1.06.2015

Lentil and Wild Rice Pilaf

Pilaf... isn't that a fun word to say?  Pilaf.  A pilaf is essentially defined as a rice dish cooked in a seasoned broth which may also include vegetables (yay!) and meat (yuck! let's go with lentils instead.).

Last weekend Kevin and I took a trip north to Vancouver, BC for his Birthday (I'll share pictures in another post this week).  We had a great time, but probably spent a bit too much on dining out and at attractions, so we went into money saving mode this week.  For me, that means using up all the food in the fridge and being creative with our pantry staples on hand before thinking about grocery shopping.

Voila!  Lentil and Wild Rice Pilaf!

Lentil and Wild Rice Pilaf
Prep Time: 5 minutes (plus 30 minute soak)
Pressure Cooker Time: 5 minute saute, 9 minutes at high pressure, natural pressure release
(OR) Stovetop Cooking Time: 5 minute saute, 40 minutes simmering, 10 minutes resting
Servings: 4-6 servings


Ingredients:
    Rice and lentils: soak the following for 30 minutes before cooking      
        1/2 cup black or green lentils
        1/4 cup brown rice
        1/4 cup black rice
    Vegetables:
        1 cup sliced mushrooms
        1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
        1 stalk celery, finely chopped
        3 cloves garlic, pressed/minced
    Spices:
        1 Tbsp italian seasoning blend (no-salt added)
        1 tsp fennel seeds
        1 tsp dried coriander
        1 bay leaf
        1/2 tsp ground black pepper
        1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
    2 cups vegetable broth

Pressure Cooker Instructions:
1.)  Combine the lentils and rice in a medium bowl and cover with water.  Allow to soak for 30 minutes before draining and rinsing thoroughly.
2.)  In the pressure cooker, saute the vegetables over high heat for 3-5 minutes, adding small amounts of water as needed to prevent burning.
3.)  To the pressure cooker, add the lentils, rice, spices, and vegetable broth.
4.)  Lock the lid in place and bring to high pressure.  Cook at high pressure for 9 minutes.  Once time is up, cancel the warming feature (IP) or remove from heat and allow the pressure to come down naturally.
5.)  After the pressure has released, stir the pilaf.  If liquid remains, allow the pilaf to sit for 5 more minutes uncovered before serving to absorb more liquid.  Serve alongside fresh or steamed vegetables.

Stovetop Cooking Instructions:
1.)  Combine the lentils and rice in a medium bowl and cover with water.  Allow to soak for 30 minutes before draining and rinsing thoroughly.
2.)  In a medium/large sized saucepan, saute the vegetables over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes, adding small amounts of water as needed to prevent burning.
3.)  To the saucepan, add the lentils, rice, spices, and vegetable broth.
4.)   Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Once a boil is reached, turn the head down to low to maintain a simmer for 40 minutes.  After 40 minutes, remove from heat keeping the lid on and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
5.)  After 10 minutes, stir and serve alongside fresh or steamed vegetables.

Amy's Notes:
I have made this recipe in my pressure cooker, so have not tested out the stovetop cooking instructions first hand.  You may need to monitor the stovetop version to add more water while cooking.

Fennel seeds are one of my new favorite spices, but if that doesn't float your boat, try adding 1 tsp of your favorite dried herb instead, such as rosemary, thyme, basil, parsley, or oregano.  The fennel seeds are not overwhelming, but if even just a tiny bit isn't your thing, go with something else.

This recipe can be adapted to use just about any type of rice, so if you don't want to scare of some non-ETL-ers away with the dark color, try just using all brown rice.

For this recipe, I used homemade vegetable broth, but feel free to use store bought instead.  Just make sure to watch for the excess sodium in some store brands.


Health and Happiness,

Amy

2 comments:

  1. This looks really good! I recently found some wild black rice in my pantry, and now I know what to do with it! Yay!
    And by the way I love adding fennel seeds to tomato-based pasta/marinara sauce - it is so good!

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    Replies
    1. I love fennel seeds with tomato too. It seems fennel seeds may be one of those spices that you are either completely for or can't stand. Yay fennel seeds!

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