Dinner could not be easier! Try this Mexican rice and lentils for a satisfying, inexpensive, and simple dinner idea tonight! This one-pot healthy meal is gluten free, vegan, low fat and full of flavor, only has a handful of ingredients, and takes almost no work to make. If you can measure and turn on the stove, you have dinner covered tonight!
The mission of PancakeWarriors is to help make healthy living approachable for everyone. We hope to do this by bringing you easy, simple but healthy recipes that actually taste good. Brownies, cookies, Buddha bowls, stuffed sweet potatoes, and dishhtes like this Mexican rice and lentils. Food that doesn’t feel (or taste)healthy. I know that is the key to helping you build a long term lifestyle and not just another dreadful diet.
Mexican Rice and Lentils Spotlight
As a nutrition coach and personal trainer, I know the importance of getting high quality food in your diet. The right foods can help you lose fat, melt away the inches and feel like you can accomplish anything (at the gym and in life). For me high quality food means nutrient dense food. What does that mean exactly? Well you look at the nutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals) in food and divide them by the calories per serving. For example
- French green lentils have 190 calories and provide the daily recommended value of
- 15% potassium
- 20% folate
- 20% phosphorus
- 25% iron
- 15% magnesium
- 10% zinc
- Whole wheat pasta has 174 calories per serving and provides the daily recommended value of:
- 12% phosphorus
- 11% Magnesium
- 8% Iron
- 8% Zinc
- 2% Folate
- 2% calcium
As you can see in the above example, french green lentils provide a higher amount of the daily recommended value of key nutrients for almost the same calories. This is one of the easiest ways for me to tell if a food is a “superfood”. If you want to download my list of superfoods for fat loss, you can do that in in this Superfood for Fat Loss post!
Ok, back to this Mexican Rice and Lentils dish. Remember I promised you simple and easy right? Well the lentils and rice take the same amount of time to cook, and you can even cook them in the same pot, making this a one pot meal! Once the lentils and rice have absorbed all the water, simply add the organic salsa, ground cumin, and chili powder and stir.
To serve this dish, you could add chopped kale or frozen chopped spinach that has been defrosted to make this a complete meal all in one pot! I served this Mexcian rice and lentils over chopped romaine lettuce with Greek yogurt, chopped roasted red pepper, avocado, and a bit more salsa for dressing. This dish is so versatile and easy. It would even be perfect as stuffing for tacos or enchiladas! This is the kind of recipe that once you make it and realize how easy it is, you will find yourself making it all the time for different dishes! For me that is what simple, easy, healthy recipes are about!
Mexican Rice and Lentils
- 1 cup brown or green lentils I used organic French green lentils
- 1/2 cup brown jasmine rice
- 3 cups water or 1 1/2 cups water and 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup organic salsa
- 1 tbs. ground cumin
- 1 tbs. dark chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- pinch cayenne
- Kale or spinach or romaine lettuce greek yogurt, roasted red peppers
- In a large pot, add the lentils and rice to the pot. Cover with water and let sit 2-3 minutes to soak. Drain the water and then cover in 3 cups of water or 1 1/2 cups of water and 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth.
- Cook over medium high heat until the pot reaches a slight boil. Turn down to low and cover. Cook 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender and the water has been absorbed.
- Once the water has been absorbed, turn off the heat. Add the salsa, cumin, chili powder, salt and cayenne. Stir to combine
- To serve either stir in spinach or kale until wilted or serve over salad greens with roasted red pepper, greek yogurt and salsa
What about you?
- Do you have a favorite Meatless meal?
- Have you ever heard of nutrient density of food?
- What is your go to favorite one-pot meal?