quinoa is a big part of my diet. it is filling and super healthy–high in protein, fiber, and lots of other important nutrients–and can easily take on pretty much any flavor profile. it’s also gluten free, if you care about that kind of thing. lentils have historically not been a big part of my diet, but every time i eat them i tell myself that i should have them more often. they are also full of protein and other good-for-you things, and have a starchy texture with a wonderful earthy flavor.
put quinoa and lentils together, and you’ve got one powerful side dish.
the seasoning in this dish apparently makes it lebanese in origin. i know nothing about lebanese food, but i do know that this tasted really, really good. it was super hearty and made a great side, but could also totally pass on its own for lunch or a light dinner (maybe with a fried egg on top). it was super garlicky, which is always a good thing, but also had a lovely brightness from the lemon juice and just a hint of smokiness from the cumin. then the parsley and mint made everything taste super fresh. it’s a combination of flavors that i never would have thought of myself, but it all really came together in a great way.
a hearty, yummy side of lentils and quinoa, full of fresh, smokey, garlicky flavor.
- 1 cup green lentils
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 5 cups water
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 20 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- a big handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- a big handful of fresh mint, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- put the lentils, quinoa, and water into a large saucepan over high heat. bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. let it simmer for 35-40 minutes, until the lentils are tender and all the water is absorbed.
- meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. add the garlic and cook until it is soft, 5-10 minutes. remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the rest of the oil, lemon juice, cumin, and allspice.
- when the lentils and quinoa are finished cooking, pour the garlic mixture over them and stir it in. add the parsley and mint, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- serve warm or at room temperature.