Lentils over rice

Hearty and quick

We came in from a cold day out in the nature reserve watching the bald eagles and the migrating swans. I hadn’t ever really thought about it, but hey, swans are white for the same reason polar bears are white – most of the year they live in the snow! Except when they come south to Oregon for the winter, apparently. Everyone was cold, but after spending the day with the swans and ducks nobody wanted meat for dinner. This hearty lentil stew with carrots and cauliflower was perfect!

How to make lentil stew:

First start the lentils: one cup of lentils with 3 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for fifteen minutes, or until the lentils begin to get tender.

Meanwhile start the rice (or use leftover rice from something else like we did): 1 1/2 cups of rice to 3 cups of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until the water is all absorbed, about ten minutes.

Now heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and saute one chopped onion, three crushed cloves of garlic, two chopped carrots, and half a head of cauliflower for about five minutes. Add a cup of tomato sauce, the lentils with their water, 1 tsp. salt, a pinch of black pepper, 1 tsp. cardamom, 1 tsp. oregano, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Add enough water to cover the vegetables and simmer uncovered for fifteen minutes or until the vegetables are all soft. You could add mint instead of the oregano and cinnamon for a different flavor, too. Finally, add the rice and stir it all together and serve.

We ate this stew with sauteed spinach on the side, pretty simple. But we did have cheesecake for dessert!

Vegetarian or vegan

Just naturally vegan! Enjoy!

Can I keep this for later?

Sure. Put the leftovers in a tupperware in the refrigerator, and the flavors will blend and it will be even better than it was at first. You can reheat it for about four or five days. You might need to add a little salt after reheating to bring out the flavors.

Or try this spicy lentil stew with sweet potatoes

Published by Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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