Tag Archives: African

Meatless Monday: Mjdara (Lentils with Rice)

Today is Tuesday, not Monday. 

Just wanted to make sure that you knew that I knew that.

But with finals going on like crazy, I didn’t get a chance to post this yesterday (plus, I posted the nut rocha yesterday–let’s not get too greedy here!), so today you get a surprise “Meatless Monday (was yesterday) post”.  I was considering just skipping for the week, but I made mjdara, or lentils with rice, and it was so good that I thought it deserved to make it into the world-wide web.

Mjdara is from the “African” section of a cookbook my mom gave me (thanks, Mom!) for Christmas last year, called Global Feast Cookbook.  It doesn’t say much about it in the book, so I googled it–and Wikipedia told me it originated as a “poor man’s food” in Africa and the Middle East, where meat was much more difficult to get than just heading over to your local BJ’s.  It also said that despite its lowly beginnings, now it’s a “health-conscious man’s” food (I made up that terminology), due to all of its wholesome ingredients.

So let’s get to it!

Mjdara (Lentils With Rice)

  • 2 C lentils
  • 2 t salt
  • 3/4 C uncooked brown rice
  • 1-2 onions, chopped (I used one, and some green onion)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • optional: 1/2 C raisins, 1 tomato, chopped
  • also optional: ham, pistachios (…no thanks!)

This is a pretty easy and hands-off recipe.  Combine lentils, salt, and enough water to cover (with an inch of water on top) in a saucepan, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes on low, stirring occasionally.  Add the rice, tomatoes, raisins, and extra water if necessary, cover, and cook for 30 more minutes until the rice is tender.

Meanwhile, saute the onions in olive oil in a skillet until softened.

I love purple onions.  They take such amazing photos.

When the lentils are all smushy (technical cooking term), and the rice is tender, add the onions and mix well.

Sprinkle with freshly grated black pepper and serve hot.  I like to serve anything lentilly (another technical term) in a broiled green pepper half.  The two tastes just go together perfectly, even with the sweet raisins.  Fritz is also a big fan of this method.

What do you think?  Like the text?  Someday when I’m a famous gourmet physical therapist (wait…that’s an odd career choice…), I think photos like these will look fantastic introducing my favorite recipes in my New York Time’s best-selling cookbook. 

Maybe when that happens, the heat in my apartment will work.

Want to hear that story?

This morning, as I studied for my P&O final exam, I noticed something odd.  Mainly, that I was shivering–while wearing leggings, fleece pants, two pairs of socks, a sweater, and a blanket.  I kept turning the thermostat up (sorry Chris!), but it didn’t seem to get any warmer.  Actually,it got colder.  I knew something was seriously wrong when Henry cuddled up to me–at first I felt very flattered, but I quickly realized it was more of a desire for body heat than a blatant showing of affection.

He’s not much of a cuddler.

I looked at the thermostat and it was set at ninety but the actual temperature of the apartment was fifty-eight.  That’s right.  Fifty-eight degrees.  Luckily, that got fixed a while later (apparently some water froze in our oil tank), and now it’s slowly warming up again.  However, there are still a few remnants of our morning Ice Age:

That would be the ice that has formed on the inside of our bathroom window.  The inside. 

I can tell tonight’s going to be a heat blanket kind of night.


Filed under Entrees, Vegetarian