Tastes of the Old Country Here

Better than a Lean Cuisine

One of the biggest adjustments when I moved into a big kid studio was “what to do with leftovers?” Cooking for one without feeling like a Cathy comic.  Quickly, I learned which meals freeze well and which do not.  One of my favorites is a twist on a rice and lentils dish my adorable little, Lebanese aunt makes.  Super easy.

1 medium onion

1 clove elephant garlic

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt + pepper

1 lbs. dried brown lentils

1 cup brown rice or rice pilaf

4 cups chicken stock

1 lbs of fresh spinach or half a bag of frozen chopped spinach

2 tablespoons cumin

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

Slice the onion and garlic into thin strips.  Saute in 1 tbs butter and 1tbs olive oil over medium heat in a heavy bottomed sauce pan.  Add a pinch of salt.  Saute until softened and just starting to brown.

Add 1 lbs of lentils and cup of rice.  Stir to coat.

Add chicken stock, one cup at a time. Cover pot.  The lentils and rice will slowly absorb the chicken stock. When the 4 cups of stock is fully absorbed, add spices: cumin, cinnamon, cayenne and coriander.  Stir.

And add spinach. Stir.   If it’s fresh, it will wilt down in the warm lentils.

If you’re thinking of packing some away, this will freeze well in individual 8 oz. Tupperware containers.  If there is extra room in the top of the container, add a little chicken stock till it is full. This way, when you reheat the dish will not dry out.  Even if you don’t have a fridge at work, let it thaw and heat when you’re ready for lunch.

Whadaya Think?

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