I was asked to participate in the #LoveLentils campaign, sponsored by Lentils.org. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.
Home cooking is always a healthier alternative to eating out, but if you’re a big city girl like me and you’re always on the go, daily home cooking or short-term meal prep can become a chore. This Mujadara Lentil Pilaf is an easy plant-based meal you can prepare on your day off to last you an entire week, with additional leftovers. Plus, its loaded with lots fibre, protein and diverse flavours that will keep your taste buds excited for the entire week!
Being pescatarian due to my allergies, I’m mostly restricted to a seafood diet that incorporates fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, dairy and eggs, but I subconsciously rely on seafood for the majority of my protein consumption. However, eating seafood on a daily basis can become too routine and frankly, high in fat. So, when I started adding lentils to my diet, it expanded my dietary circle. Now I can have weeks where I can choose to eat a plant-based diet while maintaining a low fat, high protein and high fibre diet, thanks to the addition of lentils.
Lentils are a nutritional powerhouse, because apart from being high in protein and fibre while being low in fat, they are also essential for weight loss, heart health, low cholesterol and many other nutritional benefits. Lentils are also very versatile because they aren’t only for soups and curries! Just like this Lebanese inspired Mujadara Lentil Pilaf. Basically, you get to escape to Lebanon for a brief moment every time you warm up a plate during the week!
To make meal prepping this recipe or any lentil recipe easier, you can always cook the lentils ahead of time! Since this recipe uses whole green lentils, I cooked the lentils a day ahead and preserved it in the refrigerator until I was ready to use it. This way you can cut your meal prep time in half and be out of the kitchen sooner. Just be sure to season your lentils with salt after cooking because lentils can become tough to chew if seasoned with salt before. So don’t wait, #getprepped and Happy healthy eating!
- 1 cup whole green lentils
- 1 can sodium free chickpeas, rinsed
- 1.5 cups basmati rice
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
- 3 cups water
- Half a lemon
- Fresh cilantro for topping
- Add your lentils into a medium saucepan filled with about an inch of water. Cover and over medium heat for about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. You can also cook your lentils a day in advance.
- In a large skillet, add olive oil and heat it up over medium heat for about 30-40 seconds. Add sliced onions and season with salt and peppercorns. You want the onions to caramelize until golden brown, so cook the onions for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer half of the caramelized onions into a plate and set aside for garnishing. Add chickpeas, lentils rice and cumin and fold all ingredients together. Add 3 cups of water, cover the skillet and cook for about 15 minutes until the rice is fully cooked. Top with parsley when ready and serve.