Lentils, Brown Rice and Sausage Casserole
(made in slow-cooker)

Before you start cooking lentils and brown rice casserole, it is important to know, that you have to soak the rice. I didn't do it, because I was impatient and tried to make it as fast as possible, but then I ended up cooking this meal for hours. Sometimes making shortcuts doesn't pay off...

Or you can make this dish without rice, cook it separately and then serve lentils over the rice. My husband was raving about this recipe and because he eats meat, I had to put some protein in it. Otherwise it tastes delicious even without a sausage.

This is what you need:

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice

  • 1 cup dried lentils

  • 2-3 links of chicken sausage (I used Al Fresco, Sweet Italian), optional

  • 1 medium chopped onion

  • 1/2 cup chopped green, red or yellow bell peppers or mix of all

  • 5 cups of water or chicken broth

  • 2 cloves of minced garlic

  • 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp basil, 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

Place the rice in a medium bowl, cover with water and soak for 6 hours. Lentils don't have to be soaked, they cook fast. Drain and place in the slow-cooker with other ingredients. Cover and cook on low about 5-6 hours, until rice and lentils are tender. Makes cca 8 cups. I store the leftovers in refrigerator and when heating up,  I add some water or broth for creamier texture. And it makes it easier to stir, since I don't use microwave for heating up any food.

After soybeans and hemp, lentils have the third-highest level of protein of any legumes. They also contain dietary fiber, vitamin B1, folate and minerals and they are a good source of iron. Health magazine selected lentils as one of the five healthiest foods.

Brown Rice is more nutritious than white rice, but goes rancid more quickly because bran and germ, that are removed to make white rice, contain fats that can spoil. The main difference between these two is in processing, so brown rice has more nutritional value. During the processing, white rice loses the fiber, magnesium and a small amount of fatty acids. Brown rice is rich in magnesium, manganese, iron, vitamin B1, B5, B6, phosphorus and zinc.

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