Thursday, March 12, 2009


My mom kinda suggested (Hi Mom!) that I tell my sister about this, but I figured I'd post it.

Its basically a carmelized onion, lentil and rice pilaf. People seem to have their own variations of it, and its pretty much one of those comfort whatever-works-for-you kind of dishes... I do believe that it has a basis in Lebanese food, but well...

This is how I like it:

2 tsp olive oil, split
1/2 white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
30 g rice, uncooked (about 1/6 cup. i've been using basmati rice. i probably will use this until its gone and then maybe use brown rice. its healthier, after all. also, the texture might hold up better. cooking time will be longer though)
35 g lentils, uncooked (about 1/4 cup. i think mine are brown lentils?)
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4-1/2 tsp cumin (entirely optional. as evidenced by the fact that i dont have any and dont use it right now. but i like it. i just never think of spices when i go shopping)
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium high heat in a small skillet. Add the onions, toss to coat. Turn the heat down to medium-low / low. Add a few good pinches of salt. Stir occasionally through out the rest of the process.
2. Heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium high heat in small sauce pan. Add the rice, toss to coat. Cook rice, stirring constantly, until grains turn opaque and some brown a bit. This makes it taste better. Remove the rice to a bowl or plate, and set aside.
3. Add the lentils to the saucepan. Stir to coat with the oil that remained in the pan. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until there are some browned spots on the lentils. Add water to cover + about an inch or so. Add the cumin at this point, if you're using it. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the rice to the lentils. Add a few healthy pinches of salt. If more water is needed, add it. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the lentils are soft, and the rice is done, adding more water if needed. If the lentils and rice are done, and there's excess liquid in the pan, turn up the heat to reduce it. Stir nearly constantly if you do this. Salt and pepper to taste.
5. If you feel like it, slightly mash the lentils and rice. I like it this way.
6. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add half of the carmelized onions, and the lemon juice to taste. Salt and pepper again, if need be.
7. Serve with the remaining carmelized onions on top! Enjoy!

This is definitely one of the cheapest, filling meals that I could eat pretty much any time. If you're feeling ambitious, it keeps pretty well. It eats well at room temperature, or even chilled, so its pretty ideal for lunches. Also, you can easily make up a bunch of carmelized onions before hand and freeze or refrigerate them; it doesn't touch the texture or flavor. Add a salad or a vegetable (or a bunch of grilled veggies...mmmm) for a more complete meal.

Nutrition: Cal=342, Fat=9.7g, SatFat=1.4g, Carbs=52.4g, Fiber=12.1g, Sugar=3.6g, Protein=12.0g

Bonus: Vitamin C= 27%, Iron=25%

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