Florentine Rice & Lentils

I’m always on the lookout for a good slow-cooker meal. Here is a great one. It is also highly versatile so really it doesn’t have to be italian. Make it mexican, make it Cajun, make it Irish, make it Asian!

Florentine Rice & Lentils

3/4 cup dry lentils
1/2 c brown rice
3 1/2 C homemade chicken stock
1 cup tomato sauce
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green or red pepper
1 grated or finely chopped carrot
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1-2 handfuls of spinach
3 teaspoons Italian seasoning (or oregano)
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash black pepper

Marinara sauce (homemade: 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes, olive oil, garlic)
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
sprinkle parmesan cheese
Combine rice and lentils and cover with water. Soak overnight in slow cooker with the machine turned off. In the morning, drain the water, then add all other ingredients except marinara sauce and cheese. Mix and cook in slow cooker on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. 10 minutes before serving, add marinara sauce to top, then cheese and allow it to melt.

Variations:

For Mexican version use Taco seasoning instead of Italian seasoning. Add salsa instead of marinara. Use Jack cheese instead of mozzarella.

For Cajun version use Cajun seasoning, add celery and kidney beans. Omit marinara and mozzarella.

For Irish version, add lager beer in place of the liquid. Add thinly sliced green cabbage. Top with Irish Cheddar.

For Asian version: Use ginger and soy sauce, pineapple chunks, green onions and serve in lettuce cups.

Italian Skillet

Italian flavors and yummy and nutritious grass-fed beef make this a tasty and quick weeknight meal!
I have 4 other variations of this recipe and have yet to try them out. This one, however, was SO good! The others are on my to-make list for the near future.
Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 lbs. ground beef with the Italian seasoning and sun-dried tomatoes. Break up beef with spoon, browning it until cooked through and any liquid has cooked away, about 10 minutes. Stir in veggies and cook until just tender and heated through.
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 8 thinly sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 bunch thinly sliced kale or chard (tough stems removed)
  • 2 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 pound pasta
Serve over or toss with brown rice, brown rice pasta, whole grain pasta or try whole wheat couscous or soaked/sprouted quinoa.
I shared this recipe at Real Food Wednesday.