Red Lentils: Easy, quick, nutritious and tasty!
Anyone who has cooked traditional red beans and rice knows that it is not a dish which cooks quickly. You better carve out time to let your beans “thump” for several hours. This Red Lentils and Rice dish has all the flavors of a good Monday’s Red Beans and Rice dish… without the meat or the hours of cooking time.
Creole Red Beans and Rice were traditionally cooked on Monday wash day, using the left-over ham bone from Sunday’s dinner. Tradition is that the beans were put on to cook at the start of the day and, by the time that laundry was done, the Red Beans and Rice were ready to eat.
Craving a good bowl of red beans and rice, but short on time, I turned to one of my favorite quick-cooking legumes for a solution. Without too much trouble, Red Lentils could be easily swapped for long-cooking kidney beans. Red Lentils are an excellent source of fiber, high in protein, B vitamins and are even a source for iron! You can’t go wrong with this nutritious powerhouse!
I developed this Red Lentils and Rice recipe to reflect the flavors of a traditional Red Beans and Rice. Ingredients include Red Lentils, brown rice, creole seasoning, smoked paprika, vegetable stock and, of course, onions, peppers and celery. The smoked paprika lends that smoky flavor of the ham or sausage that is usually found in non-vegan versions of red beans and rice.
As with Red Beans and Rice, the foundation for Red Lentils and Rice, is the “trinity” or onions, pepper and celery.Diced onions, red and jalapeño peppers, and celery are simmered with a bay leaf to draw out flavor. This trinity is the base for many traditional Louisiana Creole dishes.
Using some batch cooked brown rice and red lentils, my Red Lentils and Rice came together in about 30 minutes. Usually replete with ham and sausage, I was able to replicate that smokiness using smoked paprika. Coconut oil provided the rich mouth feel of the dish.
Happy Monday! Enjoy!Print
Creole Style Vegan Red Lentils and Rice
Using some batch cooked brown rice and red lentils, my Creole Style Vegan Red Lentils and Rice came together in about 30 minutes. It has all of the flavor of traditional Red Beans and Rice…without all the fuss!
- 1 – 2 Tablespoon coconut oil (or other oil if you prefer)
- 2 cups red lentils (picked through and washed)
- 4 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 cup medium diced onion
- 1 cup medium diced celery
- 1 cup diced green or red peppers
- 2 minced jalapeno peppers (stemmed and seeded)
- 4 cloves minced garlic (fresh is always best)
- 2 cups Vegetable Broth (Homemade or store-bought)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Creole Seasoning
- Sea Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan.
- Saute garlic, onion, celery, and bell and jalapeno peppers until tender but not brown. About 5 – 7 minutes. Stir mixture during cooking to make sure garlic doesn’t burn and become bitter.
- Add Vegetable Broth and then stir in red lentils, onion powder, salt, pepper.
- Reduce heat to low and let mixture simmer slowly until lentils are tender, but not mushy.
- Fold rice and lentils gently together and transfer to a serving dish. Serve garnished with sliced jalapenos or cilantro.
Add extra hot sauce or crushed red pepper if you like. Make this dish your own!