Image for Budget Cooking: Berbere Lentils & Greens
Cooking with Co+op Basics: Berbere Lentils & Greens
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Tons of flavor packed into a healthy, budget-friendly meal.
  • CourseMain Dish
  • CuisineBudget-friendly, Vegan
4 servings
4 servings
Berbere Lentils & Greens with Rice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup bulk long grain brown rice
  • 3/4 cup bulk dry red lentils
  • 2 Tbsp. Berbere spices (see below recipe to make your own)
  • 2 tsp. bulk granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp. bulk ground ginger root
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 bag Sno-Pac frozen spinach
  • 2 oz. bulk whole almonds
  • 1 medium lemon, juice and zest
Berbere Spice Blend
  • 2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 2-3 pods cardamom
  • 1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 3 Tbsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Servings: servings
  1. Place frozen spinach in bowl to thaw partially. Dice onion and set aside.
  2. Heat half of olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan or saucepan (you want a lot of surface area, so the bigger the better). Add onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until it starts to soften. Add red lentils and Berbere spice blend. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring often to prevent spices from burning to bottom of pan.
  3. Add water. Stir to remove any seasoning from bottom of pan. Cover and reduce heat to a very low simmer (only a few bubbles). Cook the lentil mixture 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare brown rice. Bring a 2-quart pot of water to a boil. Salt water generously and add rice. Reduce heat to a simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes. Drain rice in a fine sieve or colander and return to pot to stay warm if it finishes before lentils.
  5. While lentils and rice are cooking, toast almonds in a medium pan over low heat, constantly stirring to prevent burning. Set aside.
  6. Squeeze excess water out of thawed spinach. Heat remaining olive oil in almond pan over medium heat and sauté spinach with a pinch of salt, dried garlic, and ground ginger for 3-4 minutes.
  7. When lentils are cooked, add spinach, salt (to taste), and lemon juice. Serve lentils and greens with rice, topped with toasted almonds and a sprinkle of lemon zest, if desired.
Berbere Spice Blend
  1. Set a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add fenugreek, coriander, peppercorns, and cardamom pods. Toast spices, stirring constantly, until spice smells are released, roughly 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Let toasted spices cool. Add them to a clean spice grinder, along with chili flakes, and grind finely. You can do this in several batches using a mortar and pestle if preferred. Add 10 minutes to your prep time if hand-crushing spices.
  3. Pour ground spices into a jar. Add smoked paprika, sweet paprika, dried basil, ginger, and cinnamon. Shake or stir to combine. The spice blend will keep well in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Recipe Notes

Recipe sourced from East Side Table and adapted by Kim Werst of Eat Closer to Home

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