Friday, March 19, 2010


We love to cook and we love to sit down to dinner as a family. Given this, we are especially lucky (I used to try to claim credit to this, but in recent years I've decided it is never wise to claim credit for any parenting-related always seems to come back to haunt you!) to have one daughter (we've yet to see how number two daughter will feel...) who shares our interest in cooking, entertaining and eating. We rarely cook what I would call "kid food", we simply expect our daughter to eat whatever we're eating. And, she does. Every once in a while, however, she sighs and says, "Can't we just have macaroni and cheese?" After a few times of hearing this, I decided that we ought to give her some choice...or at least create a democracy around dinner. So, now after a meal we vote on whether a dinner is a "do over" or not. It has been a huge success--and I'll take total credit for this! In the spirit of this, Maine-ly Home will regularly feature meals that win the "do over" status in our home.  What "do-over-dinners" does your family have? 

This week's "do-over-dinner" is as basic and simple as can be--but it wins "do-over" status every time.

Lentils and Rice

  •  6 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, sliced
  • 1 1/3 cup uncooked lentils (pick over and rinse before using)
  • 3/4 cup long-grain white rice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • plain yogurt (we like Greek-style)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1-2 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and saute onions until browned (about 8-10 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside. (If you don't like onions, this can easily be omitted.)
  2. Place lentils in a medium sized saucepan. Cover with water (with a dash of salt). Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes or until beginning to become tender. (I suggest keeping an eye on this as the water can quickly disappear.)
  3. Add rice to pot. Add enough water to cover both the rice and lentils. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until rice and lentils are tender.
  4. Add onions to the cooked lentils and rice. Serve. We serve in a bowl with a choice of condiments -- lemon slices, plain yogurt and tomato sauce.
(Time Saving Hint: If this sounds good to you, but you don't have the desire to cook lentils, look for cooked lentils in the refrigerated section of Trader Joes and serve with your choice of rice and condiments.)

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