Grains and legumes made easy

I think sometimes we don’t make brown rice, split peas, lentils, or other wonderful whole-grain or legume dishes, only because we get home from work and don’t want to wait 45-60 minutes for those items to cook.   A reader wrote me with this tip, which I have used, too, for many years–I hope it helps you do a tiny bit of work in the morning so that the evening meal is both quick and nutritious.

While you’re eating breakfast, wash your brown rice or lentils.   Cover them with twice as much water and bring it to a boil, covered, on the stove.   While that’s going on, preheat your oven.   After the grain/legume comes to a boil, stick the whole pan in the oven and turn the oven off.   When you get home from work, you’ll have lovely brown rice or lentils or split peas ready to eat.

Check out Indian Dahl in Ch. 6 of 12 Steps.   It’s a really easy and highly nutritious main dish, and you’ll feel full and also light and healthy when you eat it!   (I believe I also posted the recipe here on the blog, which has a search feature, and other have posted favorite lentil recipes in another entry a couple months ago.)

Anyone wanting to share a great recipe using a whole grain and/or a legume, please feel free!

a recipe for you for Indian Dahl

This is something I like for dinner, and you can make it yellow or green depending on whether you use green split peas or yellow lentils.  It’s quick and easy to make.  I usually rinse the peas and rice and then soak overnight, then simmer them in two saucepans the next morning to eat that night.  It has both a grain and a legume–a “perfect protein.”  I explain why, in Ch. 6, you don’t need to worry about that like vegetarians did in the 1980’s and some still do.  (If you have OLD vegetarian cookbooks, you can see lots of obsessing about this.)  In a nutshell, your body has amino acids in a free-floating pool to draw upon for 24 hours, so you don’t have to put them all together in any given meal, for your body to assemble protein.  That said, some people feel that having grains/legumes together makes a more filling meal.


Indian Green or Yellow Dahl

2 cups split peas or yellow lentils

1 1/2 cups brown rice


6 cloves garlic

1 tsp. ground coriander

2 tsp. kelp granules (optional)

1 tsp. salt (for rice)

1 1/2 tsp. sea salt (for peas/lentils)

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 tsp. turmeric

2 tsp. cumin

1 cup chopped cilantro

In separate saucepans, rinse split peas and brown rice well.  Cover each with fresh water and allow to soak several hours.  Drain well.  Add 3 cups water and 1 tsp. salt to the rice, and 4 cups water to the split peas, bring each to a boil, and reduce heat for 45 mins.  Add all seasonings except cilantro to peas/lentils, and mash with a spoon.  Serve dahl over brown rice and sprinkle liberally with cilantro.