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French Green Lentil Pilaf with Jerk-Spiced Okra

Posted Feb 02 2009 11:43pm
I came up with an idea for a rice-lentil pilaf. I chopped a quarter or so of a small onion, as well as a third of a bell pepper, into 1/4" cubes. I measured equal parts (half of a small six ounce soy yogurt container each) of brown basmati rice and French green lentils, and three times (i.e., 1 1/2 containers-full) water.

In a sauce pan, I started the onion sauteeing in madadamia nut oil over medium heat; less than a minute later, I added the rice, and kept stirring. As the rice started clearing a bit, maybe in a minute and a half or so, I added the bell pepper (and wish I had some jalapeno to add, as well as cumin seeds, both of which I'm out of), stirred for another half minute or so, then added the water, a vegan bouillon cube, and the lentils.

Normally, brown rice is cooked with a 1:2 ratio of rice to water for 50m or so, and the French lentils 1:3 / 30-45 minutes. I went with a 1:3 ratio, which was good, though the dish could actually have used even a little bit more water, surprisingly. I let it cook for about 45 minutes on a low, covered simmer, and that seemed to work out fine. I served it with some salt, chili powder, and maybe a half teaspoon of dried thyme.

I also made a simple jerked okra dish by cooking in a little oil on a cast iron pan about 15-20 okra fingers, cut in half lengthwise, along with a half onion cut into maybe 1" long slivers. I mixed in some salt and jerk seasoning.

My wife picked up for me some Follow Your Heart brand cheddar style vegan cheese. My favorite cheese is Scottish Sheese, but it's not available locally. I served a slice of the vegan cheese atop baby spinach leaves and pita crisps (my wife doesn't generally eat non-tempeh soy products and never liked cheese anyway, so her plate missed out on the cheese). It was a good dinner!
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