With all of us stuck at home, I’ve been hearing from plenty of people who are running out of ideas for meals. It can be difficult to cook solely based on what’s in the pantry. So I’m hoping to put together a series of recipes using as many pantry staples as possible. This first one is for the rice and lentil lovers out there. A lot of my friends have mentioned how much rice they have as well as canned beans and lentils. This Rice and Lentil Salad is a really good way to make the most of those pantry staples.Jump to Recipe
I know eating rice cold sounds a bit weird, but trust me, it’s delicious. A practice I’ve gotten into during all this time at home is making large batches of rice, and keeping it in the fridge. This makes our meal planning a bit easier but also means we’ve got a simple addition to meals. Eating rice cold in salad form, makes for a really absorbent base to go along with other veggies, proteins and dressings. It will fill you up, but doesn’t leave you feeling as bloated.
Canned lentils were new to me about a year ago. I’m honestly not sure why, I mean it’s not an outrageous idea, but I’d never thought of it before. We do keep a lot of dried beans, and lentils in the house, so not having canned ones is fine. But for a super quick addition to a meal, those canned ones take the cake in terms of ease and necessity.
Planning to avoid Stress Eating
Speaking of ease and necessity, this salad is a perfect way to spruce up leftovers. There’s been a lot of jokes going around about all of us getting a bit chubby from boredom and stress eating. So having a plan for your leftovers, and getting into planning out all your food for the week can help with that. I have found that if all the food in the fridge is spoken for, I’m less likely to eat it, for fear of retribution from Future Eliza. (She’s a feisty lady)
Fresh or Dried Herbs
We keep some fresh herbs in the kitchen window, so that’s what I’ve used in this recipe. But since this pandemic has hit the northern hemisphere in a less than ideal time for plants to grow, dry herbs are just as good here. When using dry herbs in a salad, it’s a good idea to whisk them into your dressing. The oil in the dressing will help them to disperse throughout the ingredients more easily. It also softens them a bit.
These quarantine cooking recipes will be much shorter posts than usual, and I’m hoping to get a few more than usual posted. Also, if you have an ingredient in your pantry that you simply don’t know what to do with, reach out to me! Comment here, or message me on Instagram and I’ll do my best to work that ingredient into a recipe soon!
Rice & Lentil Salad
- 2/3 cup cooked Rice
- 1 cup canned Lentils
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp Curry Powder
- 5 Green Onions Green tops only
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro finely chopped. Or 1-2 tsps of your herbs of choice. Italian mixes, and Herbes de Provance mixes are yummy too.
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Basil finely chopped.
- Salt & Pepper to your tastes.
- 3-4 Tbsp Feta Cheese
- Combine the oil, lemon juice, soy sauce, curry, salt and pepper in a bowl. Set aside. If you're using dried herbs rather than fresh, add those to the dressing as well.
- In a medium bowl, combine the rice, lentils, green onion tops and fresh herbs.
- Pour over the dressing and stir to combine. Let sit for about 10 minutes to let all the flavours come together.
- Serve and top with feta cheese. Enjoy!