4 Moms Share Vegetarian Recipes {Link-Up}

When you’re feeding a crowd vegetarian options are a wonderful way to pinch some of those pennies.

My husband is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, so finding recipes without meat that don’t leave him feeling like dinner was simply an appetizer has been challenging. However, these two recipes fit the bill.

Quinoa and Lentil Salad with Caramelized Onions

Don’t let the title fool you, this salad is filling and delicious (although Nicholas, age 5, disagrees). The caramelized onions give the whole dish a sweet kick and the sprinkling of feta is just what it needs for balance and full flavor.

Quinoa and Lentil Salad

We prefer to soak our grains before preparing them, but you may skip the soak and simply cook up the quinoa and lentils according to the package instructions.

  • 2 cups quinoa (you may substitute other grains if you prefer)
  • 2 cups lentils
  • apple cider vinegar (for soaking)
  • Salt
  • Butter or coconut oil
  • broth
  • Olive oil
  • 4-6 red onions
  • 4-6 Roma tomatoes
  • large handful fresh basil
  • 6 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2/3 cup chopped flat-leafed parsley

The night before:

Combine lentils with 8 cups water and a generous splash of raw apple cider vinegar and allow to soak overnight.

Rinse quinoa and combine with 8 cups water and two generous splashes of raw apple cider vinegar and allow to soak overnight.

 The next morning:

Drain and measure the water from the lentils. Rinse lentils and place back in pot with the stock equal to the amount of water you drained off. Add two teaspoons sea salt and 2 Tbl. butter or coconut oil and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cover and allow to cook for 30-45 minutes or until tender. Let stand for a few minutes and then place in refrigerator.

Drain and measure the water from the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa and replace the liquid removed with water or broth. Add two teaspoons of salt and 4 Tablespoons of butter or coconut oil and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer, covered for 15 to 20 minutes of until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Let stand for a few minutes and then place in refrigerator.

Before dinner:

Saute red onions in 2-4 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 teaspoons of sea salt until onions begin to release some of their moisture (2-5 minutes). Turn heat to low and cook for 25 more minutes or until onions are caramelized.

Then add the quinoa, caramelized onions, cooked lentils, chopped tomatoes, basil, parsely, vinegar, oil, sea salt and pepper to a large bowl and toss together. Sprinkle with crumbled feta and chopped parsley.



One-Dish Mexican Lentils and Rice

This recipe is a new favorite, simple, inexpensive and delicious. All of our children love this one. Our pastor’s wife brought this over for us after Valor (8 months) was born and we’ve had it on an almost weekly basis since then.

  • 1 1/2 cups lentils, dry
  • 1 cup brown rice, uncooked
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 2 or more cloves garlic
  • 5 cups broth of choice
  • 1 can Rotel, undrained
Put all ingredients in 9×13 and stir until evenly distributed. Cover with foil and bake at 325 for 1 1/2-2 hours.
We serve this with tortillas and top with cheese, salsa and sour cream. Optional: Sprinkle with cheese and let melt OR add one pound of cooked sausage.
Here are a couple of our winter favorites:
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8 Responses to 4 Moms Share Vegetarian Recipes {Link-Up}
  1. Rebekah
    May 16, 2013 | 9:48 am

    The Mexican Lentils and Rice sounds so good! I know my family would love it.


  2. Katie
    May 16, 2013 | 10:55 am

    Thanks for sharing – I’ll be trying these soon!

    It’s amazing to me that my kid’s favorite meals are lentil ones. They love taco lentils (similar to this recipe: http://www.supperforasteal.com/lentil-tacos/) and a lentil crockpot casserole (similar to this http://www.5dollardinners.com/lentil-and-brown-rice-casserole/ and I always throw in some chopped carrots or whatever veggie I feel like with it)

    I grew up eating flavorless lentil soups and never enjoyed them, but now I know they are quite tasty if well seasoned. They are so healthy and inexpensive!


  3. Gina
    May 16, 2013 | 11:30 am

    I’m new to quinoa–just bought some the other day and haven’t cooked any yet. I’m wondering if it can be substituted for brown rice (like in your Mexican lentils and rice recipe)? Would I need to adjust anything? Or would the dish turn out totally different therefore don’t try it?


  4. Elisa
    May 16, 2013 | 12:29 pm

    I am looking forward to trying both of these! How many servings does each recipe make? My family is small, so I think I may need to make less or freeze half the results.


  5. Serenity
    May 16, 2013 | 12:39 pm

    I can not wait to try the lentils and rice! Your lentil chili has been a HUGE hit in our home and when my two youngest brothers were living with us it was a lifesaver to the food bill 🙂 Thanks!!!!!!!


  6. Tamara
    May 16, 2013 | 4:55 pm

    Oh my goodness! I read this post this morning and the Mexican Lentils and Rice recipe sounded so delicious…so I made a giant family sized pan of it and couldn’t resist eating a bit for a late lunch…and we’ll be eating it for dinner tonight–amazingly yummy! thanks for sharing!!


  7. Anna
    May 16, 2013 | 5:34 pm

    Yeah! Thank you! We are trying to do more vegetarian recipes, so I’m very excited that this is the topic for the week. 🙂

    I don’t know when the moms will have another Q&A, but I was wondering whether you had any suggestions for dealing with a 2 3/4 year old who is recently getting very upset when not getting her way – crying, screaming, “no mommy!” occasionally trying to hit but we have zero tolerance on that, so that is pretty infrequent.

    She could say she wants to do a certain thing, and I’ll say no, sorry, we’re going to do this other thing which she also finds very fun and she’ll get very upset for a few minutes, then a few minutes after we start doing the fun thing be perfectly fine and happy.

    I am suspecting it is maybe because we’ve been spending too much time away from home, going to activities in the neighborhood because the weather is so nice, so I am trying to pull things back in, stay home and focus on my two girls and careful discipline when needed, but if you have any suggestions or encouragement, I’d really appreciate it.

    I get a bit too frustrated with it at times too. It’s hard for me to see because she’s generally a pretty sweet girl (and is when she’s not getting upset like that), so I feel like I’m failing her.


  8. Janee Campbell
    May 16, 2013 | 6:15 pm

    I have another great recipe to add to your collection but since I don’t have a blog I’ll just type it since its so easy.

    I soak black beans overnight in a crock put (mine holds up to 3 lb’s easily but you can do less if that’s too much).

    In the morning I drain them and add about 12oz of your favorite salsa for each pound of beans. I also add some garlic salt for flavor since they are bland without it. That’s according to taste.

    Then add water just enough to be level with the beans or slightly covered. I then cook on high for several hours to get everything hot and switch to low for the rest of the day. If you need them done sooner cook on high until done (5-6 hours).

    I serve these in tortilla’s with lettuce, tomato and sour cream but you can put them over rice if you prefer. I also take the leftovers and mix with taco flavored meat, rice, and cheese and use as filling for either enchilada’s or burrito’s. You can freeze the burritos for lunches later when you need a quick lunch or the enchiladas can be frozen right in the pan for a quick dinner…just add your favorite enchilada sauce.


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