They say rice and beans is a poor man’s meal, but 24 hours later, I’m still patting myself on the back for this one.

Because as far as I’m concerned, last night’s dinner was perfect.

1. It was delicious–everyone ate it.

2. It was cheap–under $5 for the ENTIRE family.

3. It was quick and easy, taking less than a half hour to prepare.

Here’s all it took: A buffet of bowls filled with: brown rice, lentils, feta cheese, homemade naan, sliced hard boiled eggs and a spicy paste. Everybody grabbed a plate and built their choice of food over the naan.

1 cup red lentils (they actually look orange)
3 cloves minced garlic
2T minced ginger
1t garam masala*
1T soy sauce
1t cloves
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Put the lentils, garlic and ginger in a pot and just cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until lentils are soft. Continue to simmer, uncovered, until desired consistency. Add the other spices and soy sauce.

*Available at Whole Foods, Target or in health food aisles. You could omit this, but it won’t taste as authentic.


1 clove garlic
1 thai pepper (with seeds removed)
1T olive oil
juice from a small lime or lemon
handful of any fresh herbs you have–cilantro, basil, parsley
dash of salt

Process all ingredients with a mortar and pestle or in a food processor. (The mortar and pestle really tastes better. And with free labor, it’s really no more work.)

2 thoughts on “Choose your own dinner adventure

  1. Ha we had similar tonight!
    But we had curried quinoa, seitan, sauteed onions and peppers, feta, avocado, and sliced grape tomatoes.
    Everyone made their own concoction. It was sooooo good!

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