Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Meatless Monday

I realize that today isn't Monday, but recently I've embraced the concept of meatless Monday or serving one meatless meal a week. In addition to being healthy, it's also good for the environment. This week I served Spicy Red Lentils and Brown Rice garnished with cilantro and yogurt. Lentils and dried beans are high in protein and a good source of Vitamins A and B, iron and phosphorus and brown rice is a whole grain.

I purchased red lentils in bulk at a wholesale Italian market in Chicago on a recent trip. Red lentils are sometimes called Egyptian lentils and keep well for as long as a year. Easily cooked in less than 30 minutes, they form a puree.

To cook the rice I used my rice cooker. This is an appliance I haven't used much because the excess starch needs to be rinsed away. I've always felt this would also wash away the vitamins added to enrich the rice. With brown rice there is no need to rinse away excess starch because of the bran coating. My rice was perfectly steamed to be serve with the spicy lentils and I cooked enough for a second meal.

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