All ingredients needed for the recipe:
1 cup of dried lentils (measured uncooked)
1 cup short grain brown rice (measured uncooked)
2 large yellow onions
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
2 large tomatoes
2 red bell peppers
1 English cucumber
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 pear, or 1 crisp apple
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. raw unsalted almond butter
1/4 tsp sea salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
about 1/4 cup slivered almonds
zest of 1 lemon
Step 1: Cook the lentils. Rinse lentils, place in a pot and cover with just enough water to cover the lentils (the ratio is about 2 parts water to 1 part lentils. DO NOT SALT. Bring the lentils up to a boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer anywhere from 20 min. up to 45 minutes. Lentils can vary in cooking time. Depending on how soft you like them just taste along the way and it is really up to you how soft you want them to be. I like mine softer so I cook them close to 35 minutes. Once they are finished cooking, drain any extra water and season them with a little salt and pepper.
Step 2: Cook the rice. Rinse your brown rice, and cook either in a rice cooker or a pot according to directions on package. Let the rice cook at the same time the lentils are cooking.
Step 3: Caramelized onions: slice 2 large yellow onions. Place in a pan with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook on high for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and let them slow cook for another 40-45 minutes, until very sweet tasting and soft. I just made these right after I put the lentils and rice on to cook and let them cook for the same amount of time.
Step 4: Prepare the raw veggies with herbs: dice up your 2 tomatoes, 2 bell peppers, 1 English cucumber (some of the seeds scraped out), 1 pear or crisp apple, and 1/2 cup Italian parsley. Don't be afraid to throw the pear/apple in there! It adds just a slight touch of sweet to the whole dish that makes it so delicious! Mix the veggies and set aside.
Step 5: Lemony almond dressing: In a bowl, whisk together the juice of 1 1/2 lemons (save the lemons for the zest at the end of the recipe, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/2 c. olive oil, 2 Tbsp. raw unsalted almond butter, 1/4 tsp sea salt, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. You want this dressing to almost be to vinegary and tart on its own. because it will be much more mild when added to the rice and lentils.
Step 6: Assemble the salad: layer on a plate fresh baby spinach, a small dollop of rice and lentils, then a little drizzle of the dressing (a few tsp.). Next pile on the raw veggies, slivered almonds and some lemon zest on the top. Add another drizzle of dressing, mix up and enjoy!