This perfectly seasoned lentil fried rice is studded with a rainbow of fresh veggies, and makes a perfect protein rich dinner, or lunch the next day. It’s become one of our favorites for winter weeknight meals, as it’s easy, nourishing, comforting and colorful all at once.
1 ½cupsof rice (any variety will do, but long grain varieties are nice)
1cupof brown or green lentils (just not orange/red ones)
1onion, or large shallot, chopped
3cloves garlic, finely chopped
1inchginger, peeled and finely chopped
1cupof carrot, thinly sliced
1cupof mushrooms, thinly sliced
1cupof sweet potato, cut into thin strips
1cupof red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1cupof kale or spinach, chopped
1cupof red cabbage, thinly sliced
½cupof fresh herbs of choice; cilantro, basil, parsley, mint (optional)
¼cupof toasted nuts or seeds of choice; chopped cashews, almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds, etc (optional)
2-3Tablespoonsof sesame oil
2Tablespoonsof soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos
¼-1/2teaspoonof salt (or to taste)
1Tablespoonof agave, sugar or sweetener of choice
black pepper or cayenne pepper to taste
3 ½-4cupsof water, or more as needed
Begin by cooking your rice and lentils in the same pot. Just stir them together and add water, cover, bring to a boil, and lower to a simmer. Let cook undisturbed for 20-25 minutes until lentils are rice are both cooked through and water has been absorbed completely.
While rice is cooking, slice and chop all veggies and set aside. When rice is almost done, begin cooking veggies in the largest pan you have, a wok is perfect, if you have one.
Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil over medium-high heat and add onion, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes until onion begins to soften and garlic is fragrant (stir frequently so garlic doesn't burn). Add carrots, mushrooms, and sweet potato. Stir fry for an additional 4-5 minutes until sweet potato begins to soften.
Add ½ tablespoon of sweetener, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce (or substitute) and stir to combine. Add kale and cabbage and let simmer over medium heat until kale and cabbage have wilted, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer veggies to a large bowl and season to taste.
When rice/lentils are done, use the same pan/wok and heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil over medium high heat. Add rice/lentils and stir fry with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, ½ tablespoon sweetener, pinch of salt and pepper. Keep stirring and stir frying until rice and lentils begin to dry out a bit, if they get a little crispy, even better.
Add veggies back into pan with rice and lentils and toss well, add fresh herbs if using, and top with nuts/seeds before serving if desired. Season to taste as needed. Enjoy!
Change up the veggies used based on what you have on hand, just try to use as much color as possible.
Fresh herbs like basil, mint, parsley or cilantro are nice additions as well, and add nutrition, color and flavor.
Top with toasted nuts or seeds if you like, sesame, almonds, peanuts or cashews are all delicious crunchy additions.