Quick & Healthy Weeknight Dinner – Brown Rice & Lentil Bowl

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 lentils

brown 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. πŸ™‚


Brown Rice & Lentil Bowl with a Citrus Vinaigrette


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.


  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup cooked lentils
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 4 mushrooms, chopped
  • 34 cups raw baby spinach
  • 1/2 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon raw honey
  • 2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and ground pepper, to taste


  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 sautΓ© 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

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  1. 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! πŸ™‚

  2. 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. πŸ™‚ Merry Christmas from Texas!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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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