Quick & Healthy Weeknight Dinner – Brown Rice & Lentil Bowl

by on December 4, 2013

Last weekend Isaac totally caught me off guard by giving me Shaun T’s Focus T25 DVD kit as one of my Chanukah gifts. T25 was on my holiday wish list, but for some reason I didn’t think that I was going to get it. Surprise, surprise–Isaac’s sneakier than I thought!

Focus T25

Even though it’s the holiday season and I could have waited until January to start the T25 challenge, I figured I should go ahead and get started. Why wait? Plus the workouts are only 25 minutes a day, which is actually perfect since December is so busy. I started the Alpha phase, which is initial 5 week foundation phase, on Monday so I’m three days in and LOVING it so far. The workouts leave me sweaty and tired but they’re still manageable, which is encouraging.

T25 Calendar

I have the calendar up in my office so I can check off my workouts each day and everything. Exciting!

I’ve also been following the little nutrition guide this week. It’s pretty similar to how I normally eat–all real foods, 3 meals and 2 snacks a day and watching portion sizes, drinking lots of water, etc. Nothing too different than a normal clean eating plan but I think it’s helped me shake up my routine with a few quick and easy meal ideas, especially for lunches and dinners.

I’ve found that while I like to cook and bake, when it comes time to make dinner I’m usually starving and I like something super quick that I can throw together in less than 20 minutes. One of the meals that I was inspired to make from the T25 plan called for cooked lentils and cooked brown rice. I prepped ahead and made a big batch of both on Sunday and have had a brown rice and lentil bowl for dinner two nights this week. So easy!

brown rice and lentilsbrown rice and lentil bowl

I modified the recipe a bit based on what ingredients I have on hand and was pretty happy with the outcome = natural flavors from the lentils and brown rice combined with fresh veggies and a little citrus. Pretty simple ingredients but still flavorful and satisfying.

brown rice and lentil bowl

I just realized the colors are kind of Christmasy–how appropriate. :)

5.0 from 1 reviews
Brown Rice & Lentil Bowl with a Citrus Vinaigrette
 
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Cook time
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Feel free to use the homemade grapefruit vinaigrette recipe that I share or make your own favorite dressing to use for flavoring the bowl. Also feel free to use as little or as much sriracha as you like. I don't have much in the photos but I usually add quite a bit to dishes like this. And to think, I used to not like spicy foods, my how things have changed.
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • ½ cup cooked lentils
  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped
  • 4 mushrooms, chopped
  • 3-4 cups raw baby spinach
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons walnuts, chopped, divided
  • 4 Tablespoons homemade citrus vinaigrette, divided (recipe below)
  • ground pepper and sriracha, to taste
Homemade Citrus Vinaigrette
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon raw honey
  • 2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Make homemade vinaigrette by combining grapefruit juice, lemon juice and honey in a medium bowl; whisking until blended. Stir in mustard, mix well and then slowly add oil while whisking. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Store any leftover dressing in a covered container in the fridge.
  2. Spray non-stick skillet with cooking spray and sauté red onion and mushrooms on medium heat until soft and fragrant, about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Add spinach, brown rice and lentils into the skillet. Cook, stirring continuously and adding a little water if the pan gets too dry and the mixture starts to stick. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the brown rice and lentils are heated through and the spinach has wilted. Stir in chopped tomatoes right before removing the mixture from the skillet.
  4. Place brown rice mixture into two serving bowls, add 1 tablespoon of walnuts and 2 Tablespoons of dressing to each bowl, mixture together. Top with fresh ground pepper and sriracha (if you like things spicy) and enjoy.

PS- Have you seen this tea from Trader Joe’s? I found out about it last year and fell in love. It’s the best and I highly recommend picking a package if you like peppermint.

Candy Cane Green Tea

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Danielle @ LabelsAreForTinCans December 4, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Good for you for starting before the holidays are over! ;) That vinaigrette sounds so delicious and refreshing! I love adding citrus for extra flavour.

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Tara | Treble in the Kitchen December 4, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I’m totally the same way and always searching for quick and easy dinners, but LOVE spending time in the kitchen when I’m not starving :) This looks great! I have a big bag of lentils that have a meal like this written all over it!

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Sara @ LovingOnTheRun December 4, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Ooh this looks great! I will have to make this for my husband and I sometime soon! Right now I am trying to go through all the turkey we have left over BUT I could always add turkey to this! :)

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D @ The Kosher Cave Girl December 4, 2013 at 11:33 pm

That seasonal green tea you’ve got there from TJ’s sounds absolutely amazing. I must hunt it down. Immediately!

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melissa December 5, 2013 at 2:42 am

i just got a crock pot and was thinking about cooking some lentils i have in it for its first cook! if it’s not too much trouble, could you tell me if this could be modified for the crock pot?

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Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen December 5, 2013 at 4:52 am

Wow! This looks like the perfect rice and lentil dish! Can’t wait to make it! :D Happy Hanukkah! :D

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Liz @ I Heart Vegetables December 5, 2013 at 7:23 am

Ohh I can’t wait to hear more about this workout plan! 25 minutes a day sounds very doable! Good luck!!! :) Also, that lentil and rice bowl sounds delicious. I like fast and easy dinners, too!

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Shel@PeachyPalate December 5, 2013 at 8:57 am

I love Insanity but haven’t given it a go in a while…keep us posted on T25! Have you done Insanity? Tougher? Same? Brown rice and lentils is a simple awesome combo…great with roasted pumpkin, roasted apple, toasted pecans and coconut in the mix!

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Lindsay & Tim @ Fit with Farrar December 5, 2013 at 9:00 am

We like T25 too!! All the speedy foot work really helps with our agility! Enjoy!

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Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots December 5, 2013 at 9:41 am

that tea is my favorite and I look forward to it every year! I stock up on it so I can have it past its season!

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Sanaz@runforcake.com December 5, 2013 at 9:49 am

That is one of my favorite teas ever. I stock up because I love it so much! I was thinking about T25 but fear it will be so fast that it will turn me off, or scare me away. I love that dinner idea. Perfect for meatless Mondays! Thanks.

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Rebecca Jo December 5, 2013 at 10:09 am

I want those videos!!!!

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Alexis December 5, 2013 at 10:58 am

I love your blog. And I LOVE T25! I am on week 4 of the Beta Phase (week 9 of 10 total). The workouts are so awesome! My favorite workout is Speed 2.0. The Stretch workout would be my second favorite. I hope you like the whole thing. :) Merry Christmas from Texas!

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Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment December 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm

I just bought this tea recently at Trader Joe’s! I must confess – I’m a little in love with it too.

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Christine (The Raw Project) December 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Looks great, always looking for quick weeknight recipes. Thanks!

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Debbie@Happy, Healthy, Fit and Fine December 5, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Great brown rice recipe, it’s a staple at our house. I’m always putting some kind of chicken dish on it.

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Michelle December 5, 2013 at 5:12 pm

I am in my last week of T25 and have LOVED it- did all 3 phases (and gamma phase twice) and finishing up hybrid now! I am starting a challenge group for the program in January to help keep people on track and accountable! Email me if interested – would love to help you meet your goals! Michellevitelli@hotmail.com. Keep the healthy recipes coming! Love the crockpot oatmeal- have eaten that all week! :-)

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Melissa December 5, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Yum, looks like an excellent dish! I love all the ingredients and the color!

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Margaret Dallospedale December 6, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Nice post
I love your blog! I follow you on bloglovin.
Kisses
The Indian Savage diary

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Elyse @ Lizzie Fit December 11, 2013 at 8:50 pm

This looks like the perfect quick, weeknight dinner with a little prep beforehand. Definitely going to be having this in the near future :)

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