Monday, October 01, 2012

No-Chop Lentil Pilaf

As a vegan, you tend to eat a lot of vegetables. And consequently, you tend to chop a lot of vegetables. You get to be very intimate with your cutting board and knife! Tonight, I wanted a break from all that chopping, but I still wanted our meal to be nutritious and as whole-food as possible. I came across this recipe that used Beluga Lentils, and I just happened to have a bag of pre-cooked ones in the freezer. Plus, the recipe could be made to be chop-free, which was perfect! So here is my adapted version of Cookgirl's Black Beluga Lentil Pilaf recipe.

No-Chop Lentil Pilaf
Yield: 5-6 meal-sized servings

2 cups (500 ml) sprouted brown rice (or a rice of your choice)
3 cups (750 ml) water
1 clove garlic, minced (I got around the chopping for this part by using pre-minced garlic!)
1 tsp (5 ml) cumin
1 cup (250 ml) raisins
2 cups (500 ml) pre-cooked beluga lentils (or another lentil of your choice)
1 cup (250 ml) frozen green peas
Salt and pepper, to taste

1) Rinse rice and place in a large pot. Add water, minced garlic, and cumin. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 25 minutes.

2) If raisins are getting a little old and crusty, which mine were, put them in a bowl and cover with water to let them "plump." Leave them in the water while the rice cooks, and don't forget to discard the water before you use the plumped raisins.

3) Once the rice is done, mix the lentils, raisins, and frozen peas into the pot. Let sit for about five minutes with the lid on, until the peas have thawed and everything is warmed through.

4) Season with salt and pepper as desired.

I like the colour the bright green peas give to the dish, and I also like to add something green in whenever possible. Green = good for you! The sweetness of the peas and raisins is a nice counterpart to the more savoury rice and lentils. I did find the dish to be a bit dry, so if that bothers you, you could mix in a bit of vegan margarine. We served it with a bun on the side, which was very tasty. This was also a really nice fast dish that makes a lot - perfect for freezing or leftovers!