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Friday, June 6, 2014

Rice with Lentils, Butternut Squash, and Craisins Recipe- Vegan and Refined Sugar Free

 photo IMG_0506_zpsec48e107.jpgAs I was planning to cook today, I couldn't figure out what I wanted to make for supper. I was thoroughly uninspired, so opened my cabinets and fridge to stare at what I had, hoping I would figure something yummy out. Fortunately, it didn't take long for inspiration to strike- I had craisins, lentils, butternut squash, and rice, and I somehow knew that they would be the perfect combination. As I usually do before I make up a recipe, I googled the ingredients to see if I'd come up with something similar that someone already made, but couldn't find any recipe using all 4 of the ingredients- at most only 2 or 3 of the ingredients, but I was convinced, regardless, that it would taste great.
Fortunately, my hunch was correct, and my husband and kids all devoured it, as did I.
I highly recommend it. I actually made twice this amount, but it was a huge amount, so I halved it for your benefit. I used honey in mine, but you can just as easily make it with sugar or an alternative sugar like sucanat, depending on whether your goal is to keep this as cheap as possible, vegan, or as healthy as possible. To keep this refined sugar free, I buy craisins that are sweetened by apple juice concentrate.

Rice with Lentils, Butternut Squash, and Craisins Recipe- Vegan and Refined Sugar Free

Ingredients:
3/4 cups green lentils
2 cups water
4 cups chopped butternut squash
1/8-1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cups raw rice, cooked. Can use brown or white rice for this. Use a little salt.
1 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion
1 1/2 heaping tablespoons honey or 2 (heaping) tablespoons sugar or 3 tablespoons sucanat or coconut sugar
1/2 cup craisins
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:
1. Boil the lentils in the water, until soft. Strain.

2. Peel and cube the butternut squash. Coat it with 1/8-1/4 cup oil, and roast in the oven until soft, or approximately an hour.

3. Cook the rice in as much water as needed, for as long as needed. I cooked my white rice in the pressure cooker with 2 1/4 cups water, because pressure cookers need less water to cook rice, but if making rice in a regular pot, use 3 cups water. If using brown rice, use 3 cups of water as well. Basically, cook your rice however you usually cook rice, with a little salt as well.

4. Heat up the oil in a frying pan. Mine or slice your onions, and saute until starting to brown.

5. Add the honey or sugar to the onions, as well as the craisins. Cook until the sweetener is fully melted, and then on a low heat for 2 minutes or so.

6. Mix the lentils, rice, butternut squash (and the oil it was cooked in), onions and craisins, etc.... Add cinnamon and mix well.

7. Serve hot or room temperature- both are delicious.

Enjoy!

Have you ever cooked with a combination of three or more of the following- rice, lentils, butternut squash, and craisins? What was it? Does this look like something you'd want to try?
Have you ever thought of an idea for a recipe, put it together, and it came out perfectly? What was it?

2 comments:

  1. I think your instincts were right, this is an excellent combo. I am feeling a bit the same way today and I happen to have all of these ingredients so you have inspired me :)

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  2. Thank you for this lovely easy recipe, I don't like cooking but do love healthy and homemade so this works perfectly for me, also I am not creative at all so love the people who are (that would be you). This would also make a great side dish as well as a main.

    Thanks again

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