Today I'd like share with you my very versatile basic lentil dish recipe which I modify every time due to seasonal vegetables and what I have available at home.
Soups and dishes which are able to bring a large variety of vegetables, legumes and cereals together can offer us so many nutrient dense choices. I try to include such dishes in our diet at least once a day, for lunch or supper.. most of the time accompanied by a large salad.
While a whole food plant based nutrient dense lifestyle requires us to steer away from processed food and the most of ready-to-eat convenience meals, it may also cause an increase in the time spent in the kitchen.
Of course it is fundamental to dedicate time to prepare some lovely healthy meals for ourselves and our loved ones but it is also crucial to come up with some practical solutions in order to make this way of alimentation a sustainable one.
One of the methods I exercise to reduce the time spent in the kitchen is to cook in abundance, eat leftovers in the next days and/or store in the freezer for the future use. This recipe, which easily delivers a nutritious 8 portions, makes my job easier.
As a matter of fact, I don't have some precise ingredient list. Therefore I end up with different dish and flavors each time I make it. This soup like dish, which I titled as Red Cabbage Lentil Dish, is only one of those endless variations. The day I made it I had red cabbage and red beets in the fridge so I used them. Some other day I may prepare it with white cabbage and white beets or some entirely different combination depending on the season. Our main goal is to prepare nutrient dense dishes using very wide range of vegetables, legumes and cereals.
Here is the basic recipe I use:
- 500 g green, red or yellow lentilsIn my blogs I've always paid attention to share the exact amount of each ingredient. So, I did the same also for my Red Cabbage Lentil and I weighed each ingredient after i washed, peeled and cleaned. However, you don't have to stick to the recipe to the letter.
- 150 g wholegrain cereals (rice, buckwheat, farro, spelt, barley, millet, quinoa, rye, oat, sorghum, amaranth etc)
- 1.5 - 2 kg various vegetables (onion, carrot, garlic, celery stick, pepper, zucchini, tomatoes, leek, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, swiss chard, spinach, mushroom and/or many others due to the season)
- 1.2 / 1.5 liter water
You can take my above-mentioned basic recipe as reference and prepare a dish as you wish.
In following days I will be sharing many different variations.
Ingredients (8 portions):
500 g green lentils
150 g brown rice
300 g onions
550 g red cabbage
200 g red beets
250 g zucchini
150 g carrot
120 g green pepper
60 g celery stick (leaves included)
5 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp tomato paste
300 g tomatoes
1.2 liter water
A very limited amount of salt
Finely chopped parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
- Sort and wash lentils. Soak them overnight if you wish to do so.
- Dice onion, cabbage, beet, zucchini, carrot, celery stick and garlic in a food processor without pureeing them. (Since we use a good amount of vegetables you may need to do chopping work multiple times depending of the capacity of the brand and the model of your processor)
- Transfer chopped vegetables in a large pot. (Optional: If you find it necessary brush your pot with 1/2 tsp of oil).
- Cook until tender by stirring occasionally.
- Chop tomatoes in the processor. Add tomato paste and chopped tomatoes into the pot and mix.
- Add lentils and rice. Mix all.
- Add water and mix again.
- Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 35 - 45 minutes. (Refer to the cooking time written on the packages of your lentils and rice)
- Add very little salt. Add black pepper and mix.
- Let it rest in the pot at least 30 minutes before you serve.
- Serve into plates, sprinkle with parsley and black pepper.