“Yum! My mom is making Lentil Pilaf for dinner!” Caroline Loffredo said to me from the back of my minivan one afternoon on the way home from cross country practice.
I have to admit, this did not sound like a dish worthy of excitement. But last Friday night, Heidi Hartmann Loffredo turned up with a sample of this outstanding dish for me to try.
I took one bite and couldn’t believe how much it tasted like the ground beef-laden Spanish rice my mom used to cook for me when I was a kid. It tasted amazing! And due to the nutritional value of the dish, a small portion satisfied my hunger quickly and for a long time afterward.
I have sampled many great dishes from the Hartmann Loffredo kitchen. The majority of their clan is vegetarian, but there are a couple of meat eaters in the family.
“This is my go-to dish that meat eaters and vegetarians love,” Heidi said. “Everybody’s happy!”
- 1 small onion (finely chopped)
- 2 carrots (sliced)
- 2 celery stalks (sliced)
- 1 small red pepper (diced)
- 2 T vegetable oil
- 3 C water
- 1 cube vegetable boullion
- 1 cup dried brown lentils
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup dry white rice
- salt to taste
Sautee all vegetables in oil until soft. Add water and crumble in stock cube, stir and bring to boil. Add lentils to boiling water, cover and simmer 25 minutes. Add rice, stir and add a little extra water if it looks like it needs it. Stir, cover and simmer additional 20 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed.
Lentils are among the healthiest, most inexpensive foods on earth. They are loaded with fiber, have a beautiful balance of protein and carbohydrates and are very low on the glycemic index, so you will feel satisfied for hours after eating.