Cooking Affordably: Lentils and Rice

by JoellieGirl

A vegan meal that costs less than .50 per serving. Delicious and filling!

My husband grew up eating lentils on a regular basis. It took me a while to acquire a taste for them, but this simple lentil stew is delicious served over a bed of soft basmati. Packed with protein and fiber, this is a meal that will fill you up for pennies!

Vegan Lentil Stew


  • 1 lb dry lentils
  • 1 quart vegetable broth (4 cups) 
  • 1 quart water (4 cups) 
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper


Add all of the ingredients to 4 quart soup pot and bring to a boil. 

Reduce heat to medium/low. 

Simmer uncovered for 40 minutes or until liquid is mostly cooked out and lentils are soft. 

1/2 cup of lentil stew is about 120 calories and 9 grams of protein. 


I like to make this stew in my electric pot. It frees up the stove top for if I want to make an indian fry bread or fresh tortillas to serve with it! 

Pork and Lentil Stew

The Non-Vegan Version
  • 1 pound of dry lentils
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 pork neck bones
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper

Add all ingredients to a 6 quart soup pot and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until lentils are soft. 

Using a slotted spoon, remove pork neck bones and allow to cool for 10 minutes. 

Pick meat off of the bones and return the meat to the pot, but discard the bones. 


Basmati Rice: Microwave Instructions

If you have a rice cooker or know how to prepare rice on the stove, then great! If not, here's an easy way to prepare it in the microwave: 


  • 2 cups of dry basmati rice grains
  • 4 cups of water

Place your rice and water in a large bowl and seal with a lid. 

Place in microwave and cook on high power for 5 minutes. 

Stir, return to microwave and cook for an additional 15 minutes at 50% power. 


DO NOT add oil to the rice before you cook it. It works with brown or white rice, but it makes the basmati grains fall apart and get mushy. It isn't nice. Trust me. 


Lentils and Rice, the Complete Meal

Follow these steps to serve your lentils and rice! 


Place 3/4 cup cooked rice in the bottom of the bowl. 

Add 1 pat of butter or margarine.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Pour 1/2 cup of lentil stew over the rice. 

Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and, if you like, some crumbled feta cheese. 

Serve hot with pita bread on the side! 

Updated: 05/26/2012, JoellieGirl
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chefkeem on 05/26/2012

I love lentils! And since my doctor recommended a severe change to my diet (my cholesterol is through the roof!), I' gonna cook a big pot of lentil stew tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

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