Frugal Nourishing Foods: Dinner Time!

It's carnival time! The focus here is nourishing food on a budget. That's the focus of this blog, so I couldn't help but jump in for a ride! (Don't worry, there's no yucky food at this carnival!)

Today I'm going to share my favorite nourishing "penny pinching" dish. It's meatless, but meat can be added. This dish comes from The New Vegetarian Gourmet, which is a cookbook given to me for my wedding shower! One of the recipes has been a delicous staple on our menu (as Orthodox, we practice the tradition of fasting from meat on Wednesdays and Fridays, so we need a fair arsenal of vegetarian recipes!)

The recipe is called, simply "Spinach, Lentils, Rice". I will modify the recipe to actually not be strictly vegan, but leave the modifications there. I have served this to many guests and always get rave reviews!


This is a very quick dish if you have leftover cooked rice. The lentils cook up rather quickly after having been soaked.

Serves 4

1-2 cups cooked brown rice (to make this extra nourishing, cook the brown rice in liver broth as mentioned here)

1 cup lentils, soaked in water for 7 hours and then cooked
4 TBS olive oil, coconut oil, beef tallow, ghee, or lard
1 onion, chopped
1-4 garlic cloves, dep. on your preference!
1 bunch spinach (or any leafy green), chopped
2 tomatoes, diced or 1 can, drained, or 1 cup sun dried tomatoes (whatever's on hand!)
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper

1) Heat oil in large saute pan over medium high heat. Stir-fry salt and pepper for 30 seconds.

2) Add onions and saute until soft, but not caramelized. Add smashed garlic cloves and cook for a few minutes more.

3) Add tomatoes and spinach and saute until spinach is limp.

4) Throw in your cooked rice and lentils. Mix and cover pan. Reduce heat and allow rice and lentils to warm.

5) Remove from heat. Squeeze lemon juice into the pan and mix. Leave lemon wedges on the mixture, cover, and allow flavors to blend for about 10 minutes.

Optional add ons:

  • This dish pairs very nicely with feta cheese, kefir cheese, or farmer cheese.
  • Italian turkey sausage goes nicely with this dish.
  • Serve with a side of lacto-fermented sauerkraut and you have a completely nourishing meal!

For more inspiration on frugal, nourishing main dish meals, please visit The Nourishing Gourmet.

Don't forget to visit The Thrifty Oreganic's other Nourishing Frugal Meal ideas:


Kimi Harris said...

mmmmmm... this sounds really good! I like how it is so simple to make too. Thanks for being part of the carnival!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I just love anything with lentils! This dish sounds great!