Healthy Lentil & Brown Rice Pilaf

Chickpeas, lentils and beans – oh my! Get your little ones to eat healthily with these tasty recipes that make the most of pulses and legumes.

Healthy Lentil & Brown Rice Pilaf
Serves 4–6

1/2 cup green or brown lentils
1 cup wild rice and brown basmati rice mix
30ml olive oil
2 large leeks; chopped
2 carrots, grated
2 garlic cloves; crushed (optional)
2 celery stalks; chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 whole tomatoes, peeled and diced (optional)
¾ cup vegetable stock, low salt (I use Ina Paarman)
1 tablespoon vegetable seasoning, low salt (I use Herbamare®)


1. Wash the lentils well in a colander, place them in a saucepan, and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 25–40 minutes, until tender but still al dente, or firm. Don’t cover with a lid or add salt.
2. Drain the lentils and set them aside.
3. Bring the rice to a boil in two cups of water. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, covered, until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid. Set aside.
4. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the leeks and carrots and simmer until tender and translucent, for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, celery, cumin and cinnamon and simmer for five minutes longer.
5. Add the lentils, lemon zest and tomatoes to the saucepan. Add the rice, and transfer to a greased casserole dish.
6. Add the vegetable stock and seasoning, cover and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 20–30 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is heated through.

A handful of baby spinach leaves and one cup of butternut squash, diced, may also be added to this mixture, along with cumin seed and grated ginger.

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