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.
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)
- Butter or coconut oil
- 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.
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