Spicy Lentils and White Rice Recipe

Lentils are delicious, versatile, and easy to prepare. Sometime after my first son was born, thirty years ago, a dietician provided me with numerous healthy and economical meals. Lentils were included in many of those recipes. Healthy and economical is a very alluring combination these days as well. Lentils are rich in fiber and protein. We know that a diet rich in fiber is heart healthy but did you know soluble fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels? All I can say is shame on me for not continuing to prepare lentils regularly!

 Using this Lentil and Rice recipe from the NY times as a guide and what was in the kitchen, we enjoyed this spicy "on hand" version!

Spicy Lentils and White Rice

1 tablespoon olive oil, extra for drizzling
1 small white onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
 2 Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage patties, chopped fine
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over
1/2 cup white rice
2 bay leaves

Put the oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat. When it’s hot, add onion, carrot, and sausage. Cook until vegetables begin to become tender and meat begins to brown in places, 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, salt and pepper, and Creole seasoning; cook for another minute or two.

Add lentils, rice, bay leaves and 2 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat so liquid bubbles gently, and cover.

After 20 minutes, if rice and lentils are tender and liquid is absorbed, the dish is ready. If lentils and rice are not tender, add enough liquid to keep bottom of pot moist, cover and cook for a few more minutes. If rice and lentils are soft and there is much liquid remaining (which is unlikely), raise heat a bit and cook, uncovered, stirring once or twice, until it evaporates. Discard bay leaves. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary, fluff with a fork and serve, garnished with a drizzle more of olive oil.

I forgot how much I enjoy lentils. Lentils are known to ready absorb flavors and that fact was proven here! I was surprised they cook up so quickly yet had the ideal amount of spicy flare. The Creole seasoning was the just the thing to compliment the sausage. That entire flavor in combination with the veggies was absorbed by both the rice and the lentil beans. I’m linking this up with Side Dish Saturdays!

Next time I’m thinking about incorporating a bit of spinach or kale into the mix. Have a favorite lentil recipe or tip for adding greens, do share!

Are you hungry?


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