Middle Eastern Lentils & Rice w/ Lemony Salad

Lentil SaladI love just about anything with lentils; they’re quick to prepare, inexpensive, tasty and as they cook down they kind of melt and give way and add a nice creaminess and body to soups and stews.  Here’s another simple and filling rice-and-beans dish, this one taking inspiration from the Middle East.

Middle Eastern Lentils & Rice
Serves 4

1 tbsp. soy sauce
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
1 cup brown rice
4 cups boiling water
1 1/2 tsp. salt

4-6 cups mixed greens
1 cup cherry tomatoes (use red and yellow for lots of color), halved
1/2 cucumber (peeled if you wish), thinly sliced
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. salt

Combine dressing ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

Heat 1/4 cup of water and soy sauce in a large pot.  Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally until they are soft, about 10 minutes.  Add the lentils, rice, boiling water and salt.  Bring to a simmer and cover, cooking over medium heat until beans and rice are tender.  This should take about 45-50 minutes.  Add additional water as necessary to keep mixture from sticking.

In the bowl that contains the dressing, add the salad greens, the tomatoes, red onion and cucumbers and mix.  When the lentils and rice are finished, scoop a portion into a bowl and top with a generous amount of salad.  Garnish with fresh cilantro.

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