good cause and I’m always root for the underdog so… I’ve decided to do my part in supporting the frequently maligned side dish. How? With a recipe for a super simple, crazy delicious and ideal for a holiday dinner or alongside pork chops on a random Wednesday night side dish. Intrigued? Ready for the reveal? Okay here goes… Lentils with Brown Rice, Sautéed Mushrooms + Spinach. What you’re not impressed? Well you should be. This combination is really and truly delicious together, it’s super easy to make (especially if you use canned lentils and instant brown rice), is terrific as a side, fantastic stuffed in red peppers as a meatless meal and totally delish along with salad or eggs. And who doesn’t love lentils and brown rice: high in protein and fiber, low in fat and cholesterol, ready to take on any flavors you add to it. Are you starting to see things from my perspective? Yeah, I thought you would.

Who know’s, with the right love and support Lentils with Brown Rice, Sautéed Mushrooms + Spinach just could be the side dish of 2014. It could take on kale cult status! But don’t take my word for it, try it yourself and let me know what you think.

Lentils with Brown Rice, Mushrooms + Kale
I usually serve this as a side dish, but I’ve also been known to use it as a stuffing for red peppers or a topping for salad greens.

rice+lentils

3 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, diced
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 handfuls kale (or baby spinach), roughly chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 can lentils, rinsed and drained

  1. In a large skillet warm the oil until shimmering. Add the onions and sauté until nearly translucent. Then add the garlic, mushroom, thyme, salt and pepper and let cook for 8-10 minutes or until the mushroom have released all their moisture.
  2. Add to the skillet two handfuls of roughly chopped baby spinach and stir well. Then add the cooked rice and lentils and allow to cook until everything is heated through and the spinach has wilted.
  3. Serve and enjoy.
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