Sunday, January 6, 2013

Meatless Monday: Cheesy Lentils and Rice

Although I did not make any New Year's resolutions or goals, I did enjoy reading a lot of other people's.  A lot of people have goals or are wanting to make lifestyle changes to incorporate healthy lifestyle choices including their eating, cleaning, and exercise habits.  I love it!  Although not resolutions these are things I feel passionate about and have been trying to incorporate more of into our lives.  I'm going to try to share some tips and some changes we have been able to make over the next few months.

But it has been awhile since I've shared any recipes (at least healthy ones...) so I thought I'd do that today.  I saw several goals to eat "Meatless Mondays"  We don't really follow Meatless Mondays in my house, but I have been trying to incorporate a meatless dinner once/week.  I have been wanting to start buying organic meat for over a year now, but frankly just haven't been able to work it into the budget.  I do choose grass fed beef or organic chicken when I can (typically at the beginning of the month) but it is just so expensive, which is where meatless "Mondays" come into play.  Saving a bit of money on meat once/week allows more money for the organic meat for other meals.

I love lentils (and they are a great source of protein!) and I love how easy this recipe is.  Because dinner time tends to be PFB's fussy time, I can easily prep the veggies and cook the rice and lentils during nap time so it takes minimal prep-time just before serving.

I substituted quinoa for the rice this time to pack in some extra protein.  Did you know that quinoa is the only whole grain that has all 9 essential amino acids making it a complete source of protein?  It also cooks in about 15 minutes vs. 45 minutes for brown rice.  Quick and easy substitute in a time crunch.

Cheesy Lentils and Rice
  • 2/3 cup uncooked brown rice (I used quinoa)
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic minced 
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 tsp Tony's seasoning (or other favorite seasoning)
  • olive oil (I have never measured olive oil in my life)
  • 1 1/ 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

(the pineapple is not part of the recipe...)
And the ziploc bag is homemade chicken stock that I cooked the lentils and quinoa in rather than water to add some extra flavor

Cook rice (or quinoa) according to package directions.  Set aside
Cook lentils according to package directions; drain and set aside.
Saute onion, green pepper, and garlic with olive oil large skillet over medium heat.  Saute until tender.
Stir in lentils, tomatoes, and next five ingredients.  
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
Stir in brown rice (or quinoa)
Sprinkle with cheese.  Cover and let stand 5 minutes before serving




  1. Yum! We have been eating so much quinoa lately and I love it!! I would love to do meatless Mondays but my hubs is not really on board with it...boys and their need for a meat, ha!

  2. hmmmm, I need to try this soon, wonder if I could convince the boys to eat it?! Anytime I make a dish with quinoa they avoid it, won't even give it a try :/ on one hand it makes me sad on the other hand...there's more for me!


Thanks for visiting! Your comments make my day!