Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mujadara - Lebanese Lentils and Rice

This dish is about the best combination of tasty, economical, and healthy that I have found. I had my first  taste of Mujadara at a Lebanese cafe around the corner, and I immediately loved it. The savory use of cinnamon along with cumin and allspice makes it a perfect vegan and gluten free addition to the Thanksgiving menu - which is nice if you have 3 vegans at the table like we do.  :)  Plus,  it's a wonderful excuse for some yummy caramelized onions. MMMmmmm....  

The combination of lentils and brown rice not only makes a complete protein, but also provides iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, manganese, copper, selenium, and a little calcium.  You can learn more about their combined nutritional powers at

When served as an entree, I like to pair this with a Greek salad or tabbouleh to add a little freshness to the meal.

* Side note: For some reason, I've found that the flavor changes depending on the temperature it's served at. When warm, the cumin stands out more; and when cold, I get more of the cinnamon.  I think it's equally good hot or cold!

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
2/3 cup brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
2/3 cup non-GMO brown rice
1 32 oz. carton of vegetable broth
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice

2 Tbs. butter or a vegan alternative
3 yellow onions, sliced
4-5 cloves of garlic, quartered

1. In a large pot, heat 2 Tbs. of oil over med-low heat.  Add in the diced onion, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, and allspice.  Cook for about 4 minutes, or until the onions are soft.

2. Pour in the broth, rice, and lentils and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to med-low and let simmer for 25-30 minutes.

3. As that pot simmers, pull out a deep pan and heat 2 Tbs. of  (vegan) butter over med-high heat.  Add the sliced onions and chopped garlic and saute' until they are nice and soft and brown.  This should take about 20 - 25 minutes.

4. Adjust seasoning to taste, and serve with the onions on top of the lentils and rice.

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