Easiest Entrees: Lentils and Rice

lentils-003

Awhile back I promised to make an added effort to include more super-fast, super-easy entrees in my posts.  Well, this “easiest entree” is one I’ve been making for years, and my mom was making for years before that.

“Making” this dish almost makes it seem more complicated than the reality.  It is less “made” and more “assembled”, since there is really no cooking involved.  However, to me, this is one of the best 5 minute meals on earth (yes, there is such a thing).  Tonight my kids actually requested it! 

It all starts with a can of good quality lentil soup.  You may have your favorite, but I love Progresso brand.  It is delicious and 99% fat free.  Lentils pack a protein punch, are low in calories, and are really yummy, even for those of you who may not love other legumes. 

The second part is good brown rice.  You can use leftover rice if you have it, but I’ve discovered a fantastic frozen, pre-cooked organic brown rice (at Trader Joe’s) that is really excellent and takes 3 minutes in the microwave.  I avoid boxed “minute-rice” because I think the consistency leaves a lot to be desired, and it is usually tasteless.  The frozen variety I use tastes much better and much more closely approximates rice made from scratch (which I do when I have 30 minutes to spare, but opt for the frozen on nights where I’m short on time).

I like to use a slotted spoon to place the lentils on top of the rice, leaving all the liquid behind.  My mom usually made this dish with pasta instead of rice, which is equally as good (opt for a small pasta variety like ditalini).  Top with some grated Parmesan cheese and you have a delicious, nutritious meal in minutes.

Lentils and Rice

Serves 2 adults or 3-4 kids

1 – 19 oz can lentil soup (I use Progresso brand)

1 1/2 – 2 cups hot brown rice

Parmesan cheese

Prepare the rice (from scratch or according to package directions).

Pour the contents of the soup into a microwave-proof bowl and heat for 2- 2 1/2 minutes (depending on your microwave), or until hot.

Divide the rice into bowls, and using a slotted spoon, top with lentils.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top and serve hot.

Click here for more information about Tracy’s Connecticut cooking classes, or to read her The Secret Ingredient Blog.

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