This is a very nutritious, properly balanced meal. There is a lot of protein from lentils, complex carbohydrates from both brown rice (richer in nutrients than white rice) and lentils, some olive oil to absorb fat-soluble vitamins as well as lots of vitamins and minerals not only from the vegetables, but also from lentils and brown rice. Lentils are high in folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, zinc and copper. Vitamin C from the pepper helps in non-heme iron absorption.
This meal can be filling for two hungry people with some leftovers for next day’s lunch.
1 cup brown rice, dry,
1 cup black (or brown) lentils, dry, or 2.5 cups cooked,
1 medium eggplant,
1 large red bell pepper, deseeded,
1 medium zucchini,
1 small yellow squash,
½ red onion,
3 cloves garlic,
1 tablespoon dried oregano,
1 tablespoon dried basil,
2 tablespoons extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil,
coarse sea salt, to taste.
Although the lentils on the picture look brown, they were black when dry. They lose their color during soaking and cooking.
Sea salt is better than regular table salt because it is reach in minerals, including trace minerals. I prefer coarse salt because some of the kinds of fine salt have aluminum added to prevent caking. This toxic metal may cause Alzheimer’s disease if you have it in your body. For the same reason I recommend avoiding all aluminum cookware and utensils and using stainless steel pots and pans instead.
Rinse the rice very well and cook it in 2 cups of water with a little bit of sea salt until all water is absorbed (see: Learn to cook – Grains).
Rinse the lentils and soak the lentils for at least 4 hours (give them at least twice as much water as lentils). Cook them with a little bit of sea salt in just enough water to cover them (see: Learn to cook – Legumes) until soft. In order to save time and workload, I always cook large amounts of legumes in advance, divide them into small portions and freeze in glass containers. It really makes cooking easier. All you need to do is to remember to defrost them enough in advance.
Chop all the vegetables in equal squares or cubes. Place them in a glass baking dish, add the herbs and mix well. Add the olive oil and mix well again. Put them into the oven preheated to 380ºF or about 190ºC and roast for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.