Hello folks! Is it too late to say “Happy New Year!”? In my book, better late than never… so, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I hope 2023 is treating you right so far.
This brown rice & lentil salad is definitely better late than never. It came into being, like so many of my recipes, one day when I walked into my kitchen hungry for lunch, but with no idea what I was going to eat. A few minutes of rooting around in the fridge was rewarded with… sigh… some leftover cooked lentils and leftover brown rice. “Meh” to the nth degree! What’s a hungry girl to do??
I could have just resorted to Food Panda (for my non-Manila readers, Food Panda is our take-out delivery service- dangerously convenient!) But as fast as FP is, I wanted food now… anybody with me? So I rooted around in my vegetable fridge… yes, I admit I have a whole fridge (it is smaller, though!) devoted to only veggies. I feel like that will probably be overkill once Sara goes to college this fall and it’s only myself and Mark in the house, but for now it’s what we do. I’ll keep you posted.
My veggie fridge produced fresh parsley, red bell peppers, carrots & spring onions. Jackpot! I could now make my boring leftovers into something nice. I quickly chopped the veggies, dumped them into a mixing bowl along with my lentils and brown rice, and dressed it with my homemade red wine vinaigrette. And voila! Lunch was served quicker than I could spell my last name 8 times to the Food Panda guy. I consider this a win all around.
I love this salad for so many reasons. One is obviously how quick it is to put together (given that you have the lentils and rice already cooked.) Another thing is that it uses up leftovers, which, if you know me, is one of my life goals (it must be genetic because my Gramma Hall was the same.) And even better, this salad is just so delicious and healthy. It contains complete protein from the combined lentils and rice, and is high in fiber to keep me full throughout the afternoon. The veggies provide vitamin C, beta carotene, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that ward off chronic disease. I also add walnuts for crunch and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. And finally, you can use whatever veggies you have in your fridge that need to be used… broccoli, celery, basil, leftover roasted veggies… the possibilities are endless.
So there you go, lunch sorted for one more day… or maybe two… if you don’t mind leftovers.
Happy lunching, friends!