Lentils can quickly become a kitchen essential when you maintain a vegetarian diet.
This recipe is deliciously filling; there are loads of veggies packed into it and you could add more if you’d like. When I make this dish, even though it is already loaded with veggies, I like to serve a little something on the side like asparagus, broccoli or a small salad. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a filling dish on its own, but I just like to take a slightly smaller portion and add some extra veg on the side.
After hearing about all these veggies you may be thinking “this must be a super healthy meal”. Well… it is healthy until you add layers of cheese that bake to a perfect crisp. Healthy or not, I still love it!
- 1 c red lentils
- 1 1/2 c dry brown rice
- 4 c vegetable stock + 1/2 c water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bell pepper
- 5 baby bella mushrooms
- 1 medium zucchini
- 2 tsp cayenne
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
Cheesy, veggie goodness!
- Dice up the pepper, zucchini and mushroom into small pieces. Do not dice too finely.
- You could also make larger chunks of vegetables if you would like.
- Boil lentils and brown rice in vegetable stock and water form 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally throughout, but stir continuously for the last 5 minutes.
- The lentil and rice mixture should look kinda like porridge. You don’t want it too soupy, so continue cooking until you get the right consistency. Warning: This mixing is going to pop and splatter.
- When lentils and rice are done, remove from heat and stir occasionally to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- While the lentils and rice are cooking, in a large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil over low-medium heat.
- Add the chopped vegetable to the frying pan and cook, covered, for 5-10 minutes until soft.
- This time will vary depending on how large you decide to make you vegetable chunks.
- Combine cooked vegetables with the lentil mixture. Add cayenne, salt and pepper.
- I scoop my vegetables into the pot rather than just pouring them all in to avoid adding the extra moisture that has accumulated while cooking the vegetables.
- Scoop about 1/2 of the lentil/veggie mixture into a 9×9 pan. Sprinkle 1/2 of the shredded cheddar (3/4 c) over it. Top with remaining lentil mixture and then sprinkle the rest of the cheddar cheese.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cheese begins to get golden. For extra crispy cheese, broil on low for 3-5 minutes after it has finished baking.
I love this dish so much. It is perfect for any occasion and absolutely delicious! Like I said above, you could always feel free to mix in more veggies as well.
Test Kitchen: Opinion and Changes
I originally found this recipe on Amuse Your Bouche. The first time I made the recipe, I enjoyed it, but it did not yield as many servings as stated. That being said, in terms of changes, I doubled the amount of lentils and rice used in the recipe in order to have more portions. This subsequently meant using more vegetable stock as well.
In addition to this, I removed the Leeks and paprika from the recipe and increase the amount of cayenne. The cayenne doesn’t really make the dish super spicy, rather it just gives the dish that right amount of flavor so it isn’t bland. I also decided to use shredded cheese rather than grated because I felt as though it would melt better and form a crispier top shell.
Let us know if you decide to try this recipe out and tell us what changes you would make if any!