Sunday, September 15, 2013

Spiced Lentil & Rice Salad

I think I'm already experiencing weekend withdrawal even though it is still Sunday. It has just been such a great weekend I hate to see it go so quickly. The weather has been outstanding, the Bear and I have done some major relaxing, and we've watched a lot of football. Besides errands, cleaning, and typical weekend things it has just been a nice weekend. The perfect taste of fall. I must say it is nice to send the weekend off with this warm, spicy, lentil salad.

I made a similar dish a couple of years ago when I served my tapas menu. When I was planning the menu for the week, I thought the lentils would make the perfect salad. This salad is not your ordinary salad. Served room temperature or somewhat warm, I've taken some very Spanish tapas elements and turned the dish into an entree. Packed with fiber, anti-inflammatory agents, and tons of great flavor this salad is the perfect, nutrient rich dish for a fun tapas menu or a detox meal from a glutenous weekend.

Spiced Lentil and Rice Salad
inspired by Cooking Light

4 cups water
1 cup dried green lentils
1 lemon, cut into quarters seeds removed
1/4 teaspoon ground gloves
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 roma tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon tumeric
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon curry powder
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
Juice of 2 lemons

Place water, lentils, lemon wedges, ground cloves, and the bay leaves in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Then, place the cover over the sauce pan at an angle, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Drain and discard the lemon wedges and bay leaves. Set aside.

Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes or until the onion begins to soften and turn translucent in color. Add the garlic, tomatoes, and next 7 ingredients to the lemon juice. Cook, stirring occasionally for another 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are heated through. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place the lentils, rice, onion mixture, cilantro, parsley, and mint in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the lemon juice. Toss until evenly coated. This dish can be served immediately while still warm or can be chilled and served later. Either way it is delicious!

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