As I’ve mentioned before, I like to create a weekly meal plan. If I’m staring into our refrigerator at 7:00 pm trying to come up with dinner ideas, I will most likely end up on the phone with our favorite Mexican place instead of cooking a healthy dinner.
I like to keep it super easy during the week. Some of my favorite time saving meals are hands-off crock pot recipes, big salads (ala Elaine from Seinfeld), and one pot dinners, such as soups or curries.
Or, I’ll cook a big pot of brown rice early in the week and use it for multiple meals. That’s what I did when I came up with this week’s meal plan:
- Chickpea Spinach Curry over Brown Rice
- Lentil Brown Rice Salad (recipe follows)
- Tomato Basil Soup with Goat Cheese and Garlic Bread
- Bean Rice and Cheese Burritos and Steamed Corn
- Chickpea of the Sea Sandwiches with Orange Slices
Here is my totally customizable recipe for brown rice salad:
Lentil brown Rice Salad
- 1 cup black lentils
- 3 cups cooked brown rice (cold)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
- Salt and pepper
- 1 large cucumber, diced
- 4 oz feta, crumbled
- 1 pkg cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size
- 5 basil leaves, chopped
Cook lentils in boiling, salted water until tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside to cool.
Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk to combine and season with salt and pepper.
Combine lentils, rice, cucumber, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Mix well. Add dressing, feta, and basil. Toss until well mixed. Adjust seasoning, adding additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
Notes: This recipe is very flexible. Try adding nuts, olives, roasted peppers, or marinated artichoke hearts. Replace the lentils with garbanzo or black beans. Substitute quinoa for the brown rice. The possibilities are endless!