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Mediterranean Lentil and Grain Bowls

Mediterranean Lentil and Grain Bowls

Nisha Vora
Gourmet but easy to make, these Mediterranean Lentil and Grain Bowls are packed with fiber and protein and are great for weeknight dinners as well as meal prep.
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

PICKLED ONIONS (Makes 1 large jar of pickled onions)

    Ingredients

    • 1 medium red onion
    • 3/4 cup (180 mL) water
    • 1/2 cup (120 mL) cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar (or a mixture of both)
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or organic cane sugar)
    • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
    • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
    • 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns (optional)

    CREAMY MEDITERRANEAN LENTILS (Makes about 2 1/2 cups cooked lentils)

      Ingredients

      • 1 tablespoon olive oil
      • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds*
      • 6 garlic cloves, minced
      • 2 ⅔ - 2 ¾ cups (640 - 660 mL) vegetable broth
      • 1 cup (180g) French green lentils
      • Kosher salt or sea salt to taste
      • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
      • 2 tablespoons tahini
      • 2-3 teaspoons tamari (depends on how salty your vegetable broth is)

      FARRO (Makes about 2 1/2 cups cooked farro)

        Ingredients

        • 1 cup (180g) farro, pearled or semi-pearled (can sub any gluten-free grain, such as quinoa, millet or brown rice)
        • 2 ½ cups (600 mL) water
        • Kosher salt or sea salt
        • 2 bay leaves (optional, for seasoning)
        • Freshly cracked black pepper (optional, for seasoning)
        • 2 garlic cloves, sliced in half (optional, for seasoning)

        CLASSIC HUMMUS (Makes about 1 1/2 cups hummus)

          Ingredients

          • 1 (15-ounce / 440g) can chickpeas, or 1 ¾ cups (260-280g) cooked chickpeas
          • 1/3 cup (75g) tahini
          • 1 medium lemon, juiced (about 3 tablespoons)
          • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
          • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground cumin
          • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
          • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
          • 4 - 6 tablespoons ice water
          • For serving: extra virgin olive oil, chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley, paprika.

          Instructions
           

          Pickled Onions Directions

          • Bring the water to a gentle boil, using a kettle or on the stove. Slice the onion very thinly. Place the onion slices in a large mason jar.
          • Mix together the hot water, vinegar, maple syrup, salt, red pepper flakes, and peppercorns. Stir to combine until the syrup or sugar is dissolved. Pour the pickling liquid over the sliced onions in the jar.
          • Allow to cool to room temperature, at least 30 minutes. You can serve now, but I prefer to refrigerate them for a more developed flavor.

          Creamy Mediterranean Lentils Directions

          • Heat a large, deep nonstick frying pan or a Dutch oven over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the garlic and cumin seeds and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
          • Pour in the vegetable broth to deglaze the pan, then add the lentils. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the lentils are tender but still al dente.
          • Turn the heat to low and add the tahini and tamari, and stir well into the lentils. Taste for seasonings, and season with salt (as needed) and freshly cracked black pepper.

          Farro Directions

          • Add the water to a medium saucepan, season with salt, and bring to a boil. Add the farro and seasonings, then reduce to a simmer and cook until al dente-- tender yet chewy. For pearled farro, it should take 15-20 minutes; for semi-pearled farro, 20-30 minutes.
          • Once al dente, drain the farro through a sieve and discard the aromatics. If you have the time, spread the farro out on a sheet tray to cool and dry out--this helps prevent it from getting mushy.

          Classic Hummus Directions

          • Add the chickpeas to a food processor and blend for 2 minutes until you have a thick paste-like puree, scraping down the sides with a silicone spatula as needed.
          • Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and 1 teaspoon salt. With the motor running, stream in the ice water, a little at a time, until the hummus is thick yet smooth and creamy. Taste for seasonings and add more salt, lemon juice, garlic, or cumin as needed. If the hummus is still too thick for your liking, add a tablespoon or two more of ice water.
          • Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl and cover with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out. Ideally, let it rest for 30 minutes before serving.
          • When ready to serve, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, parsley, and paprika.

          Video

          Notes

          * If you don’t have cumin seeds, use 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin along with the lentils.
          Keyword grain bowls, lentils, nut-free
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