This week I wanted to make something savory, healthy, delicious and interesting. I went looking for a recipe for something I have never made before. What I found was recipe for Lebanese Stuffed Grape Leaves in the current issue of Eating Well magazine. Now this is something I have never made before!
One slight problem though, I live in a fairly rural area. Our local Winn Dixie doesn't exactly stock grape leaves. Not to be deterred I decided to modify the recipe. Instead of stuffing and boiling the grape leaves, I pan sautéed the filling and served it with naan (which is available at my local grocery store).
The results was delicious! In case you have never had lamb, it a naturally flavorful meat much more flavorful than ground beef. The lamb and spice blend flavored the brown rice and lentils beautifully. I served my Lebanese lamb,and rice dish with naan and a side of cool creamy plain yogurt. I didn't miss the grape leaves at all!
The other modification I made to the Eating Well recipe was to add some lentils. I really like lentils in dishes like this. Not only are they a tasty edition, they also reduce the amount of meat in a portion and add in a healthy dose of protein, fiber, and other healthy nutrients.
Lebanese Lamb, Rice and Lentils
Prep time: 8 minutes
Total time start to finish: 1 hour 10 minutes
Makes: 12 1/2-cup servings
1 lb ground lamb
1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
1/2 cup lentils
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons dried mint (or 2 tablespoons fresh minced mint)
1 tablespoon dried marjoram leaves
2 teaspoon s ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
lemon wedges for serving
plain yogurt for serving
COOK brown rice and lentils according to package directions.
PLACE ground lamb, rice, lentils, parsley, mint, marjoram, cinnamon, cumin, salt, pepper and allspice in a large bowl. Use you hands to fully MIX the ingredients.
PLACE lamb and rice mixture into a large skillet on medium high heat. Brown meat until fully cooked, stirring fairly often to help the mixture cook evenly.
SERVE the Lebanese lamb, rice and lentils hot with lemon wedge and yogurt on the side if desired.