This Vegan dish is packed with flavor. Its vegan done right! Many of the traditional Lebanese dishes are vegan. These are the dishes my grandparents and ancestors ate daily. They ate from their land. All the grains and legumes were organic. They lived longer lives and were much healthier. Growing up my parents made many traditional dishes for us, such as this one but I never appreciated the health benefits until I got older and had children. I now try to incorporate a healthier menu for my family because they deserve it. We have so many fast food restaurants and options to pick up food rather then cooking at home now a days. With all the running around, sometimes it just seems easier to pick up those burgers or tacos. Right! I won't lie I have done that many times, but I've made a conscious effort to plan out my menu and have a home cooked meal for my children for dinner. I leave one day out of the week to go out or get carry out, but that's it. One day and the rest are home cooked meals.
This recipe is loved by my family because of all its flavors and ways to eat it. We mix it with salad or wrap it in a pita with fresh vegetables.
Making this dish is super easy, just open your windows because the onions will surely add a new home scent. My kids hate when I make this but they will get over it, just like I did when my parents made it.
This is also a great dish to make on Sunday prep day. I fill it in my containers with a side of yogurt and we are ready to go for lunch. It warms great or eating cold. I think the flavors are even better the next day. You can also fill this in a pita and add some fresh tomatoes, onions, and mint. So delicious. I mean when you eat good healthy food you feel better.
1 cup lentils
1 cup rice (Uncle Ben's) Rinsed 3 times
2 cups Julianne cooking onions You can add more if you want
1 cup small dice onions
4-5 cups hot water
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
4-5 tbs oil
1. 1. You will need one pot and one saute pan for this dish.
2. In a pot add 2 tbs oil and add diced onions. Saute for
5 minutes until they are translucent.
3. After onions have been cooking for 5 minutes add the rinsed lentils to the pot along with 3 cups hot water. Allow lentils for come up to a boil and then lower heat to medium. Simmer lentils for 10 minutes.
3. While the lentils are simmering, turn second burner on medium and add 2 tbs oil to begin to saute the sliced onions. Keep burner on medium to caramelize the onions. This needs to be stirred frequently. It can take about 20 minutes to get it to the desired color. Take off burner when complete to top lentils.
4. Check on lentils after 10 minutes, they should be half way cooked. Add the rinsed rice, all the spices and bay leaf to the lentils. If water is needed, add one cup to the mixture and allow to cook. Cover pot and let lentils and rice finish cooking. This should take 7-10 minutes.
5. Cooking tip: To check if lentils and rice are done simply take cover off pot, using a metal spoon move the center of the mixture over to see the bottom of the pot. If the water has all evaporated, it's done. Check the texture of the rice, if it needs a little more cooking simply put the cover back on the pot move the pot away from the hot burner and let it sit covered for 5 minutes. The steam will carry over and finish the cooking.
6. Transfer lentils and rice to a platter and top with caramelized onions.