When you mention the word “vegan” a lot of people freak out. They think it is some strange and foreign concept. In reality, a lot of the side dishes I cook and prepare are vegan. I admit, I am NOT a vegan, nor would I ever be. It’s just not my thing. Although I do certainly know how to cook vegan foods and dishes, and some of them are really delicious, but I am a carnivore and I need my meat and my proteins from animal sources. To go vegan means to eliminate ALL animal products from your diet. It is a more severe and strict form of vegetarianism. Vegetarians still eat eggs, honey and dairy products, whereas vegans do not.
This vegan rice and lentil recipe is one of those dishes that is pretty tasty. To me it is like a combination of a risotto and a rice pilaf dish. I prepare it is a side dish that I serve with meat. I actually served it in two different ways this time. The first time I served it with my Italian short ribs Italian Style Short Ribs, and you will just have to wait to see how I served it for the second time. 🙂 If you are a vegan or a vegetarian, I would highly recommend you serve it as a side dish as well, and add your favorite source of protein to serve with it. Lentils are a great source of protein, however they still do not offer as many proteins and benefits as proteins that come from animal sources. The health benefits of vegan and vegetarian vs. meat eaters are still undecided. There are pros and cons for all and everyone has to decide for themselves which is best.
Vegan Rice and Lentils
I used wild rice and red lentils, but you can use brown rice or any other kind of rice, and you can use the brown, red or yellow lentils too. If you use a different kind of rice, you may need to adjust the cooking times.
3/4 cup lentils
1 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, diced fine
1 medium carrot or 2 small carrots, diced fine
1 TBSP garlic
1 cup rice
1 1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
3 cups water + water for the lentils
salt & pepper to taste
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then add the lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. When the lentils are done, drain them and set them aside.
Sautee the rest of the ingredients, including the spices in the hot olive oil for about 10 minutes.
Add the rice, lentils and water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 30 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated.
When the rice is cooked, fluff it up a bit and serve. You can eat it as is or on the side with something else.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone ‘Til next time.