Brown Rice & Lentil Salad

I have said it before but I will say it again….I love lentils. Of any color, shape, variety. Seasoned with any spice mixture you can think of. It all goes back to my childhood memories of  lentil soup; a big pot of soup was eaten several nights for dinner. I was hooked at a young age…and don’t plan on looking back!

Every single time I make lentils I think of my Yaya; she is moving here in a little over a week and I couldn’t be more excited. I am more than ready to eliminate the 4 hour drive that separates us currently and replace it with a 10 minute drive down the road (no highway!). I am excited for her to be here and witness my marriage, hear me talk about my job, and share in Sunday family dinners. I look forward to cooking with her, learning her traditional Greek recipes (the list is growing), and teach her some of my favorite recipes. It will be wonderful to have her nearby as our family grows; to be clear…in the future, no announcements here. Don’t get excited. You know who you are.

As she has been on my mind nearly constantly due to the upcoming move, it was only natural that lentils appeared in my dinner rotation. This salad is incredibly simple, yet totally satisfying, as an easy vegetarian dinner. It uses many of my pantry staples which makes it a breeze to throw together at the last minute. Bonus: great as leftovers for lunch the next day!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. green lentils
  • 1/2 c. brown rice
  • 3 c. arugula or spinach leaves
  • 6 oz. crumbled goat cheese
  • 2-3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt/pepper, to taste

Cover lentils with water (I used about 3 1/2 c.) and bring to a boil; lower heat to simmer and cook until tender. Lentils will take approximately 25-30 minutes to cook. Cook brown rice according to package directions.

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Add brown rice to a large boil. Drain lentils and add to brown rice; stir to combine.

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Add arugula (or spinach), goat cheese, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine all ingredients; the warm rice/lentils will begin melting the goat cheese…which may be my favorite part.

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This salad gives and gives: creamy, crunchy, tangy, and earthy elements keep you coming back for more. Enjoy!

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