“What is the healthiest meal you can think of?” I asked my friend Sarah on the way home from a very calorically dense sleepover at my friend Megan’s. Megan writes at the fabulous cheesyrice.com, and we worked up a couple of recipes for her blog that included copious amounts of Nutella, caramel and american cheese (seriously, keep an eye on her blog, there are some delicious things coming in the future). After all of that I felt like I was in desperate need of some veggies and whole grains.
Sarah (who by the way is the author of a new and awesome blog, the betterizer) said that she had made a dish that was a mixture of lentils, caramelized onions, and brown rice called mujadara. It’s comfort food at it’s best, a big warm bowl of grains, with the potential to be a little heavy. So Sarah made up a mango salsa to brighten up the dish, a perfect addition, now that summer is upon us.
Lentils, are tremendously healthy, they are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. They help lower cholesterol, regulate blood-sugar , have B-vitamins and protein, and almost no fat for what is a very filling food.
Mujadara with Mango Strawberry Salsa
(inspired by Sarah and by Mudajara on Food 52.com)
1 cup whole brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
2 T canola oil
2 T Butter
4 cups diced yellow onion (what an easy way to get rid of a bunch of onions at once!)
1 cup brown rice
Salt and Pepper to taste
For the salsa
a small handful of fresh basil, chiffonaded
the juice from one lime
- Place lentils in a small saucepan with 2 cups of water. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are par-cooked, 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat, do not drain. While the lentils are cooking, feel free to chop your onions, you’ve got time. If you’re fast, chop your fruit and mix with lime juice and basil, if not, do that when you’re waiting for the rice to cook at the end.
- In a large,sauté or sauce pan (with a lid), heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until deep golden brown, about 20 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt as the onions cook.
- Take the onions off the heat and add 2 cups of water. Place back on the heat and boil, over high heat, for five minutes. The liquid will take on the deep golden color of the onions and the onions will continue to soften.
- Add the rice and par-cooked lentils to the onion mixture. Cover and bring to a boil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and cook until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice and lentils are cooked through. The texture of the rice and lentils is somewhat al dente. Take care not to overcook or the mixture will become mushy. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, warm, or room temperature drizzled with olive oil.
|Nutrition Facts (via calorie count.com)|
|Serving Size 203 g|
|Amount Per Serving|
Calories from Fat 89
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 9.9g, 15%|
|Saturated Fat 3.0g, 15%|
|Trans Fat 0.0g|
|Cholesterol 10mg, 3%|
|Sodium 31mg, 1%|
|Total Carbohydrates 57.5g, 19%|
|Dietary Fiber 13.3g, 53%|
|Vitamin A 8% Vitamin C 52%|
|Calcium 4% Iron 17%|
|Nutrition Grade A-|
|* Based on a 2000 calorie diet|